Marvel announced in a blog post Friday that G. Willow Wilson is leaving the Ms. Marvel series, and passing on responsibilities to Saladin Ahmed and Minkyu Jung in 2019. Wilson’s been the writer of this series since she, along with artist Adrian Alphona and editors Stephen Wacker and Sana Amanat, created the character in 2014. Since then, Ms. Marvel has only grown, or embiggened, as she would say. Kamala’s has joined the Avengers and the Champions and even leapt onto TV with the Marvel Rising cartoon.
What the team originally thought would be a 10-issue mini with a niche following exploded into an icon; Wilson will have five years and 60 issues of the series under her belt when all’s said and done. In a farewell letter, she credits Sana Amanat’s own experiences as integral to Kamala’s story and her success: “Sana and I initially had very modest expectations for this book. Our goal was to get to ten issues. It was going to be a fun side project—a young adult Muslim Super Hero! At Marvel!—that would have the lifespan of fun side projects. I budgeted a year for it. But by the time the first trade paperback hit the New York Times Graphic Books bestseller list, I realized Kamala was quickly becoming the center of my life.”
A diverse pool of voices is what defines Kamala and that’s why Willow is excited about who’s following in her footsteps. Wilson writes in her farewell letter to the character that she was delighted when Ahmed agreed to do the book (who wouldn’t?) and assures her fans in the “Kamala Korps” that “his plans for Kamala are incredibly exciting, and it’s been a lot of fun getting an inside look at where the series is headed under his direction. I was blown away by his work on Black Bolt, which gave me the same sense of endless possibility that reading Sandman gave me as a teenager. You’re in for a treat.”
Though bittersweet, it’s hard not to hop on the hype train along with Wilson. Ahmed burst onto the comics scene with a concise but stellar resume, including Black Bolt, Abbott, Exiles and the just-launched Miles Morales: Spider-Man series. Taking up writing duties for Kamala Khan, and from Wilson, is a big moment for Ahmed. He tweeted about the news himself Friday morning:
Some VERY big news: This March, my beloved sister and colleague @GWillowWilson is passing the Kamala baton to me.Announcing my new book with @MinkyuJungArt...THE MAGNIFICENT MS. MARVEL! https://t.co/wMAQRnweNi— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) December 14, 2018
Ahmed and Jung carry that baton into 2019 with a new series and an iconic title: The Magnificent Ms. Marvel. With it, Kamala joins the ranks of Amazing Spider-Man and Uncanny X-Men. Her superlative is a significant moment that Ahmed describes as a “levelling up” for Kamala as she establishes herself in the Marvel universe with a tonal and artistic change. Ahmed tells Marvel, “Ms. Marvel’s been pretty fortunate in the way she’s been able to manage her family’s knowledge of and reactions to her superheroics. That’s going to change for the worse, with some pretty heavy consequences.”
Jung finds himself right at home in those dark turns as he transitions from drawing Batgirl and Nightwing’s Gotham. Ahmed elaborates on their collaboration, saying, “Kamala’s been in the hands of some *brilliant* artists the past few years and we want to respect to all that’s come before—the book isn’t suddenly going to look ‘gritty.’ But Minkyu will definitely be taking the visuals of the book in a new, perhaps slightly darker, direction that will match the story.”
Ms. Marvel fans: Prepare yourselves for Kamala to embiggen with a whole new team next year. G. Willow Wilson fans shouldn’t fret, though. On Twitter, she reminds readers that she’s got her own plans for 2019, including a picture-less novel called The Bird King.
Wondering where to find me post-Ms Marvel? I’ve a truckload of stuff coming out in 2019: WONDER WOMAN 2x a month, INVISIBLE KINGDOM w/ the incomparable @cjwardart launching in March, and ALSO in March, my 1st book without pictures in 6 years, THE BIRD KING— G. Willow Wilson (@GWillowWilson) December 14, 2018
Check out the cover for The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 below, with art by Eduard Petrovich.
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 Cover Art by Eduard Petrovich