The upcoming Ms. Marvel Disney+ series will soon introduce Kamala Khan to audiences at large, but she has been a staple of comics for several years now, with their pages now being prominent enough to introduce a new hero in the hulking shape of the mysterious Amulet.
Issue #13 of The Magnificent Ms. Marvel sees Kamala at a particularly low point, and as a result when she is abandoned at a county fair she decides to visit a psychic to see if there is any hope for her. However, the meeting goes about as well as everything else in her life, and demons begin to appear from the crystal ball, only for her to receive unexpected help from the timely appearance of a young man wielding magical abilities. The two quickly become friends during the fight as Amulet declares himself to be a fan of hers, while Kamala recognizes the sigil on his costume and what it signifies.
Amulet – real name Fadi Fadlalah – was described thusly by writer Saladin Ahmed:
“Amulet is a fun, mysterious new character who will be playing a role in Magnificent Ms. Marvel for months to come. We’re keeping most of the details of him close to our chests, but I can tell you that his powers are magical in nature, and that he is an Arab-American Super Hero from Michigan. As an Arab-American who basically learned to read from Marvel Comics, being able to team up with the phenomenally talented Sara Alfageeh to bring Amulet into the Marvel Universe is literally a dream come true. We can’t wait for fans to meet him!”
Artist Sara Alfageeh went on to explain his look, saying:
“Saladin let me have a lot of fun with this concept. We talked about his defensive-style powers and how they tied into his background as a Lebanese kid. The blue and white color palette and the circular design were pulled from the Nazar, a symbol that pops up all over the Middle East that protects the wearer from the evil eye – the harmful intentions of others. A bit of a historical, supernatural touch. We tend to associate sharp corners and edges with evil, and rounded designs and circles with good. This character is a gentle giant, so I wanted to make sure that even with his size he was shaped like a friend!”
In a world where Muslims and Arabs are still vilified in everyday life and popular media, it’s encouraging to see a character of such an ethnicity introduced in a positive light, and have his powers not only based on an aspect of Arab culture, but also explicitly defined to be used to protect and defend.
With the Outlawed event imminently looming that will see the activities of teenage crimefighters curtailed and of which Kamala will be the epicenter, Amulet couldn’t have picked a less efficacious time to reveal himself, but hopefully his friendship with Ms. Marvel will prove to be a positive in the life of the young trailblazing hero.