I wanted to take a quick break from the Secret Invasion to talk about a comic that I fell in love with from issue 1. Ms. Marvel. When I first heard of what they had planned for this comic my first instinct was to cringe. Sometimes entertainment companies, in an effort to try and widen their audience, will set about creating something that appeals to a specific audience and in doing so create something that no one will like. But the creators of this comic have done their homework and have done it quite well. All the characters in the story feel real and are quite well created. The latest issue (from six months ago) was just released on the Marvel Unlimited app so here is my review.
This issue was kind of low key in a good way. The traditional comic book aspects of it are actually more distraction to the human story at hand which is not a bad thing. You start off at home with Kamala Khan and her family. They tell her some friends will be coming over with their son and she instantly reacts with scorn. Seems she feels her parents want to set her up with a boy of their choosing and like any kid she instantly rejects the idea.
Once she meets the guy however her opinion changes thanks to video games. They play the same game and discover they have other shared interests. The connection between the two seems quite real and I really enjoyed how the writer, G. Willow Wilson, made the instant connection seem real as well as making the reaction of the family quite real as well. Kamala and her family are Islamic and I absolutely LOVE (I had to go teenager girl internety with my writing there) how they’ve seamlessly blended their faith into the story without it seeming forced. It actually leads Kamala to continue as Ms. Marvel in earlier issues when her Imam pretty much comes out and tells her that as long as what she is doing does not break the rules of the Quran and is actually helping people than she should continue what she is doing.
If there is one group in our country that has been shit upon continuously without let up since 9/11 it has been the Islamic community. No group should have to suffer for the actions of a few bad apples but apparently in our country politicians feel it’s ok to demonize a group as long as it gets them votes and helps the military industrial complex continue their unending war effort to keep profits up. No Christian would want to have the whole of their religion to be mixed in with the acts of someone like a Jim Jones. The same goes with members of the Islamic faith, contrary to what douchebags like Bill Maher and Sam Harris believe.
This comic does a wonderful job showing that an Islamic family is no different than a Christian Family, a Hindu family, an Atheist family. They are good people looking to make their way in life without hurting people. They want to raise their children to be good people and want to make sure they find the right people to marry so they can lead happy lives as well. You can argue about the tenants of anyone’s belief all you want but at the end of the day people should be judged on their actions, not the actions of other douchebags who give a bad name to a mutual shared belief.
The end of the issue was great because the boy that Kamala ends up with a crush on is revealed to be an Inhuman as well. The start of this series involved what was called a Terrigan Mist being released over New York and certain people ended up having latent alien DNA become awakened in them. Kamala had her powers activated and is under the watch of the Inhumans. Kamran, her new crush, catches Kamala after she made an appearance as Ms. Marvel, and reveals to her that the mist affected him as well. Yet one more thing that brings them both together. I can’t wait for the next issue.
The artwork is crude but for this comic I think it actually benefits the story. It feels like a fifteen year old drawing the stories of her life which I like. It has a charm you don’t see in other comics that feel that being sloppy is the new way to show action. My favorite piece of work in the issue was the nod to the original Superman movie where Kamala reveals she has her uniform on under her shirt. It has the feel of anime as well in that image but again, it adds to the charm of the story because you could imagine a fifteen year old girl drawing herself like that.
I usually include what I didn’t like in my reviews because honestly you can nitpick and everything. A painter could look at the Mona Lisa and see some strokes that are off or something else to show that a master painter like Da Vinci was human like the rest of us. But that still doesn’t take away from the fact that the Mona Lisa is a classic painting.
I could take the time to find something wrong with that issue but I feel that would be taking away from everything good this comic had. This is a comic series that I hope we’ll see honored on the big screen someday. This is a comic series I think has a real chance of being the next Spider-Man in the sense that thirty, forty, fifty years from now we’ll still be talking about it. When you have a series that is written and drawn as well as this series is, you enjoy it for what it is. What flaws it may have actually make the piece greater. If you have not done so yet, find an issue of Ms. Marvel, read it and enjoy. This is what makes comic books so great to read.