I probably should have mentioned this in my review for the last issue, but the new story arc that started with Issue #8 is titled “Generation Why”, and this week’s installment brings us to the halfway point of that tale. It’s also a pretty fitting title, seeing as questions appearing almost faster than they can be answered.
Eesh. There is a lot to cover. Let me try to break things up a little-
What Happened On The “Universal” Level
Having Medusa, Queen of the Inhumans on the cover is a pretty good indicator that things are going to get a little bit bigger. After a fight that essentially leaves Kamala completely drained she’s whisked away by Lockjaw to New Attilan. These may seem like gibberish words to the less comic savvy, but the redheaded royal ruler explains to her that:
“Long ago, one of your human ancestors was genetically altered by the Kree — an alien race. The genetic legacy has been passed down through the generations– to you.
That clears up where the Pakistani-American teen got her powers, and presents the yet another question of “Now what?” Medusa expects her to stay in her new home, but Kamala’s having none of it and once again escapes via teleporting canine. Inhuman physician Vinatos wishes her good-bye “For now,” meaning that she’s sure to rub shoulders with her superpowered kin in the near-ish future. Continue reading
Posted in comics, family, race, relationships, writing, Youth
Tagged #9, Adrian Alphona, art, asbestos, change, character, comics, cop, costume, diversity, dog, embiggened fists of rage, G. Willow Wilson, healing factor, Ian Herring, identity, immigrant, immigrant literature, Inhuman, Jersey City, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, Kree, Lockjaw, Marvel, Medusa, minority, Ms. Marvel, Pakistani, police officer, review, robot, Sana Amanat, shapeshift, teenager, teleport, the Inventor, Vinatos, visual gag
So ends the two-part Jake Wyatt-illustrated Wolverine-guest-starring arc of Ms. Marvel, not with a bang, but with our young heroine having learned a great deal from the world’s most famous Hulk combatant. The next storyline doesn’t begin with a bang, either, more like a FZZZT, or at least that’s what I imagine a gigantic teleporting bulldog sounds like.
Sent by Medusa, Queen of the Inhumans, the royal pet has arrived in Jersey City to protect and train the fledgling crimefighter. His entrance is exactly the kind of thing you should expect from duo Wilson and Alphona [who is back, by the way], running up to her with a sign around his neck that reads “HELLO / MY NAME IS / LOCKJAW / I LIKE HUGS“. While her ammi and abu seem surprisingly accepting when it comes to letting her take in an animal with what appears to be a tuning fork sticking out of his head, she’ll need the Inhuman canine in her trials to come. Continue reading
Posted in comics, race, review
Tagged #8, adorable, Adrian Alphona, art, change, character, comics, costume, diversity, dog, FZZZT, G. Willow Wilson, healing factor, Ian Herring, identity, immigrant literature, Inhuman, Jake Wyatt, James "Logan" Howlett, Jersey City, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, Lockjaw, Marvel, minority, Mosque, Ms. Marvel, Pakistani, review, robot, Sana Amanat, secret identity, teenager, teleport, the Inventor, visual gag
It should be absolutely no secret to any and all of you that I’m an advocate for diversity. There are a myriad of different reasons for this, from the “it would be nice…” of seeing a little more colour in popular media to the more specific “think of the children” that pertains to White boys specifically [not White girls or Black boys and girls] having their self-esteem boosted by watching TV. What some people don’t realize is that the need need for diversity extends beyond actors and the characters they portray to the actual creators involved.
I’m not going to say that a White man cannot ever be involved in the creation of art that discusses or features minorities and their struggles- it’s a topic I touched on when discussing children’s author Rich Michelson and the books he’s written about the Civil Rights Movement. These stories can, and have been, and will continue to be valid, the question remains as to why we live in a world where a James Brown biopic can be created as a summer blockbuster and have “all the producers, writers, and the director [. . . be] white.” At what point should anyof these people stopped and thought to themselves, “Maybe a Black person would be able to provide a perspective on this that none of the rest of us could?” “Immediately” is the answer in case you were wondering.
This is all a lead-up to how, if this is definitely a problem in our current culture, we can change things. As history would dictate I am going to be coming at this from a distinctly comic-related perspective, but the issues therein can be paralleled across the board to TV and movies. Continue reading
Posted in art, comics, film, internet, media, race, television, writing
Tagged Affirmative action, art, artist, attention, comics, Comics Alliance, criticism, diversity, female, gender, Hire This Woman, industry, judgement, promotion, quota, race, reddit, woman, writer, writing
If I want to be honest with all of you, which I do, the fact is that comic book characters don’t change all that much. That’s a gross overgeneralization, so let me backtrack a little: comics don’t change quickly. Sure, between 2010-2011 Spider-Man had this whole “no one dies” thing that strongly affected the way he behaved in situations for months to come, but it took like three whole issues. We’re just past the half-dozen mark with this comic, and Kamala’s already learning things that are going to stick with her for years [yeah, this title's not going anywhere] to come.
When we last left our plucky New Jerseyite she was facing off against the mother [or father] of all alligators alongside a short, hairy Canadian who also happens to have metal blades sticking out from his hands. Whereas the last issue revolved pretty heavily around her gushing over one of her idols, this one focuses more on the dichotomy between the two [newly-powered Inhuman and world-weary mutant] and what they can learn from one another.
