Spoiler free review of Ms. Marvel by author G Willow Wilson, Illustrations Jake Wyatt, Jaimie McKelvie, Kris Anka followed by the spoiler full review and summary.
Spoiler Free Review
Ms. Marvel begins her story as Kamala Khan. She’s in high school and has a couple of friends there but doesn’t really fit in with the popular kids. Her family is Muslim to various degrees. Her parents are culturally and religiously Muslim while her brother is bordering zealot territory. She places herself within that world but has “Americanized” a bit more.
She also spends her time writing superhero fan fiction and fantasizing about being powerful. Her dream becomes a reality when she gets caught in the Terrigen Mists and develops strange shape shifting and healing powers. It is important to not that this means she is an Inhuman and not a Mutant. There is a distinct difference in Marvel canon.
She will discover several issues into the run that she is an Inhuman and her powers were lying dormant until the mists woke them up. Now her goal is to master her use of these powers and protect her home town of Jersey City from bad guys, robots, monsters, and maybe even the end of the world.
I also have to note that her main power is “embiggening.” If this isn’t a reference to The Simpsons I’ll eat my hat.
Along the way she deals with all of the normal perils of being a teenager. She needs to get her homework done, escape getting grounded, and manage emotions around boys.
The way that Kamala does everything is with the strongest of integrity. She’s incredibly strong willed. She does not give in to anyone on any subject that she believes in.
Her religion, culture, ideology, and morals are constantly being challenged but she knows what she believes in and does not bend. I respect her so much for all of this. She’s an actual good person and at this point seems incorruptible.
She also becomes a leader with natural grace.
I especially enjoyed a plot in volume 2 in which she starts to fall head over heels for a boy. But she never loses herself. She’s so much stronger than any teenage girl I ever knew. Mentally and physically. She’s a perfect role model for the younger audience for which she is aimed.
There are a couple of cliffhangers by the end of this run and I’m curious to see where it goes from here. I need to do a little reading guide research because I think it’s about to tie into a much larger story line and it might be one of those cases where many lines have to be read at once to get the full story. Sigh, comics.
Regardless, Kamala Khan, Ms Marvel, is one to look out for. She’s a newer hero on the Marvel scene but she’s super powerful in all of the ways one can be powerful and she has a very bright future ahead of her.
This is a new character who’s definitely worth getting into.
As of updating this pst Ms. Marvel has since been adapted into a TV show for Disney+ and will be starring in a new movie alongside the other Marvels. The TV show is definitely aimed at a much younger audience so I haven’t watched it. It is my understanding, however, that they drastically altered her power set and did not make her an Inhuman. This is very disappointing to me as she was actually set apart from generic superpowers.
The book is still great though and if you enjoy the show then I’m glad.
4.5/5 fists embiggened 👊🏽👊🏽👊🏽👊🏽👊🏽
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Ms. Marvel Issues 1-19 Summary
Ms. Marvel begins her story as young Kamala Khan. She is an average high school student who splits time between her Muslim family and her friends. She doesn’t really fit in at school and is somewhat naive about that.
She spends her free time writing fan fiction about the Avengers and especially her favorite hero Captain Marvel.
She wants to attend a big party with all of the popular kids but is strictly forbidden by her father. She sneaks out and has her first taste of alcohol, which she hates.
Kamala is so sweet. She’s just a big nerd who’s awkward and kind and wants to fit in but doesn’t change who she is to do it.
On her way home from the party she gets caught in the Terrigen Mists.
She’s about to discover that she’s an Inhuman. Within the Marvel Universe Inhumans are aliens on Earth whose powers can be awakened by the Terrigen Mists. She had no idea about any of this prior to getting caught in this mysterious fog.
She discovers that she can become a Captain Marvel lookalike with weird stretchy shape shifting powers. She uses her new powers to save the most popular girl at school from drowning. She promptly gets grounded for staying out past curfew.
Being a true Muslim girl she makes her uniform out of an old burkini she had. A burkini is a Muslim swimsuit designed with modesty in mind. She’s not going to be the super hero who shows off her skin, that’s for sure. This book never shies away from her heritage, she’s not just colored brown in order to fill a minority punch card, she’s actually a developed character within a different culture. This is vitally important for today’s audiences.
She is determined to figure out how her super hero powers work and what she is. She’s having a hard time triggering and controlling her powers but decides to step in and stop a convenience store robbery anyway.
She gets shot!
Whoa! Didn’t expect her to actually get hurt! Good thing she discovers she can heal herself as long as she’s in her true form. The kid who works at the convenience store has a big crush on her and wants to help her out in any possible way.
Their dumb teenage inexperience gets them captured by The Inventor. Kamala manages to get them free but is now enemy number one for this bad guy.
She crosses paths with Wolverine who teaches her a couple of things, that’s his whole deal after all, being a mentor to young women. They rescue a young girl who’s being used as a human battery ala The Matrix. He then tells the Inhumans leader, Medusa, about her and they agree to give her some help in the form of Lockjaw, a very big dog.
I love how everyone is afraid of this big weird monster dog but she loves him immediately. And lucky for her because the dog has teleport powers.
Then a giant robot thing attacks her school and she gets injured as Ms. Marvel. Medusa heals her and explains that she’s Inhuman but Kamala doesn’t want to leave her loving family.
She goes to rescue the rest of the human batteries but they say they’re there by choice. They’ve been brainwashed into thinking that their generation only has value as a source of power. That they’re otherwise leeches on society. Ms Marvel gives a powerful speech and convinces them otherwise. She’s the Gen Z leader they’ve needed!
I love her stepping into a leadership role naturally, she really commands a group.
Issue 12 is an odd one in the bunch about a weird sitcom kind of plot with the boy who has a crush on her and Loki and a school dance. It’s odd let’s push past it cause the run is about to go from good to great.
The real love interest in the form of an old family friend comes into play. Kamala and this young man really hit it off right away. He catches her transitioning back from Ms Marvel and admits that a love for nerdy stuff is not the only thing they have in common, he is also Inhuman.
She falls in love really quickly. But of course he’s evil, that’s how these things go. So he kidnaps her and brings her to the camp of evil Inhumans who want to destroy all humans, that old chestnut.
She declines the offer but he doesn’t take no for an answer. She knows that that’s a big freaking deal breaker. Smart girl. She kicks his ass and makes a total fool of him, like a boss.
The friend of hers that has a crush on her comes to help her after the fact and Kamala recognizes that he is a person of value, even if she’s not romantically interested in him.
She is so much stronger than I ever was at that age. She is the role model I wish I had had.
Unfortunately, jerk boy still got his Terrigen Mist bomb set off and Kamala’s brother is trapped in the impact. He’s affected but in ways that don’t line up with the typical Inhuman reaction, this will wait until a further run to be concluded.
Captain Marvel is on the scene to help and she tells Ms Marvel to prepare for the worst. For the worst worst, the end of the world worst.
Kamala confesses her identity to her mother and her mother is fine with it because she’s doing good in the world. Kamala’s friend confesses his love to her and she says she has to give everything she has to herself and being a hero.
I love her. I love that she doesn’t choose love.
The run ends with them having a heart to heart and then everything goes white.
Ms Marvel is a new era of teen super hero drama. She is strong, smart, and full to bursting with integrity. She never backs down on her upbringing, culture, religion, beliefs, and morals. She finds her place in the world much much earlier than most anybody else and should be admired.
I will very likely continue to read her story lines in the future. She is a new character who really shines and deserves many runs for years to come.
4.5/5 embiggened fists 👊🏽👊🏽👊🏽👊🏽👊🏽