Five stars for the actual Ms. Marvel story included here, written by G. Willow Wilson and drawn in full by the lovely Adrian Alphona. Minus a full star because the last two issues in this volume are a Spider-Man/Ms. Marvel team-up, which was fun enough when Ms. Marvel was there and kind of boring when she wasn’t, but my biggest issue is that it’s totally jarring to read them after the other four issues in the book.
I say it’s jarring because Last Days, while very funny and heartwarming in parts, is also bleak and sad. It’s just a beautiful, wonderful piece of art, and I love this character more with every issue. Meanwhile you’ve got this comparatively shallow superhero team-up story with inferior art and character work and story . . . it was a come down after that lovely last panel of Wilson’s story. OMG THAT PANEL.
So Last Days is what happens when Secret Wars comes to Ms. Marvel. A planet has mysteriously appeared in the sky, and Jersey City has descended into chaos. Kamala can’t do anything about the planet–she’s relying on the Avengers for that–but she can help to keep people calm and safe in her own corner of the world. What’s great about these four issues is how personal and character driven they remain even as the veritable apocalypse arrives. This isn’t a story about things happening, it’s a story about Kamala zeroing in on what/who is important to her and what kind of person she wants to be.
Something I realized this go-round is that Kamala is THE HUGGIEST SUPERHERO, probably in the history of ever:
Oh, yes, I’m sorry, I buried the lede there. KAMALA GETS TO MEET HER HERO, CAPTAIN MARVEL. And it is oh-so-glorious. I loved the way their relationship played out, and their scenes together are partially responsible for the sort of elegiac feeling you get the whole time you’re reading it. Plus, seriously, she hugs a lot, like, right after meeting you:
Of course, the other part of that feeling is that the freaking world is ending, but the focus isn’t on that. It’s on Kamala and her relationships with her friends and family.
I seriously love this comic, and I’m anxiously awaiting Vol. 5 this summer (G. Willow Wilson is staying on!!). I just hope Secret Wars didn’t fuck all my shit up.