by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she's suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she's comin' for you, New York!
What a fun start to a series!
If you've been following my blog for a little while you might have noticed that I've been getting more and more into graphic novels over the past few months, and this year in particular. In January I read all four of the current volumes of Saga as well as the first volume of Rat Queens, so it only seemed right to get my hands on a copy of Ms. Marvel - I'll support anything female-led in the Marvel universe, because frankly the lack of female-led superhero movies is shocking. Thank God for Ms. Marvel and Agent Carter.
Don't even get me started on DC...
Anyway, as much as I enjoy the Marvel movies I don't know if I'd call myself a Marvel fangirl. I'm definitely no expert on the Marvel universe, and Ms. Marvel counts as the very first Marvel comic I've ever read. But hey, I'm not going to let that stop me from giving you an honest review!
I knew from the very first page that Kamala was going to be a heroine I liked a lot. She's a sweetie, and there's something about these stories featuring teenage misfits that call out to the teenage misfit in all of us, whether we're still struggling through adolescence or we left it behind, or so we like to think, years ago. Kamala's an ordinary teenager who's struggling to find the middle ground between being true to who she is, or who she'd like to be, and making her parents proud.
I'm rather ashamed to admit that I don't think I've read a book with a Muslim protagonist before now. That's something I need to change. I loved the way Kamala's family were portrayed; while their religion mattered to them on a personal level, it didn't define them. Kamala's family is a family like anyone else's, and I'm glad they were portrayed as such. That's something all of us need to remember, I think, when we sit down to watch the news.
While there were certain aspects of Kamala's culture that I could understand her frustration with, I loved that her family were still portrayed as likeable people; her relationship with her father, in particular, was very touching, and I look forward to seeing more scenes between the two of them in future volumes.
The only area of this volume that was a little lacking for me was, unfortunately, the plot. Obviously this is only the beginning so I'm sure whatever has started here will continue to grow and grow, but at times this volume felt a little all over the place; Kamala seemed to settle into her new powers fairly quickly, and I expected a bit more freaking out before that happened. Even in a world where the Avengers are real you'd still get a bit of a shock if you woke up with the ability to shoot lasers from your eyes.
All in all, though, I enjoyed this volume, and I'm looking forward to further instalments!