Barbaric Yawps on Comics, Role-Gaming, and Spec-Fic
Thursday, June 26, 2014
[Supers!] Ms. Marvel (a.k.a. Kamala Khan)
To celebrate the news that Supers! Revised is now available in print format, I've decided to stat up Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel (as of issue #5 of her eponymous title). I love the story that G. Willow Wilson (writer), Adrian Alphona (art), and Ian Herring (colors) are telling about Jersey City's first Pakistani-American superhero—especially the way Alphona depicts Kamala's power set.
RESISTANCES (5D total)
Even though she's just a teenager with no training, I've given Kamala 2D in her two physical Resistances to reflect the toughness upgrade most characters get along with their superpowers. She's a fairly grounded character, so 2D for Composure as well. I did give her an extra die in Will to reflect her stubborn determination to do what's right even if it gets her grounded.
APTITUDES (2D total)
Art & Craft 2D
Not a lot of Creation Dice to spend here: Kamala is an ordinary high school student. She's smart and studious, so I bumped her Academia a die. I also gave her a die in Art & Craft: she writes well-received Avengers fanfic, and she does a solid job of kit-bashing her costume.
POWERS (11D total)
Regeneration 4D (complication: only out of combat)
Shape Change 4D (complication: only humanoid forms)
Size Control 3D (down to 9 inches, up to 18 feet)
Stretching 2D (up to 20 feet)
Metaphorically, Kamala is figuring out who she is—and thus she gets a power suite reflecting the instability of her identity. It's also clearly a fun set of powers for Alphona to draw. We've seen her turn into variations on Ms. Marvel as well as a store mannequin, so I thought the "only humanoid forms" restriction fit her current level of Shape Change. As for Regeneration, we know that she can only rapidly heal damage in her ordinary form; I phrased this as "only out of combat" but it could just as easily be "never in hero ID" or some such. Willing to take suggestions on refining this, especially since she also apparently needs to eat like the Wally West Flash to fuel the power.
ADVANTAGES (2D total)
Dumb Luck (1 reroll per session)
Occupation (superhero fangirl, 1 related reroll per session)
Kamala has been lucky rather than smart so far in her hero career. (Issue #5 suggests she's starting to get a handle on things, so I can see her buying off this Advantage to pay for improved Powers soon, though.) She's also known among her friends as an Avengers fangirl: I gave her a die in Occupation to reflect her command of superhero trivia.
DISADVANTAGES (-3D total)
Enemy (the Inventor)
Secret (her hero ID is a secret from everyone except her friend Bruno)
Social Hindrance (she's a teenager and has to deal with all the limitations of being a minor)
Issue #5 ends with Kamala making her first archenemy, so a clear Disadvantage there. I've also given her Secret (for her secret identity) and Social Hindrance (she can be grounded by her parents). Note that I haven't created any Disadvantages to go along with either her Inhuman lineage (the book's done nothing with this yet) or her Muslim faith (she's observant, but I don't see her background limiting her in the way that her age does). COMPETENCY DICE (3D total)
As you can see, Kamala fits nicely into the 20D/beginner level of Supers!