As predicted in my last review, this issue does in fact feature the downfall of the villainous Inventor. What I did not foresee, however, is how Alphona would be bringing his A-game when it came to illustrating our shapeshifting heroine’s triumph over evil. Seriously, there are some jaw-droppingly beautiful splash pages featured here.
For the most part my recaps of Ms. Marvel are exactly that, short summaries of what went down in addition to some exploration of any themes therein, so I feel it only fair to take a few paragraphs to focus on the art itself. To begin with, a “splash page” is:
“a page in the comic book where there are no other panels and the character or scene fills the entire page of the comic book.”
Issue #11 features three such pages, which would be more than overdoing it according to J. Caleb Mozzocco, one of my favourite comic book journalists. The reason for that being when you only have twenty-ish pages of comic [21 in this case, including the recap page] having one of them taken up by a single panel can make it feel like you’re not getting enough bang for your buck. Rest assured that that could not be further from the truth in this case-
While the entire page is indeed taken up by a single illustration there’s a strong sense of movement, with readers being able to trace Kamala’s journey through the innards of the deathbot with ease. The word boxes help to anchor a start and end point, and the intricacy of the gears as well as her cartoonish contortions keep you from turning the page even after you’ve finished reading the words. I could go on praising Alphona’s work, though, so as to the actual narrative- Continue reading
Posted in art, comics, review, writing, Youth
Tagged #11, Adrian Alphona, adults, art, character, comics, diversity, G. Willow Wilson, Generation Why, Generation Y, help, Ian Herring, identity, Jersey City, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, Lockjaw, Marvel, minority, Ms. Marvel, police, potential, representation, review, robot, Sal's Used Cheese, Sana Amanat, shapeshift, splash page, support, symbolism, teenager, the Inventor, villain, visual gag, worthless, young people, Youth
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:
“We’re not the ones who messed up the economy or the planet. Maybe they do think of us as parasites, but they’re not the ones who are gonna have to live with this mess–“
Posted in comics, review, writing, Youth
Tagged #10, Adrian Alphona, adults, art, character, comics, diversity, G. Willow Wilson, Generation Why, Generation Y, Ian Herring, identity, Inhuman, Jersey City, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, Lockjaw, Marvel, minority, Ms. Marvel, parasites, potential, representation, review, robot, Sana Amanat, shapeshift, slacker, Spider-Man, symbolism, teenager, the Inventor, villain, visual gag, worthless, young people, Youth
I probably should have mentioned this in my review for the last issue, but the new story arc that started with Issue #8 is titled “Generation Why”, and this week’s installment brings us to the halfway point of that tale. It’s also a pretty fitting title, seeing as questions appearing almost faster than they can be answered.
Eesh. There is a lot to cover. Let me try to break things up a little-
What Happened On The “Universal” Level
Having Medusa, Queen of the Inhumans on the cover is a pretty good indicator that things are going to get a little bit bigger. After a fight that essentially leaves Kamala completely drained she’s whisked away by Lockjaw to New Attilan. These may seem like gibberish words to the less comic savvy, but the redheaded royal ruler explains to her that:
“Long ago, one of your human ancestors was genetically altered by the Kree — an alien race. The genetic legacy has been passed down through the generations– to you.
That clears up where the Pakistani-American teen got her powers, and presents the yet another question of “Now what?” Medusa expects her to stay in her new home, but Kamala’s having none of it and once again escapes via teleporting canine. Inhuman physician Vinatos wishes her good-bye “For now,” meaning that she’s sure to rub shoulders with her superpowered kin in the near-ish future. Continue reading
Posted in comics, family, race, relationships, writing, Youth
Tagged #9, Adrian Alphona, art, asbestos, change, character, comics, cop, costume, diversity, dog, embiggened fists of rage, G. Willow Wilson, healing factor, Ian Herring, identity, immigrant, immigrant literature, Inhuman, Jersey City, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, Kree, Lockjaw, Marvel, Medusa, minority, Ms. Marvel, Pakistani, police officer, review, robot, Sana Amanat, shapeshift, teenager, teleport, the Inventor, Vinatos, visual gag
So ends the two–part Jake Wyatt-illustrated Wolverine-guest-starring arc of Ms. Marvel, not with a bang, but with our young heroine having learned a great deal from the world’s most famous Hulk combatant. The next storyline doesn’t begin with a bang, either, more like a FZZZT, or at least that’s what I imagine a gigantic teleporting bulldog sounds like.
Sent by Medusa, Queen of the Inhumans, the royal pet has arrived in Jersey City to protect and train the fledgling crimefighter. His entrance is exactly the kind of thing you should expect from duo Wilson and Alphona [who is back, by the way], running up to her with a sign around his neck that reads “HELLO / MY NAME IS / LOCKJAW / I LIKE HUGS“. While her ammi and abu seem surprisingly accepting when it comes to letting her take in an animal with what appears to be a tuning fork sticking out of his head, she’ll need the Inhuman canine in her trials to come. Continue reading
Posted in comics, race, review
Tagged #8, adorable, Adrian Alphona, art, change, character, comics, costume, diversity, dog, FZZZT, G. Willow Wilson, healing factor, Ian Herring, identity, immigrant literature, Inhuman, Jake Wyatt, James "Logan" Howlett, Jersey City, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, Lockjaw, Marvel, minority, Mosque, Ms. Marvel, Pakistani, review, robot, Sana Amanat, secret identity, teenager, teleport, the Inventor, visual gag
What better time to take a look back at the fourth issue of Ms. Marvel
than today, on the eve of its sixth? As I mentioned in my last review, I missed out on this due to being abroad in a place where English comic books are scarce. Enough about that, though, let’s see what Kamala was up to.
This issue fits as a natural segue between our heroine learning that vigilantism comes with its consequences [getting shot accidentally at the end of #3] and that it takes even more failure, followed by bravery, to truly succeed [#5, natch]. It’s also a lead-in to the kind of traditional superhero antics you expect in books with “Marvel” or “DC” on them.
More importantly, though, this is the issue that really spotlights Bruno and Kamala’s friendship. It’s not just that he reminds her [and reveals to us] that he’s her “second-best friend”, it’s the sudden inversion of their relationship that takes place. Continue reading
Posted in art, comics, relationships, review, writing
Tagged 4, Adrian Alphona, art, Bruno, Coma Chameleon, comics, costume, friend, friendship, G. Willow Wilson, Grin & Bear It, Ian Herring, immigrant literature, It totally freaks me out, Jake Wyatt, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, Marvel, minority, Mosque, Ms. Marvel, Muslim, Pakistani, relationship, review, Sana Amanat, support, teenager, Vick, villain, visual gag, writing
This is it, the final installment of this book’s first five-part story arc, and it does not disappoint. After some mild throwdowns in the last issue [a review I missed due to being abroad, and that I will get to] this cover opens up to unabashed in-your-face superheroics, and doesn’t stop there.
We begin smack dab in the middle of a botched rescue attempt, and while the events do finally lead to her donning her costume it’s her confidence that’s the true focus. Issue #4 had her finally adopting the moniker of Ms. Marvel, and while smashing robots is a pretty great ego boost being shot a second time appears to drain that tout suite. Her decision to run away begins with the realization that she is “losing this fight,” and culminates in words we can all relate to:
“I can feel the failure coming on– that awful syrupy sweet feeling you get in your stomach when you’ve really screwed up.”
Posted in comics, family, Islam, race, Youth
Tagged 5, Adrian Alphona, art, comics, costume, diversity, emotions, family, father, G. Willow Wilson, GM-O's, Ian Herring, immigrant literature, Islam, Jake Wyatt, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, Marvel, minority, Mosque, Ms. Marvel, Muslim, Pakistani, review, Sana Amanat, Sheikh Abdullah, support, teenager, THE BIRDMAN COMETH, the Inventor, Vick, villain, visual gag, writing
This is the second cover in a row to show Kamala Khan decked out in her superhero getup, and it’s nothing like the silhouette that was #2. This is Ms. Marvel bold and heroic, an image fully supporting my assertion that this issue we’d see her don her crimefighting costume.
Why do you make a liar out of me, G. Willow Wilson et al.?
So no, we do not in fact get to see Kamala don the beautiful McKelvie-designed outfit, but we do get yet another rock solid issue. At this point I honestly don’t see this falling flat on its face any time soon [much like the little boy running on the 15th comic page]. It’s storytelling that’s in absolutely no rush, and it’s hard to complain when the view is so gorgeous. Continue reading
Posted in comics, Islam, religion, review
Tagged 3, Aamir, Adrian Alphona, art, Bruno, comics, costume, diversity, G. Willow Wilson, hypocrisy, Ian Herring, immigrant literature, Islam, Islamic Masjid of Jersey City, Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan, Marvel, minority, Mosque, Ms. Marvel, Muslim, Pakistani, Quran, review, Sana Amanat, Saturday youth lecture, Sheikh Abdullah, support, teenager, the Inventor, Vick, villain, visual gag, writing