Sunday, 26 July 2015

Ms Marvel, Volume 3: Crushed Review (G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa)

I love this series - and I think I’m falling in love with Kamala Khan too! It’ll never work - she’s a drawing, I’m a sketchy character… 

The first issue in Ms Marvel, Volume 3: Crushed is a crossover with “hipster Viking” Loki who drops in on a Valentine’s Day dance at Kamala’s school looking for something magical for the All-Mother. It sets up the theme of this book: love, so get yer puke buckets out! 

Bruno, Kamala’s buddy who works in the local store, is pining for Kamala but he’s embedded in the friend-zone. He’s also Italian-American and she’s Pakistani-American-Inhuman and her traditionally-minded parents want her to marry someone Pakistani. And then a Pakistani heart-throb called Kamran sweeps Kamala off her feet - what’s a lovesick fool to do?! 

I should’ve mentioned this at the top of the review because it’ll disappoint a lot of people: there’s no Adrian Alphona in this book! Elmo Bondoc draws the Loki issue while Takeshi Miyazawa fills in for the rest. Miyazawa does draw a very good facsimile of Alphona’s style though and I didn’t mind it because, like I mentioned at the beginning, he really reveals Kamala as the beauty she is. And yeah I know that makes me sound pervy because she’s 16 but, wow, she is gorgeous in this book - she’s a goddamn heartbreaker (and she doesn’t even know it)! Not that Miyazawa draws her in anything revealing, I just loved the way he drew her face.

It’s also appropriate that Loki’s here because the story for this volume is, after the big Inventor storyline of the last couple books, very low-key (thankyou, thankyou!... I’ll get me coat). There are only four Ms Marvel issues in this volume. Kamala fights a couple NuHumans because it’s still a Marvel superhero comic but it’s mostly romance-centric. I liked it though, G. Willow Wilson handles it really well so it’s not sappy or boring, even though the Kamala-Kamran-Bruno triangle is a bit Disney-esque (I could see Bruno bursting into song: “Riff-raff, street rat, I’m not like that…”). 

I can understand why it’s this way though because, like it or not, Battle World is on the way. Wilson couldn’t start any new big arcs for Kamala because the 616 universe, the Ultimates universe - it’s all being blowed up and clumped together into Battle World, the result of this summer’s big event storyline, Secret Wars. 

I’m really worried because not only do all Marvel event books suck (DC’s too), but that this major change might affect the quality of this series if it gets sucked into it. Ms Marvel is so good, I really don’t want to see it suffer because of Marvel’s blockheaded decision to join DC down the rabbit hole and rebooting their universe (just look at how the New 52 turned out! PLEASE have a plan, Marvel!). 

If there’s one slight negative about Wilson’s storyline in this book, it’s when the action shifts to New Attilan and Lineage tries to get her to join his side, or something. Lineage is a pretty terrible Inhuman character (that name!) who first appeared in Charles Soule’s Thunderbolts run. I haven’t been keeping up with Soule’s Inhuman series (he’s really taken over at Marvel, eh?) so I’m not sure what’s going on there - has Medusa been usurped by Lineage? Ah, doesn’t really matter, I suppose.

The fifth and final issue that rounds out this volume is SHIELD #2 by Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos. It’s the only reason for a less than stellar five star rating for this third Ms Marvel volume. SHIELD show up at Kamala’s school and they have a crossover where they fight some generic blob monsters. Bo-ring! Not a good indicator for Waid’s new Marvel series.

If you’ve loved Ms Marvel so far, you’re gonna love the third volume too. Forgetting the Mark Waid/SHIELD issue, it’s another really well-written book by G. Willow Wilson with terrific art from Takeshi Miyazawa. The story is no great shakes but this series has been character-driven from the start and Kamala and co. continue to entertain. 

Fingers crossed she survives the transition to Battle World!

Ms Marvel, Volume 3: Crushed

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