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.
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.
There’s an entire page where the two are ascending through the sewers and Wolverine shares such wisdom nuggets as “a mask cuts both ways“, but the most important comes before that, in the gorgeous panel below [I can’t believe I’ve gotten this far in this review without waxing poetic about Jake Wyatt’s art]:
Kamala asks “is it possible to help people without hurting other people?” [or reptiles], and what she hears is a cold, hard truth. Typically people need help because others want to hurt them, and to keep them from harm’s way sometimes you’re the one who gets hurt. Life, if you really want to do something with it, is pain. There’s nothing like the nearby corpse of a crocosaurus to really hammer the point home.
While most people [myself included, of course] are pretty into the whole course of events, some find the potential flaw within the narrative-
You know what, though? “Dependent” is a pretty strong word. The last page that features Ms. Marvel has her turning down his offer to take over the problem [The Inventor using kids as batteries for his robots and traps and things], telling him:
“This is my city. My home. I know it inside and out. If the Inventor messes with Jersey City, he messes with me.
I can handle this.”
For the life of me, I just can’t see that as this helpless brown girl being aided by this more powerful Caucasian man.
The last few pages call in a few more of Marvel’s higher-tier heroes and thrusts the book more firmly into the realm of comic book weirdness [teleporting extraterrestrial canines, anyone?]. While Kamala finally appears to be on her way to joining the rest of the Marvel universe, I for one am confident that she [and the title] will keep the relentlessly positive genuine tone it has so far.
The Adorable Ms. Marvel Drawing You Shouldn’t Have Missed: Good news for all of you who’ve been missing Adrian Alphona, he’s back next month in Issue #8! Feel free to look forward to that while treasuring the way Wyatt brings Wolverine’s anger and Ms. Marvel’s momentary zapped state to life.
Ms. Marvel #7
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Jake Wyatt
Colours by Ian Herring
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Edited by Sana Amanat