Kris Anka on covers, I heartily approve. I have been a fan of that dude for years, and his presence on this title is not the only pleasant surprise for the issue. [Unpleasantly, this review is late as #10 dropped December 17th, but some of us have to take a vacation sometime]
To put things super bluntly, everything is coming to a head. In this case “head” means “epic showdown”, and I never use the word “epic” lightly, even when it’s tucked away in the definition of another word. Compared to the last issue, where I had to break up what happened into several different levels, what takes place here is relatively straightforward-
As I mentioned last time, Issue #8 kicked off a four-part arc titled “Generation Why”, and the reason for that is finally revealed. Young people have been allowing The Inventor to use them as living batteries for his machines because they’ve been convinced they’re slackers who are just coasting through life, something that Gordon actually touched on several years ago when he wrote “In Defense of This Generation”. To sum up his almost-two-thousand-word post, we get the short end of the stick, but it’s not like we’re to blame for the world we live in. Let’s just say that Kamala agrees with my co-writer exactly:
At the core of this book is the idea that the young are, well, worth something. Ms. Marvel herself represents the potential in teenagers to be, and do, good, and like all great heroes she inspires others to likewise be great. Turning to her peers she asks them what talents they have and tells them where they could be in the future, which leads to my favourite lines:
Some Kid: “I’m good at doing the jobs nobody else wants because they’re dangerous and stupid!”
Kamala: “Future president.”
The climax of this issue has her rallying The Inventor’s former fuel sources against him [albeit having her makeshift army routed seconds later by yet another killbot].
Speaking of the villain, professional Batmanologist Chris Sims wrote a piece a long time ago about Spider-Man being the teenage hero, and how in his world adults are adversaries and not inspirations. The Inventor takes that to an entirely new level as he appears to embody [directly contrasting with Kamala] the dismissiveness of a generation that “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps”:It’s not exactly subtle, but we’re also discussing a medium that frequently devotes full, text-less pages to men and women in tights throwing down with similarly clad foes. Having the cockatiel-DNA-contaminated clone of Thomas Edison spouting what so many full grown adults actually believe makes perfect sense, in context. The fact that he has vats upon vats of abducted high schoolers tucked away in his evil lair is just the icing on the cake.
While we leave our heroine against insurmountable odds, given her nemesis’s meticulous preparation in facing her [and her teleporting canine companion], we all know how things will end with Issue #11. Kamala will triumph over The Inventor, not just because she’s an Inhuman superhero but because of what she symbolizes. She has size-shifting powers, sure, but she’s also smart and kind and creative and brave. She symbolizes all that youth can be, the kind of spirit that won’t ever back down. It may not be a surprise, but I’m looking forward to it all the same.
The Ms. Marvel Visual Gag You Shouldn’t Have Missed: Given the settings [a forest and The Inventor’s laboratory] pickings are kind of slim this time around. Still, we do have it revealed that the villain isn’t all bad. He does have the option to inject a little love into the creation of his murderous mechanical creations, if he so chooses-
Ms. Marvel #10
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Adrian Alphona
Colours by Ian Herring
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Edited by Sana Amanat