While “Captain Marvel” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” are drawing crowds to movie theaters, “Marvel Rising” is drawing comic-lovers to bookshelves.
Pasadena native Nilah Magruder is the hero behind the pen for this series.
“Marvel Rising” follows the new generation of Marvel superheroes, specifically detailing how Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl team up to defeat Morgan le Fay.
“There’s a lot to play with there. Morgan le Fay hasn’t been utilized very much,” Magruder said. “It’s these younger characters, kind of the new generation of Marvel superheroes, going up against this older villain.”
Magruder likes that the younger generation is socially conscious.
“With them, it’s not just about fighting the bad guys. It’s not just about using your fists and beating each other up and dominating,” Magruder said. “It’s really about being a part of your community and having an impact on your community.”
“Marvel Rising” is a miniseries that will ultimately consist of five issues. The first issue, “Marvel Rising: Heroes of the Roundtable 1,” was released on March 27.
“It’s a positive experience for me being able to work with these characters, bringing them together, being able to utilize the skills they each have to create a narrative that young girls and young women can look up to,” Magruder said.
Outside of Marvel, Magruder is illustrating a book called “Creaky Acres.” Written by Namrata Tripathi, “Creaky Acres” follows Nora, a young black girl who moves from her affluent community to a smaller country town. Nora has an affinity for horseback riding, and she is trying to figure out how to fit into this new town where she is the only black girl at the stable and her family is the only black family in town.
“That was definitely something that I experienced. I was a black girl very interested in horseback riding,” Magruder said. “I took the job primarily because I had a personal connection. It’s also a very cute story, but it’s one that I definitely related to.”
“Creaky Acres” is a 300-page middle-grade graphic novel. There isn’t a set release date, but Magruder hopes for it to be out by next year or 2021.
At a young age, Magruder realized her fascination with art and formed an appreciation for animation.
“When it comes to animation, I like the whole sensory experience there,” Magruder said. “It’s not just the drawings and the beauty of those drawings in motion, but it’s also the music, it’s the action. It’s this beautiful art form.”
Above all, Magruder said she likes the potential of animation.
“In animation, you can do things you can’t do in any other medium,” Magruder said. “I really took that at a young age. It’s kind of always been at the core of everything I love about art.”
Though Magruder’s family still lives in her childhood home on Mountain Road, Magruder said she makes it back to the area roughly once a year.
“Between there and Los Angeles is about 2,700 miles,” Magruder said. “Maryland is always close to my heart. When I can find the time and energy to go back, I do.”
Find more of Magruder’s work on www.nilahmagruder.com.