"EMBIGGEN!"

Comic book superhero, owned and published by Marvel Comics. Her real name is Kamala Khan, and she was created by G. Willow Wilson, Sana Amanat, Stephen Wacker, and Adrian Alphona. She had her first appearance as a background character in 2013's "Captain Marvel #14" before getting her own comic in February 2014, making her the first Muslim character to star in her own comic book at Marvel. 

Kamala is a teenager, a Pakistani-American, living with her family in Jersey City. She lives an entirely normal life, going to school, hanging out with friends, trying to walk the balance between being who your family wants you to be and being who you want to be. She struggles with her faith, has an affinity for science, and has a deep love for geeky pursuits, including writing fan fiction -- particularly fanfic about the Marvel Universe's superheroes, including her idol, Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel. Kamala even loves Carol's old identity as Ms. Marvel, complete with her "classic, politically incorrect costume."

A short digression for the sake of comic book continuity: Around this time, the Inhumans, a race of superhumans who rely on the Terrigen Mists to activate their powers, had discovered that vast swaths of humanity had Inhuman genes, and it wasn't long after that before a Terrigen Bomb dumped a ton of the gas into the atmosphere, exposing hundreds of thousands of seemingly normal humans to a substance that could give them superpowers. 

And one of those people... was Kamala Khan. 

Once she emerged from her Terrigen cocoon, Kamala discovered she had shapeshifting abilities -- she could stretch, she could shrink, she could grow (gaining extra strength in the process), she could disguise herself as anyone she wanted. She also gained a healing factor, though using it too much weakened her unless she had something to eat to regain her energy. Of course, as a superhero fangirl, she immediately started planning her superhero debut. After shapeshifting herself into a copy of Carol Danvers in the "classic, politically incorrect costume," she decided she couldn't handle the resulting "epic wedgie," so instead went with a costume based around a burkini

From there, Ms. Marvel hit the scene, fighting villains, meeting superheroes (including Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Captain Marvel), joining the Avengers, and kicking up a huge stir in the comics industry. Fan reaction to just the announcement of the character was intense, enthusiastic, and nearly overwhelmingly positive -- in a time when comics were under pressure to adapt to a more diverse world, the idea of a Muslim teenaged girl headlining her own comic was thrilling. There was also a lot of excitement about her costume, which was gloriously non-sexed-up. Anticipation for the character pushed her debut comic to the top of the sales charts, and reviews from both fans and critics were glowing. 

One of the great delights of the series is Kamala's supporting cast. Her father is traditional and very kind, but is always after Kamala to study more. Her mother is more traditional, extremely protective of her children, and not at all hesitant in speaking her mind. Her big brother Aamir is extremely religious and conservative, can't get a job, and almost as protective as his mom. Her best friend Bruno is super-smart, super-nerdy, and super-lovestruck. Her best friend Nakia is more traditional than Kamala, prone to fads, but very level-headed. Zoe Zimmer is the school Alpha Bitch who unexpectedly learns to be kinder after a global disaster. Sheikh Abdullah is a teacher at the local mosque who proves to be more understanding than his stern and unforgiving reputation would lead you to believe. 

The series is also wonderfully funny, thanks in part to Wilson's skills at writing thoroughly funny characters and in part to artist Alphona's ability to put impossibly hilarious gags in the background of almost every panel. In between saving the world, Kamala also ends up fighting giant frogs, a mad scientist with the head of a cockatiel, a giant robot wearing a pimp hat, and an extremely dim-witted clone army of... herself. Also, when the very first page of the very first issue makes you literally laugh out loud because the main character is standing in a convenience store drooling over bacon sandwiches while sighing, "Delicious, delicious infidel meat"... well, you may have a damn funny comic book on your hands. 

One of my favorite things about this character is how she ends up inspiring the occasional bit of real-life heroism. In early 2015, an anti-Muslim group bought a bunch of bus advertisements in San Francisco trying to drum up Islamophobia. People started covering the ads up with images of Ms. Marvel with anti-racism slogans. You get to see that periodically -- people taking inspiration to do good because of the influence of comic book heroes like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Captain America -- but it's especially great to see people reacting the same way to a character so new to the comics scene.