Review: Ms. Marvel #16
One of the hallmarks of this series is how it is able to effectively document the life of a American teenager. In this case that teenager is a girl, a Muslim and incidentally also a superhero, but the series nonetheless finds a way to ensure that the underlying narrative is still there to examine what life is like growing up in modern America. While some things are obviously different for the series’ hero Kamala Khan, much is still the same. Acting in almost direct contrast to that is the Secret Wars crossover. Now dominating Marvel for its second straight month, this company-wide story arc is all about the big and the flashy, and the little stuff often gets left behind. There is some good that has come with Secret Wars but also some bad, but here finally Ms. Marvel gets to deal with it head-on on her own turf.
Suffice it to say though, that she is on a bit of a losing streak. Her heart was more than just broken, as she was betrayed by her want-to-be boyfriend to a plot to rid New Attilan of Queen Medusa. Now still reeling from the effects of this she must rally the citizens of her enclave in New Jersey so that they do not get destroyed by the imposing threat against New York City. Kamala is able to round up a fair amount of people and to get them to safety at her high school, a place that she knows is protected in ways that others in her community are not. In so doing she finds a way to distract herself from her other issues as the threat dominates all.
There are some nice moments here, as well as some moments that are unfortunately too true, such as when Kamala races back to New Jersey to stop the inevitable looting of stores. At the same time, the big scale/small scale juxtaposition doesn’t really work here. Although Ms. Marvel has been part of some big events, she is definitely still a “small picture” kind of hero, focusing more on her character than on flashy fireworks. This issue still has the same heart that the series is known for, but it is also thrown up against a story that is not really befitting the title. It is still an entertaining issue, but it is also evident that some series would do better with Secret Wars.
Story: G. Willow Wilson Art: Adrian Alphona
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read