So . . . Secret Wars. I’m sure there are a number of articles out there that could explain what exactly this event is to those new to the medium, but I’m going to try to do it in as few sentences as possible. Basically multiple earths have been colliding with and destroying one another. The last two earths to play interstellar chicken are Earth 616 [the primary Marvel universe] and Earth 1610 [the Ultimate Marvel universe].
That’s pretty much all the context you need, honestly, because what you should really be focusing on is that the world is ending. The tagline to the event as it started out was “Everything Dies” and the Last Days issues for a number of Marvel titles concern how the characters we know and love will spend what time they have left. Throughout the past fifteen issues we’ve seen Kamala Khan own her identity as a superhero; it goes without saying how she plans on facing the apocalypse.
For the Illuminati, a shadowy group of Marvel’s brightest and most powerful, absolutely everything has been counting down to this final incursion. For Ms. Marvel recent events are also coming to a head as her falling for and subsequent falling out with Kamran has left her in a pretty dark place. Heartbreak plays an enormous role in the life of the average teen and she even admits that it’s “affecting [her] work” to a listening
bartender hot dog stand vendor.
With another planet looming above Manhattan all that is soon washed away as Kamala is reminded that she has another city entirely to protect. She directs Bruno and others to Cole Academic High School and then tends to her number one priority: her parents.
What really surprised me this issue was how storylines you thought were wrapped turn out to be currently ongoing [and how perfectly villainous Kamran looks in his glassy form and wearing a pea coat]. Her former crush has knocked out her parents, kidnapped her brother with the intent of unleashing his latent Inhuman abilities and recruiting him to his cause, and said exactly what he needed to in order to hurt her. She doesn’t even bother attacking him or following him; if all her emotional pain is like a bruise she’s been nursing his presence and words are a well-aimed fist. While no one would fault Kamala for being overcome with joy and relief that her parents weren’t harmed and crumpling into their arms she does the opposite. She ensures the school is secured, she puts her own hurt aside for the time being and focuses on protecting others.
Speaking of storylines that
we I thought had run their course, we even have my least favourite issue redeem itself. Issue #12 culminated with Loki placing a ward of protection over the high school and now, when it’s truly in danger, we see exactly what those mystical defences look like-
Look, it’s still far and away the installment I enjoyed least, but the payoff is just delightful.
Having guaranteed the safety of all she cares for, Aamir not withstanding, Kamala heads to the rooftop to clear her head and come up with a game plan. Standing there waiting for her is the woman she’s been dying to meet her entire life.
There’s more on that next month with Ms. Marvel #17, which I should explain is very likely the end of this title before it’s reborn once again with a new #1 issue. A lot of things are changing with Secret Wars and there isn’t a title that’s making it through unscathed. That doesn’t mean that fans of Kamala Khan have any reason to be worried, she’s not going anywhere anytime soon. And seeing as how we’re talking about comic books I’d like to offer a quick shout-out to the Last Days issue of Captain America and the Mighty Avengers, written by Al Ewing and drawn by Luke Ross. It’s this beautiful, heartfelt finale to the final moments of some true heroes. I recommend anyone read it even without having checked out any other issues.
The Ms. Marvel Visual Gag You Shouldn’t Have Missed: Man, doesn’t it feel great having Adrian Alphona back? He hasn’t been on art duties since Issue #11 and it’s been altogether too long. There was honestly so much, but I’m going to have to go with the condiments at the Soulsonic Franks hot dog stand. As a lover of spiciness I couldn’t pass up the “MILD SAUCE FOR SUCKA M.C.’S”.
Ms. Marvel #16
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Adrian Alphona
Colours by Ian Herring
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Edited by Sana Amanat