(Dee’s note – Our first of the Memorable Moments of Marvel Women series! Welcome Rachael, today’s guest blogger. If you want to write up a moment, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love the help! We’ll be showcasing one to two moments a day, and we’ll have the polls to pick the final five up the first week of March)
From Captain Britain and MI:13 #4, Paul Cornell & Leonard Kirk
There are a lot of reasons to be awesomed by Faiza. 1. She’s a fangirl; 2. She’s a doctor and can remain calm in a crisis (even when that crisis is SECRET INVASION); 3. She’s not like most of the women we see in comics. Let’s face it, most of us aren’t like most of the women we see in comics. It’s freaking fantastic to see a kind of character who doesn’t show up very often – Muslim and wearing a hijab – not just in the pages of a comic, but holding her own against beloved characters like Captain Britain and Pete Wisdom. We also get to see Faiza’s parents and watch her convince them that she’s a super hero and will be an important member of MI:13, but that comes later.
During Secret Invasion, Faiza is in the street when the Skrulls attack, and when the Black Knight shows up, she spares only a moment to squee before continuing to treat the injured. When Captain Britain sacrifices himself to save the source of magic in Britain, Faiza is knocked out and wakes up with her own super-doctor powers. Captain Britain comes back (of course) and wields Excalibur to defeat the Skrulls, then replaces the sword into the stone. The Black Knight has already introduced Faiza as “one of us,” so of course when the team starts to leave and she hears Merlin’s voice encouraging her, Faiza grabs Excalibur, saying, “Guys?! You might need–!” In her desire to be helpful, she had forgotten that only those who can then carry the sword are able to pull it from the stone, and while her new teammates congratulate her, she offers meekly, “I could always… put it back?”
Having proven that she is worthy of the sword, Faiza takes the codename Excalibur and learns to use the sword against vampires (among other baddies) while honing her super-healing skills. She becomes the fourth person in Marvel continuity to bear the sword (the other three being Captain Britain, the Black Knight, and King Arthur himself). This is significant because like Thor’s Hammer, Excalibur chooses its owner and confers great power upon her. Faiza and her powers are a brilliant example of inclusiveness and diversity in the Marvel universe, and she’s a fantastic character as well.