So ends the three-issue story arc “Crushed” and any semblance of a relationship that Kamala Khan and family friend [not cousin/blood relative] Kamran once had, not with a bang but with a helping hand. Let me backtrack a little-
Really, this plot in this issue is fairly simple. As I mentioned pretty explicitly in my last review the newest character to be introduced is bad news, his closeness with our heroine seemingly acting as a way for him to more easily serve his master, Lineage. That’s where things get a little less simple, so I suppose I should backtrack yet again and try to explain what’s been happening outside of Jersey City for those of you who are only reading this book out of Marvel’s many, many titles.
To start with, on the recap page you may have noticed the final line: “These events take place between Inhuman #14 and the Inhuman Annual.”
It’s evidence that when it comes to the Inhumans there’s much more going on outside of Kamala’s fairly small world. The line right before it mentions offhand that “Lineage is starting a coup…”, which the issue only very briefly touches upon in a panel where the pinkish, purplish horned man answers her question of whether or not her friends are okay.
Based on his words, that she shouldn’t be “[taking orders] from a big dog and a queen on a power trip,” we can judge for ourselves that he appears to be an enemy to the Inhuman royal family. Beyond that, however? There have never really been any editor’s boxes compelling us to check out the title chronicling the goings on of those other characters, and G. Willow Wilson hasn’t exactly been heavily seeding what Medusa does in her spare time. That’s obviously not a bad thing, but it does make this entire storyline all the more jarring for people used to Kamala sort of doing her own thing. What I can tell you directly is that when it comes to the Inhumans things aren’t exactly politically peaceful, with conflicting groups gathering up those recently affected by the Terrigen Mists and bolstering their respective ranks.
All that having been said, in this issue Ms. Marvel contacts Bruno to help her and then escapes on her own, rescuing her rescuer in the process. She also has a very brief showdown with Kamran in which she announces that they are “so breaking up”, which I feel like would’ve been much more of a mic drop if there had been a stronger indication that they were actually dating. As I said, it’s pretty cut and dry stuff, getting slightly more complicated when we take into account the final panel of the last page:
Kamala admits to having been heartbroken by Kamran’s betrayal of her, and that she’s never really had to wrestle with these emotions before. She clearly has a lot of emotional support in Bruno, but the fact is that he’s much more than that at this point. He jets out of his chemistry class after she signals him on his phone [last seen in Issue #11] and then pays a guy in a dinghy to bring him all the way to New Attilan. It’s a pretty big deal especially considering that he has no superpowers to speak of; he was planning on running headfirst into the belly of the beast. At this point Kamala may be grateful for all he can do for her as a friend, but as time goes she she’ll have to deal with the fact that he wasn’t an ideal rescuer for her now, and very likely won’t be in the months to come.
The biggest reveal of the entire issue, of course, takes place in a conversation between Kamran [who really needs a nom de guerre of his own] and Lineage-
One of the other Khans also has the latent ability to become a full-fledged Inhuman and gain powers of their own, but who? Most people would assume it to be Aamir, but I suppose there are a wealth of stories regardless of which family member it turns out to be. At this point Kamala’s brother and parents all have targets on their backs if this group of people plans on forcibly conscripting them. Add that to the liability that I can already see Bruno becoming and it looks like Ms. Marvel is going to have just as difficult keeping her loved ones safe as Spider-Man, if not moreso given how many more there are [I mean, Peter could only fail at saving Uncle Ben’s life once].
Given how relevant it is, I should end with a link to a response G. Willow Wilson wrote to an article published in The New Yorker that covered the first issue A-Force, which she is also writing. I strongly recommend reading Lepore’s op-ed first before getting into Wilson’s rebuttal.
Fights, Panelling, Action!: Given that this is Miyazawa’s last issue before Adrian Alphona returns with Issue #16 I decided to keep things really simple. This panel makes excellent use of negative space, with Kamala occupying the bottom right-hand corner while Kamran takes up the opposite one. As Western readers we read left to right, and it’s very effective in that we first see him flying through the air, then her outstretched arm as she hurls him as far away from her as she can. I’m going to miss this art, but absolutely can’t wait to have Alphona back. That said, take some time to re-read this issue not just for the dynamic action scenes but also for a plethora of visual gags. Miyazawa throws out about half as much as Alphona does, which is saying a great deal.
Ms. Marvel #15
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Takeshi Miyazawa
Colours by Ian Herring
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Edited by Sana Amanat