When my husband buys me comic books, he (almost) always gets me the women-centered books, so a good chunk of our collective collection is given over to Jessica Jones, Spider Gwen, Captain Marvel, and, of course, Ms. Marvel (the exception of mine being a hardcover collection of the side stories from the Age of Apocalypse storyline which I ADORE). When I was looking for something to match my “Illustrated” Bingo square, I didn’t have to look far.
One of the many great things about the new Ms. Marvel storyline is how fresh it feels. Here we are plopped straight into the life of Kamala Khan, the younger child and only daughter of Pakistani immigrants living in Jersey City. Honestly it feels like a breath of fresh air just to get a hero who isn’t living in a major borough. The first time she ever sneaks out to go to a party, Kamala collapses in a strange mist and dreams about being Ms. Marvel. When she wakes up, she is Ms. Marvel … kinda.
From here we get some of the classical elements of the “superhero growing up in a world that has superheroes”. Think MCU Peter Parker geeking out at the airport in Civil War. She’s also strongly rooted in her heritage and deeply loyal and loving to her loyal and loving family – even if they sometimes talk across each other, rather than with each other. The scene where she sneaks back into her house and is caught by her brother, who first makes sure that she’s okay before copping to “Mom and Dad know and oh boy are they mad” is kind of gorgeous. I loaned the first couple of books to a friend from Pakistan and they vibed with him from a cultural standpoint as well (admittedly, he comes to them from a man’s perspective) so I appreciate that the writers seem to have really done their homework. A quick Google tells me that the main writer, G. Willow Wilson, is a white American woman who studied religion and converted to Islam as an adult and the editor she worked with is a Pakistani woman. Cool!
Anyway, I love my reread of the first book and really look forward to following up with the next few I have!
Bingo Square: Illustrated