To be more accurate, what Kamala Khan can learn from James “Logan” Howlett. Though it’s not like she doesn’t help him out at all.
Now I could give you all a blow-by-blow of what they do in these twenty-some pages [fight a giant crocodilian beast, obviously], but I think what’s far more important is the near encyclopedia of knowledge that Wolverine imparts. G. Willow Wilson can write teenage girls, but she tackles the voice of Everyone’s Favourite Hirsute Eviscerator™ just as well. Continue reading
Posted in art, comics, review, writing, Youth
Tagged #7, adorable, Adrian Alphona, art, change, character, comics, costume, cute, diversity, G. Willow Wilson, Hurt, Ian Herring, immigrant literature, Inhuman, Jake Wyatt, James "Logan" Howlett, Jersey City, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, learning, lesson, Lockjaw, Marvel, minority, Mosque, Ms. Marvel, Muslim, pain, Pakistani, review, Sana Amanat, Teaching, teenager, the Inventor, Thomas Edison, Wolverine, writing
I think it only fair, given the current situation in the Gaza Strip, to shout-out the West’s general view of the Middle East today as having honorary Shame Day status [you can check out yesterday's post for what that's all about]. Cue my flawless segue into today’s actual topic, which is in regards to the West’s general view of the historical Middle East.
This retreads some pretty well-worn ground for me, because it’s about Hollywood and race. I’ve spotlit problems with the “one size fits all” approach to casting minorities, heavily criticized Hollywood’s attempts to whitewash their remakes of groundbreaking animated films, and outright condemned producers who cite the inevitable change in the industry while stolidly refusing to have any part of it. The difference here is that this time it’s heavily tied into Western Christianity.
It’s been almost 60 years since The Ten Commandments, and I want to say we’ve come a very long way since then. Again note that that’s something I want to say. To be truly and completely honest there is almost nothing I want more than to be able to write to you all and tell you that in six decades we are so, so far from the time when Charles Heston and Anne Baxter were cast as Moses and Nefertiti, respectively. You know what they say, though, you can’t always get what you want. Continue reading
Posted in Christianity, film, morality, race, Shame Day
Tagged Anne Baxter, Ari Handel, Bible, casting, Charles Heston, Christian Bale, Christianity, diversity, Egypt, Egyptian, everyman, Joel Edgerton, middle-east, minorities, Moses, race, racism, Ramses, responsibility, Ridley Scott, shame day, Sigourney Weaver, Sphinx, The Ten Commandments, white, whitewashing
Not only is this the first full issue of no holds barred genuine superhero-ing as we all expect it, it’s also the first team-up the all-new Ms. Marvel has ever had and the first installment sans series regular artist Adrian Alphona. And man, is it good.
That’s not to deride the man’s work, and really I promise to stop bringing this up, but Jake Wyatt can draw himself some superhero goings-on. He’s on board for #6 and #7 before heading back to work on his creator-owned Necropolis. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.
In short, this issue is all about Kamala Khan embracing her crimefighting
identity in full as well as rubbing shoulders with the world’s most famous fictional Canadian [sorry, Dudley Do-Right]. On closer inspection, though, there are so many facets of her character that allows hers to be a unique story unlike anyone else’s. Continue reading
Posted in art, comics, Islam, religion, review, writing, Youth
Tagged 6, adorable, Adrian Alphona, art, cockatiel, comics, costume, cute, diversity, G. Willow Wilson, Ian Herring, immigrant literature, Islam, Islamic Masjid of Jersey City, Jake Wyatt, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, Marvel, minority, Mosque, Ms. Marvel, Muslim, Pakistani, Quran, review, Sana Amanat, Saturday youth lecture, Sheikh Abdullah, support, teenager, the Inventor, Thomas Edison, Wolverine, writing
This is it, the final installment of this book’s first five-part story arc, and it does not disappoint. After some mild throwdowns in the last issue [a review I missed due to being abroad, and that I will get to] this cover opens up to unabashed in-your-face superheroics, and doesn’t stop there.
We begin smack dab in the middle of a botched rescue attempt, and while the events do finally lead to her donning her costume it’s her confidence that’s the true focus. Issue #4 had her finally adopting the moniker of Ms. Marvel, and while smashing robots is a pretty great ego boost being shot a second time appears to drain that tout suite. Her decision to run away begins with the realization that she is “losing this fight,” and culminates in words we can all relate to:
“I can feel the failure coming on– that awful syrupy sweet feeling you get in your stomach when you’ve really screwed up.”
Posted in comics, family, Islam, race, Youth
Tagged 5, Adrian Alphona, art, comics, costume, diversity, emotions, family, father, G. Willow Wilson, GM-O's, Ian Herring, immigrant literature, Islam, Jake Wyatt, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, Marvel, minority, Mosque, Ms. Marvel, Muslim, Pakistani, review, Sana Amanat, Sheikh Abdullah, support, teenager, THE BIRDMAN COMETH, the Inventor, Vick, villain, visual gag, writing