Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

Edited and cropped Issue #1Cover

This is a Marvel NOW! title and Ms. Marvel is now Kamala Khan, a teenage girl who is also Pakistani-American. Kamala is the first Muslim character to headline her own comic at Marvel. The religion and heritage of the new heroine in this title caused a tizzy, but Marvel and the creative team didn’t just change the age and race of the Ms. Marvel to get attention,

it appears it was done to tell a fresh and unique story: A story of a teenage girl in modern New Jersey that has teenage angst and growing pains like most any other teenage girl, but with a few things that make her days different. Among the differences are Kamala’s new powers that she can hardly believe at first, let alone understand.

The storyline is not too heavy while still being relevant. A recommended title for young readers, especially young girls because it speaks to the self-esteem and identity issues young girls face, especially when they are any shade of brown.

The action of this title is somewhat lacking but that is not to say that it isn’t worth a read. For now, Kamala’s “human” side is more interesting than her “missions” to save the world and bring down supervillians. I have a feeling that it will not stay that way though. G. Willow Wilson, who happens to be Muslim woman, does well making sure that Kamala’s heritage isn’t just part of the tagline, but is shown as a detail of her daily life; a fact but not the focus.

The art of Adrain Alphona in this is whimsical and expressive. His style and penchant for adding funny names to cereal boxes and the like had me laughing out loud. He reminds me of another artist I love, Amy Reeder (Rocket Girl). The colors are muted and pastel at times, but very well suited to his scenes. Many may remember Alphona from the work he did on the Runaways with Brian K. Vaughan, of the acclaimed Saga. Ms. Marvel is not currently on my pull list but my wife and I did buy the first six issues and gift volume 1.

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