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Review: Ms. Marvel #1

Writer: C. Willow Wilson  Artist: Adrian Alphona  Cover Artist: Sara Pichelli

Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Adrian Alphona
Cover Artist: Sara Pichelli

If you’re anything like me, you have been eagerly anticipating the release of the new Ms. Marvel. Especially after the tease in Captain Marvel #17. There have been some detractors though. Some people were concerned about the issue because they didn’t like the idea of a WoC (Woman of Color) as the new Ms. Marvel, while others were concerned that the author G. Willow Wilson wouldn’t do Kamala Khan’s Muslim/Pakistani background enough justice. Guess what?

NO ONE SHOULD BE CONCERNED BECAUSE THE BOOKS IS AMAZING.

Ahem. What I mean to say, in a more civilized let yelly way, is that G. Willow Wilson does a great job of developing Kamala Khan as a character. So much so, that it’s hard to imagine anyone else attempting to fill Ms. Marvel’s shoes.

Wilson’s strength lies in creating an extremely relatable character. In Ms. Marvel #1 we see Kamala struggle with food restrictions, boys, girls, and parents. While I grew up as a white, protestant teenager, Wilson makes it easy to relate to Kamala, a girl who is struggling to fit in and find her place in the world while negotiating the familial, religious, and social bonds around her. At times, it’s almost painfully relatable, dredging up some of my *finer* teenage moments.

The second way that this book should win over readers is Kamala’s obsession with superheroes. She loves them. She writes fan-fiction about them (“My Avengers fanfic has almost 1,000 upvodes on freakingcool.com”), and if there’s not now, I seriously hope someone has created a fanfic about the avengers saving Planet Unicorn based on this issue.

When Captain Marvel (a dream/figment version) asks Kamala what she wants to be, her response is spot on:

Right now? I want to be beautiful and awesome and butt-kicking and less complicated. I want to be you…Except I would wear the classic, politically incorrect costume and kick butt in giant wedge heels. 

That line really struck a chord with me. As a teenager, I never would have wanted to wear Captain Marvel’s current costume. I would have wanted the curves and body to pull off Starfire, Poison Ivy. or the hair and accent of Rogue…also any of the Gullwings (FFX-2) or Lulu from FFX. Of course, Kamala regrets her answers almost immediately (the last page of the issue is STELLAR) and I really don’t think Kamala will be getting her wish of things being “less complicated” anytime soon.

In short, the only thing wrong with this issue was a.) it ended so soon and b.) the stupid fold out Marvel adds that kept clogging it up. Except the Moon Knight ad. He can clog up my issues anytime. If you want to learn more about the inspiration behind this issue, C. Willow Wilson did an excellent Q&A hangout which is posted below. Now, go buy extra issues of Ms. Marvel #1 so we can have a nice long run of it!

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