Marvel has confirmed a Muslim superhero named Ms Marvel – Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan – will star in a live-action series on Disney+.

Very few details available right now, and one can only wonder if this is more about political correctness and the need to appear “inclusive”, rather than a genuine realisation the world needs superheroes that better reflect the world we live in.
In fairness the Ms Marvel comics have been rolling out since February 2014, but have been low key affairs. On the other hand Marvel has been rolling out any number of spin-off TV series for its second tier characters. reports this week that,
Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall of 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If…? In Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021.
If nothing else a reminder of how much the TV and film industry is dependent on publishing.
But to return to the main topic – I’m intrigued to know exactly what relevance religion has to this superhero, if any.
The Netflix original series of Marvel’s Daredevil drew heavily on Matt Murdock’s Catholic upbringing to propel the storyline, but at no time was the character Daredevil ever touted as “a Catholic superhero.”
A Muslim superhero? Or a superhero that happens to be Muslim. There’s a big difference.
Guess I’ll have to check out some of the Ms. Marvel comics to find out more.

Staying with comics, and we head to Manila, where blogger Mark Cerbo takes us on a tour of the week-long Komikon, which as you might guess is the Philippines’ comic convention.
Cerbo offers us perspectives across mainstream and indie comics in the country and some colourful images to support his observations.
Check out Mark Cerbo’s blog here.

From the Philippines we head across the Pacific to the Caribbean.
Trinidad & Tobago’s capital Port of Spain was host this year to the 14th Carifesta, one of the Caribbean’s primary cultural festivals.

Running August 16-24 the Carifesta was a blaze of Caribbean colour and culture that, if not quite bringing all the Caribbean nations together, came close.
The Carifesta launched back in 1972 in Guyana and Caribbean countries have taken turns since to host the event, which is a cultural festival in the broadest sense, but with books a key part.
Being in Trinidad and Tobago this year the Bocas Lit Fest, the islands premier literary body, put on a fine event. Details here.

US  Bookstore chain Barnes & Noble is so often in the news for less than stellar reasons that it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the stores are, it seems still widely admired and respected by many in the USA.
This past week came news that, for apparently the second year in succession, Barnes & Noble has been named, wait for it,
XXX#1 Most Reputable Retailer in America
As someone outside the US reliant on media coverage this news comes as a slight surprise – after all we’ve been led to believe the company is so badly managed that efforts to turn around the company’s fortunes were like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.
But it seems B&N had its admirers after all.
Let’s hope the new manager James Daunt can bring B&N’s financial reputation back into the black too.