Monday, 21 July 2014

Ms Marvel #6 Review (G Willow Wilson, Jacob Wyatt)

New Jersey’s own, Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel, is out fighting the Inventor’s robots and getting ever closer to his hideout. After investigating a conspicuous hole in the middle of the street, Kamala encounters an urban myth and an unexpected hero – the girl who writes Avengers fan-fic as a hobby gets to team up with one of the greatest Avengers ever!

Right away you notice a couple of things with the beginning of the second Ms Marvel arc: 1) Adrian Alphona’s left (aww!), replaced by artist Jacob Wyatt, and 2) it’s a much more traditional Marvel superhero comic. Writer G Willow Wilson’s not hitting Kamala’s Muslim background as hard now – that was all dealt with in the first book – and has focused on the next phase in Kamala’s story: her ascendency as a superhero.

As Kamala herself notes, she’s got the “Costume. Secret hideout. Sidekick. Dastardly enemy.”, with the one ingredient missing on her superhero checklist being a theme song (which, as I write, I’m sure some talented musicians are coming up with something for her!). She’s a superhero now and what do superheroes do? Team up with other superheroes! And that’s exactly what happens in this issue as she fights some Austin Powers-style crocs with lasers on their heads (granted Doctor Evil had sharks with lasers on their heads, but it’s kinda similar), struggles to cope, and is saved by… Wolverine!

It’s an interesting choice to have Wolverine as Kamala’s first team up because he’s currently without a healing factor (I’m not entirely sure why – I don’t read the Cornell series), and, while he’s a tough guy, he does get injured and becomes something of a burden than a help. So what seems like a big boost to Kamala in her fight against the cockatoo-headed Inventor (who, rather unsubtly, is called Thomas Edison), turns out to be one more obstacle for her to overcome in her path towards becoming a greater superhero. I think it’s a brilliant move by Wilson who’s building such an amazing character in Kamala. Also, who didn’t love that panel where she fangirls out at meeting Wolverine?

Jacob Wyatt’s a fine replacement for Adrian Alphona as his artwork is lovely in its own right while also not being of the kind of flashy, supremely polished superhero art you might see in bigger titles, so the street-level/indie feel of the book is retained. And Jamie McKelvie continues to supply awesome covers – this guy is killing it right now, not just with the Ms Marvel covers but his own work over at Image on The Wicked + The Divine.

Ms Marvel’s second story arc looks to be as high quality as the first and #6 is a cracking way to kick things off.

Ms Marvel #6

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