If you’re reading this comic issue to issue, like I am, I know what you’re thinking: a new Ms. Marvel, already? Not that I [or you, in all likelihood] am complaining, but the last issue did come out just two short weeks ago.
Brought to us by the usual crew with the new addition of artist Elmo Bondoc, this is a much-needed lull in the action. They can’t all be spitting truth about the generational divide, and it seems like forever since Kamala’s doing everyday normal high school kid stuff. Given the cocktail of emotions that the average aforementioned teen is comprised of,what better way to return to that part of her life than on Valentine’s Day?
That was a hypothetical question, but one that was meant to be answered by the enthusiastic response of “there isn’t one!”. With that in mind, it breaks my heart to say that this is probably the worst issue of Ms. Marvel to date. WHICH–
please, put down your pitchforks and hear me out for a second- simply means that as one installment of a title that has knocked it out of the park for the past eleven consecutive issues this one scores a double. Maybe a single with the man on first stealing second. Sorry, I’ll stop with the baseball metaphors.
Let me also praise G. Willow Wilson for what is done well. This issue introduces Loki, not the villain many of you may know from the third highest grossing movie in history but the young god trying to redeem himself through serving the realm. Seeing as I very recently bought the first trade issue of Loki: Agent of Asgard let me tell you that her voice for the trickster is on point [as is his first appearance here]. It’s apparent that she has a very clear grasp of the Marvel universe as a whole, and it’s no wonder that she’s a) exclusive to the publisher and b) was invited to one of their annual creative retreats.
Wilson also has a few wise words to say about teen [and general] relationships, making pithy observations about life through the voices of her characters.
Having said all that, the main problem is that not a lot happens. The plot as entertaining as it is at point, wouldn’t be able to fill a 30 minute TV timeslot. Loki is sent down to Midgard [more specifically New Jersey] to locate kids spying on behalf of the Inventor [now revealed to be cockatiel-Edison’s lackey]. Once there he promises to help Bruno admit his true feelings to his secret love [it’s Kamala, duh] but doesn’t really deliver. He also pours truth serum into the punch at the school dance and causes a ruckus before getting punched himself. And honestly, that’s pretty much it.
There’s certainly the possibility of some things cropping up again in later issues, given that Loki places a ward on the school at Kamala’s tongue-in-cheek suggestion [and to accomplish the mission given to him]. Of course that takes a back seat to the more important fact that Bruno is totally into his best friend. While he is totally fine with keeping things platonic it’s obvious he wouldn’t mind kicking things up to the next level, and it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to given Mr. and Mrs. Khan.
It was also nice seeing Nakia, though it was a little strange seeing her hair uncovered given that she was sleeping over at Kamala’s. As mentioned, it’s an appreciated change of pace, but things slowed down just a bit too much for me personally this time around.
Well, That Is A Nice Splash Page: New artist, new feature. Given how much I went on about the art device last review I thought it fitting to spotlight one this time around. Let it also be stated that Ian Herring is a masterful colourist, and has really been tying every issue together visually in spite of pencillers and inkers switching out.
Ms. Marvel #12
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Elmo Bondoc
Colours by Ian Herring
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Edited by Sana Amanat