Review: Ms. Marvel #1

Ms_Marvel_1_CoverThe internationally-beloved, butt-kicking, smack-talking, most adorable super hero makes her triumphant return. Look out world, Kamala Khan is back and officially an Avenger! Yup, the dream to end all dreams has happened for Kamala. She’s toe to toe with the best of the best, but will being one of Earth’s mightiest heros be everything she imagined? Is being a celebrity hero as wonderful as Kamala has hoped? Plus: WHO IS THAT WITH BRUNO??

The Kamala Korps will probably be excited to see that Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan is back in Ms. Marvel #1. Writer G. Willow Wilson continues Kamala’s adventures, and dives right in to her higher profile status now that she’s an Avenger.

By the time I got to the end of the first issue, I was a bit torn about the comic. There was a lot I liked, in fact a bunch I loved, but some of what made the early issues of the first volume was missing. To me, what makes Kamala special is her total package, a Muslim teenager, living in Jersey, and she has superpowers. All of that together feels new and special. This first issue feels like its missing part of that, making her just a female teenage Spider-Man in Jersey. All of what makes her special wasn’t present and new readers picking up this issue will probably enjoy it, but not get why the comic really stands out from the pack, especially since teenage girls with special powers is in vogue right now.

The comic also focuses on Bruno, a lot. Out of the 28 issues, about 9 is dedicated to Bruno and, well, I don’t want to spoil it. The way the comic focuses on Bruno is interesting and gets Wilson from doing so well worn tropes about a girl or guy pining over someone.

What really stood out to me, and is the most intriguing part of the comic is Ms. Marvel/Kamala dealing with gentrification. A couple of comics have recently taken on the topic, but here we have it also mixed in with controlling one’s image. To me, that alone has me interested enough to come back for the next issue. The rest is just icing on the cake.

What really stands out to me is the humorous tone of the comic, which is drawn with style and flare by Takeshi Miyazawa and Adrian Alphona. Wilson’s writing could easily have been a stereotypical romantic story, but the visuals peppered throughout the comic are hilarious breaking up the moments that could otherwise feel serious. This isn’t quite putting small fun details in the background, it’s all pretty in-your-face, but it’s all really funny.

Ms. Marvel #1 is a solid start, but it doesn’t quite have that same thing that got me to praise the previous volume’s first issue as one of the best comics of that year and one of the most important of the decade. The series feels like its fallen back into a comic featuring teenagers and one is a superhero, something we’ve seen a few other times.

Story: G. Willow Wilson Art: Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona
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