Ms. Marvel, #6: A Comic Book Review

msmarvel6Not 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.

For starters we finally see the return of Sheikh Abdullah, the Khans finally coming through on their threat to force their daughter to meet with him. Last we saw the man writer G. Willow Wilson was critiquing certain aspects of Islam, a move that I found genuinely surprising [in a good way]. In this issue she continues to paint a complex picture of the religion.

meetinwiththesheikh

Look, I like to think that I’m a fairly open-minded individual, but first impressions have a lasting effect. That, on top of the fact that the media has constantly portrayed Islam as a very backwards faith has led to me being as taken aback as Kamala when Sheikh Abdullah tells her to keep doing what she’s doing, helping people. In fact, his words are sure to be ones that stick with her as she moves forwards as a superheroine:

“I am asking you for something more difficult. If you insist on pursuing this thing you will not tell me about, do it with the qualities befitting an upright young woman:

Courage, strength, honesty, compassion, and self-respect.”

If that’s not something you can agree with then I really don’t know what to tell you.

Secondly, given her team-up with Wolverine, we’re reminded how she’s, well, just a kid. There’s some literal hero-worship going on here, and unadulterated excitement at finally meeting the guy. Sure, we’ve seen it before, but never in a teenager who’s been so in touch with the world as many of us know it.

The panels above have Kamala going on about her writing fanfiction about Wolverine, and immediately before that she describes his athleticism in doge-speak [if you don’t understand what that means I congratulate you for spending more time outside than I do]. Some might say that this dates the character, but it also helps ground her as a legitimately believable teenager. There’s a distinct lack of world-weariness that so many other heroes bear, and its flavoured by what are probably far too many hours online.

Not everything has been cleared up for Ms. Marvel, since she doesn’t even know what she is at this point, but things are continuing to shape up [no pun intended] for her. Also in this issue: we find out that the Inventor is “not a bird!“, his DNA contaminated by some dude named Knox’s pet cockatiel. And that he’s a clone of Thomas Edison.

The Adorable Ms. Marvel Drawing You Shouldn’t Have Missed: I had to tweak this feature given the distinct lack of visual gags, and thought it would be appropriate to note just how cute [a word that bears no negative connotations here] Jake Wyatt can portray things. In this case, Kamala as she worries about the alligator she just punched right in the gullet.

ohnoisitokay

Ms. Marvel #6
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Jake Wyatt
Colours by Ian Herring
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Edited by Sana Amanat
Marvel Comics

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7 responses to “Ms. Marvel, #6: A Comic Book Review

  1. Good review! This is an amazing book. It was cool to see a positive, nuanced portrayal of Sheikh Abdullah and Kamala is a great heroine; glad you highlighted his advice. The fanfic element was also neat.

    The choice of Wolverine was sensible – he’s always been portrayed as an excellent mentor for young heroes (Kitty for example) and works well here. Glad that he accepted her as a fellow super right off the bat; nice touch that his current reduced-power status means Kamala’s abilities are not diminished in comparison to his.

    I hope you continue reviewing this series; it might be the best comic out there at the moment.

  2. Thanks for the link!

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