What better time to take a look back at the fourth issue of Ms. Marvel
than today, on the eve of its sixth? As I mentioned in my last review, I missed out on this due to being abroad in a place where English comic books are scarce. Enough about that, though, let’s see what Kamala was up to.
This issue fits as a natural segue between our heroine learning that vigilantism comes with its consequences [getting shot accidentally at the end of #3] and that it takes even more failure, followed by bravery, to truly succeed [#5, natch]. It’s also a lead-in to the kind of traditional superhero antics you expect in books with “Marvel” or “DC” on them.
More importantly, though, this is the issue that really spotlights Bruno and Kamala’s friendship. It’s not just that he reminds her [and reveals to us] that he’s her “second-best friend”, it’s the sudden inversion of their relationship that takes place.
As the first person who Kamala “comes out to” Bruno is burdened with the responsibility of keeping her secret. That’s nothing compared to the actual super powers she now wields, though, and he must face the fact that he’s no longer in the position to protect her from whatever might put her in danger. As he says, “It totally freaks [him] out.”
He’s there to witness her shapeshifting abilities, and to provide her with the information that she needs to save his brother Vick. The next issue follows his role as what is essentially the Alfred to her Batman, and it’s interesting to see him play such an active role, especially given his following words about Kamala
which hint at him being a love interest:
“You’re the coolest girl I’ve ever met. You say what you mean and you kick butt at video games and you’re smart and funny and–“
Given Wilson’s writing thus far I’d say that the chances of him being stuffed into a particular kitchen appliance are fairly slim, but that certainly doesn’t mean that Ms. Marvel will never have to rescue her second-best friend. He’s inextricably tied up in her superheroism, and only time will tell how this will affect both their friendship and his life.
Lastly, imagine that this were a real-time review and you were reading me ranting about yet another issue without a full costume, exacerbated by the sleep-mask/burkini/fanny pack hodgepodge she dons for her first mission.
Tomorrow: Ms. Marvel #6! Art by the incredibly talented [no offense whatsoever to Adrian Alphona] Jake Wyatt!
The Ms. Marvel Visual Gag You Shouldn’t Have Missed: Pickings are pretty slim this issue, even given the Circle Q as a setting. That doesn’t mean there weren’t any gems to glean, however. While the “Coma Chameleon” brand sleep-mask was just wonderful, what really caught my eye was the “Grin & Bear It” toothpaste. How Alphona avoided a job in marketing, I’ll never know.
Ms. Marvel #4
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Adrian Alphona
Colours by Ian Herring
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Edited by Sana Amanat
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Solid review, but would have enjoyed more discussion of themes as opposed to plot beats. Keep up the good work!
I certainly tried to concentrate on Bruno and Kamala’s friendship and how that relationship would serve to be important in the series as a whole, but understand if it may not have been communicated as well as it could’ve. That’s what happens when you review out of order and ruin your groove, I guess.
Thanks for the feedback and the kind words!
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