This is probably actually a five-star comic, but it was a little depressing and I resent that it was a little depressing, which is really my problem and not the book’s, but still. Enjoyment is ultimately part of my rating system, so, minus half a star, Ms. Marvel!
Regardless of how it made me want to punch all humans in the mouth a little, Ms. Marvel continues to be the most solid, contemplative (yet still somehow fun) superhero comic I’ve read. Granted, that’s not as many as most people because I find superhero comics ultimately exhausting in the same way I find soap opera and most TV drama series exhausting, but I don’t find THIS one exhausting. As I’ve gotten older, more and more I’ve begun to crave narrative resolution, and character growth that isn’t reversed or upended for the sake of creating new story. In my experience, that can be overlooked easily when you’ve got endless runs of comics and crossovers to worry about, and then when they’re done with one run or storyline, REBOOT.
But Wilson, I don’t know, man, she’s just so good at keeping it all about Kamala. No matter what else is going on in the comics around her, this is a coming of age story about a young superhero, learning to be an adult at the same time she’s learning to deal with her powers and the responsibilities and burdens that come with them.
I haven’t said much about the actual story, and I don’t know that I’m going to. Mostly it’s just Kamala dealing with some tough times. She and Bruno are still on the outs, and her superhero life is also getting harder. Some very loud people in Jersey City (who are hopefully in the minority) blame her for all the weird things that have been happening, and a certain faction of villains is stoking that fire. Kamala finds it hard to reconcile the fact that yes, some of her activities have brought focus that changed or harmed her city, but at the same time she’s saved that same city over and over. And yet, she sees all these people who are angry with her, and what is she supposed to do?
I may feel differently about where this one ended up once I read Vol. 9, which looks like it will follow her on her little existential crisis. And OMG WHEN ARE SHE AND BRUNO GOING TO MAKE UP IT’S AGONIZING.