March 5, 2017


Future Women's History Month: G. Willow Wilson Is Changing the Face of Marvel

Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic
Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

Fuse is celebrating Women's History Month by looking at a variety of rising forces who are creating Future Women's History before our eyes. Today we are honoring G. Willow Wilson, whose innovative writing is breathing new life into Marvel Comics. But the 34-year-old (the "G" stands for Gwendolyn) established herself as a respectable writer and essayist long before teaming up with the beloved superhero imprint.

Wilson is a New Jersey native, but converted to Islam during her studies at Boston University and later moved to Cairo, Egypt. While there, she wrote for major publications like New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic and National Post. Her career quickly became bigger once she stepped into the comic world. The writer published Cairo, her first graphic novel in 2007 under the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics.

After that, she wrote her debut Vertigo comic series called Air in 2008, which was nominated for an Eisner Award for "Best New Series." Wilson then partnered up with Marvel Comics to take on Mystic, a four-issue limited series that was relaunched in 2011. Then, the writer made history with Marvel's new Ms. Marvel series in 2014. The comic book features Kamala Khan, who is the first Muslim character to front her own comic. Wilson bringing a Muslim-American teenager born to Pakistani immigrants to the superhero (and pop culture) world is both refreshing and innovative. 

While Khan isn't a traditional Muslim (she doesn't wear a hijab over her costume), she is still completely authentic with added doses of Wilson's own experience of studying Islam. And unlike other popular female superheros and villains in the Marvel universe, Khan isn't drawn up to be a sex symbol. Instead, she's just a regular and relatable teen that many younger women and girls can connect with.

Wilson has won a handful of awards for her work with Ms. Marvel, including the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story and Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Artist in 2015; and the Dragon Award for Best Comic Book in 2016. With the writer's interesting perspective and risk-taking decisions, we cannot wait to see what the future holds for her in the Marvel world as well as women's history.

We're celebrating Future Women's History all month long! Tune in to Fuse and come back to every day for profiles, videos and more. Find Fuse in your area with our Channel Finder. Next up, watch Marvel EIC Axel Alonso explain why the comic imprint is "long past" wanting female "scantily-clad characters":