I have a theory on why many writers don't use Dust so often, they're afraid on how to interpret her... because she's a very religious bound character Im guessing that writers are afraid they would offend someone by mis-interpreting her character and possibly her dialogue. She's a very reserve and timid character! Almost delicate, if I may say. Back in the New X-men days she was noted for being a Muslim and writers weren't afraid to incorporate her views and feelings into situations... Now she is but a black smudge in the background with eyes... there's no character development for her anymore. Now maybe since the Jean Grey Institue for Gifted Youngsters is open maybe she'll get her long awaited panel time and right characterization (if she's pro-Wolverine)!!.... IDK, Im ranting.
This really is a double-edged sword. On the other hand, being a pious Muslim makes Dust different to other characters, and her fans like that about her. However, if she's always stuck in the role of the religious Muslim role model, she is never going to get any transforming character developement, and that might eventually make readers become tired of her. I can also see this dilemma of staying true to the character's origins vs. taking the character into an interesting new direction being a problem to writers who are afraid of offending people who feel very strongly about her being religious. How to make Dust evolve as a character without destroying what makes her interesting?
Being deeply religious is an essential part of who Dust is as a character, and she's rather unique in the world of mainstream comics because she's perhaps the only female Muslim superheroine who refuses to compromise her faith and sense of morality due to peer pressure (a minority within a minority: Muslim, fully clothed female). She's a loyal member of a predominantly American team of superheroes, but that hasn't made her change her cultural identity, religious beliefs, and moral ideals. I suppose that makes her a challenging character to handle. Most people who write her are not Muslim (and very few of them are female), so perhaps many of them find it simply difficult to identify with her, or maybe (as the OP said) they're simply afraid of misinterpreting her and offending a lot of people who love her for being a positively portrayed Muslim character in a comic book.
Still, I think that mistakes are going to be made if she will always be written merely as "the Muslim woman". Just because religion is very important to her it doesn't mean that it has to be the only thing about her. I don't think that she should be written as a mere personification of Islamic faith and culture who is totally devoid of charasteristics that aren't directly linked to her being religious. Stereotypes rarely make interesting characters, even if they're positive ones. I don't think that Dust will ever step into the spotlight if she's written as a character with no personality besides being Muslim. She should be written as an individual with thoughts, emotions, and charasteristics of her own, even if her views, manners, and decisions are strongly influenced by religion and cultural traditions.
Personally, I do think that she can be both a devoted Muslim and a complex character with a personality of her own & potential for growth a character. In fact, I think her religious and moral beliefs pose many interesting questions that could lead to interesting character arcs because her view on life is rather unique among the X-Men. I think writers should look at the way Nightcrawler was written for guidance. Kurt was a devoted Catholic whose religious beliefs played an important part in his life, but being a man of faith wasn't the only thing about him as a character. His character arcs weren't all about him and religion because he had other identities besides his Catholic identity. He was also a German, a mutant, a foster child, a blue-skinned freak, a jokester, and a fan of swashbuckers, among many other things. I think this is how Dust should be handled, too; retain her religious/cultural identity, but give her other identities and charasteristics as well.
I think it'd be best if they got a muslim writer for her character since they'd know what to do with her better than they would or they should probably do a little more research just to make sure as to not offend anyone.....she seems to be positively received so they haven't done anything wrong yet.
I'd love to learn more about her...I think her power can be very interesting for some reason it reminds me of ice man
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