The Comic Shop Where Iman Vellani Bought Her First Ms Marvel Comics
Andre Greenidge of the Ontario comic book store Heroes World, loves its customers. But a special customer must be Iman Vellaniwho plays Ms. Marvel in the new Disney+ TV series and upcoming movie Wonders. Her store is across from her high school, and she has been coming to the store for years, and the first comic with Mrs. Wonder in what she bought, she bought from him under his recommendation. And as you can see, the store reciprocated.
Located opposite a high school, Heroes World has always appealed to schoolchildren, but not always comics. They have trading cards, they have action figures, they have T-shorts and other ephemera. But Andre remembers Iman Vellani as a young schoolgirl buying a lot of back issues, and not just recent stuff, but diving into the 80s, especially Iron Man in issue 2o0s. But she also bought him new comics, and he remembers pointing out the 2017 run on Iron Man, especially the cover with Riri Williams as Iron Man, and Ms. Marvel, and she picked it up with the new releases . Andre sold Iman his first Ms. Marvel comic – and it wasn’t the last. She sometimes came to the store a few times a day, and if she ever missed a dollar, she would meticulously make it up at a later date.
Heroes World – and the school – closed during the pandemic, so Andre stopped seeing almost all of his customers. But when news of Ms. Marvel’s casting for the TV series and Wonders the movie came out, he recognized her, and when the local news station came looking around the school and neighborhood, it just confirmed him.
But things reopened, and last December Iman returned to the store with a friend, fully masked, and headed straight for the new comic book exit wall. Andre greeted her saying “are you just going to come in and say nothing? Congratulations!” There were some geeky elated moments with virtual high fives on its cast.
He was also able to talk to Rish Shah who plays Kamran on the show, and who thanked him for selling Iman her first Ms. Marvel comic, telling her that her knowledge of comics was what got her to know the character and get the role. Iman told Andre that her comic book store owner, her aunt, and her drama teacher were the three people most responsible for where she is now. Andrew told me he loved seeing a real fan, someone who knows the comics as much as she does, take on this role.”
Iman Vellani also continued to visit the store and posed for selfies with customers – and with Andre of course. and told her that her coolest moment so far was filming with Samuel Jackson. Now that his involvement with Wonders the movie is out there, Andre feels happier to share it now. Andre tells me that “the girl you see in the interviews is really the real deal, she’s a sweetheart, she’s smart, she really likes the comics. I hope the people at Marvel recognize that, I hope that Marvel uses it for comics and literary dissemination, for representation, to get young people into comics.” And also, of course, to say Kevin Feige when he is wrong. Heroes World just celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, it’s the icing on the cake. He tells me there’s “nothing like reading a comic to death if I can get another kid like Iman to do the same…” It’s a noble calling.