Rating: 4/5 – Don’t miss this gem of a series!
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Hank Johnson.
The new Ms. Marvel series is about Kamala Khan, a New Jersey girl affected by the Terrigen Mists during the Infinity event. As a result of the mists she has the ability to polymorph her body to appear to be anyone she chooses. It appears she has the ability to adapt their powers as well. G. Willow Wilson does an exceptional job of telling a story that is unique in today’s marketplace. While there are your standard super heroics and a main character trying to find her place in the world, the Islamic faith also serves as a driving force in the book. Having read most of Wilson’s previous work including her Vertigo series Air and her fill in work at DC comics, this is book is by far my favorite work of hers to date.
Wilson educates the reader on several facets of Muslim culture throughout the story, effectively showing how that there are several facets to Islam, just like there are in any major religion. What makes her approach different is that the story always comes first. It is clear that her intent is to educate, but that intent takes a back seat to moving the story forward. I was very impressed how Wilson handled a particular religious experience during one scene in this issue. Instead of a long expository explanation, Wilson used a few panels, some concise dialogue, and Kamala’s reactions to make the point. While religion plays a role in Kamala’s life, so do many other things, fitting in at school, dating, etc. Kamala is a super hero who happens to be Muslim, instead of a Muslim super hero. Wilson perfectly balances out all facets of Kamala’s life throughout the issue.
The pacing of the story was a bit slower than I personally would have liked, but by the last page I found myself cheering for Kamala and then crushed by her current predicament. Wilson has really made Kamala into a strong vibrant character, the challenge will ultimately be in telling a story with her once she has gained confidence and control of her powers.
I have been a big fan of Adrian Alphona’s art since his work on Runaways, his work here is some of the best I have ever seen on the printed page. His panel to panel story telling was done with a master’s touch. Although the majority of this issue focused on people talking, Alphona made each scene riveting and interesting. Ian Herring’s colors complimented the artwork beautifully to make this book one of the best on the shelves.
For me, this comic is miles above most others on the stands right now and I think that it has the potential to stand the test of time and read as well years from now as it does right now “in the moment”. I am going to not only continue to buy the issues, but double dip and get the trade as well. Even though issue #3 is not a great jumping on point, it is the best issue in the series so far. If you enjoy great characters, amazing art, and the willingness to experience something that is different from other super-hero books on the stands, Ms. Marvel is the book for you.
Reviewed by: Hank Johnson
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture