Pick of the Week: “Ms. Marvel” #19 by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphonaon November 22, 2015 at 10:52 am
Wow! What an amazing wrap-up to an amazing new series! When I first heard it was being launched I was a little skeptical about the new “Ms. Marvel”, a series centered around a young, female, Muslim superhero. I’m not a fan of doing something just for the sake of doing something, and Marvel seemed to be creating a young, female, Muslim superhero just for the sake of having a young, female, Muslim superhero and for being able to check off diversity checkboxes*. I only picked up the series for Adrian Alphona’s art, which I’ve sorely missed since his “Runaways” days. But, to my surprise, “Ms. Marvel”, under the pen of G. Willow Wilson, was actually pretty good. And nineteen issues later we have the wrap-up to the first volume of “Ms. Marvel”.
“Ms. Marvel” was great because it was character-based, focusing on Kamala Khan (learning to be a superhero after gaining Inhuman powers) and her family, friends, and religious lifestyle and duties. It was great seeing Khan struggling to deal with her superheroic, familial, and school responsibilities, something I haven’t really seen since the early days of “Amazing Spider-Man”. More to the point, I’ll say this: Kamala Khan is the new Peter Parker.
To illustrate how character-based “Ms. Marvel” is, issue 19, the final issue of the initial volume, doesn’t even have Khan in costume or using her powers! It’s all character resolutions in the face of impending doom, and for me, when this character action is done well, it is a hell of a lot more entertaining and interesting than costumed superheroics**.
All in all, this was an amazing wrap-up to an amazing series, and I can’t wait for volume 2.
* For a bad example of diversity-for-diversity’s-sake, see DC’s new “Doctor Fate” series, which is a pale imitation of “Ms. Marvel”.
** The impending doom is the incursion/collision of two earths that kicks off the “Secret Wars” crossover event. One of the things that I love about comics is the shared universe concept, especially when an individual title can tie into a crossover event but still do its own thing, as “Ms. Marvel” does.