I’m probably the most ridiculous comics reader you’re going to find: I don’t like monthlies, because waiting is stupid; I read all the spoilers months (or years) before I get around to reading the actual comic; I kind of wish there were less pictures sometimes (I know: weird); and I’m an obsessive MCU fan who reads about 9000 times more fan fiction than she does canon.
I’m not saying it’s normal, I’m just saying that’s how I read comics. But Ms. Marvel has been on my radar for over a year, for a lot of great reasons – compelling art, comically witty lines, and diverse representation: A Muslim-teenager turns into one of her favorite superheroes because of some odd gas that hovers over her city one night, then figures out how to handle it, along with the rest of her life. And I’m glad I finally got around to reading it, because it did not disappoint!
It was so good, and I found myself wanting to just take pictures of panels and save them on my phone. (Bruno’s “Here comes the concern troll” line from the beginning of the book is gold, btw, and should be available in gif form for many a conversation in both real life and on the internet.)
Kamala faces a lot of challenges – being different from her peers, “Poor Kamala with the weird food rules and the crazy family.” She’s struggling to find a place where she fits in – with her friends, within her family (overly strict and traditional in someways, completely, unexpectedly supportive in others). She’s a teenager, basically, and so well-written that she’s easy to identfy with and instantly accessible to readers. I think she’s adorable, and awkward, and anxious about all the things teenagers are anxious about that you don’t realize till later don’t matter at all, and now she’s got to deal with being a superhero on top of all that? It’s perfect. Peter-Parker-levels of perfect, is Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel.
(Although there’s definitely some origin story explanation that’s lacking in these first five issues: I’m sure they get around to explaining the mist, and the Inventor (the first big bad she’s facing), as time goes on. Looking forward to the day when I actually remember to read Volume 2.)