Good is not a thing you are. It’s a thing you do. —Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel #005Ms. Marvel (2014) is part of the new wave of comics under the All-New Marvel NOW! branding that’s focused on bringing in new readers and has been on pretty much all of the ‘Best Comics of 2014’ lists including the A.V Club and Vulture. Both the creators, G. Willow Wilson and Sana Amanat AND Kamala Khan, were listed in Buzzfeed’s 21 Kick-Ass Muslims Who Changed the Narative in 2014. This comic was what really helped me get into the scary world of Marvel comics, because it introduces a new character with all the many, many years of baggage that other characters can have.
What it’s about
Ms. Marvel follows the story of Kamala Khan, the daughter of Pakistani immigrants in Jersey City after she is exposed to the Terrigen Mists that trigger the Inhuman gene giving her the ability to polymorph aka shape-shift into whatever she wants. When she runs into trouble for the first time after encountering the mist, she shifts to what she equates as a hero: Carol Danvers, or the newly promoted Captain Marvel. The first issue really is just backstory that can be a bit confusing (I had no idea what this magic mist was at first), but then the comic transitions to the struggles of what it means to be a teenager, a good daughter and muslim, and a hero.
One downside of its run is that for some reason Marvel decided it was necessary to throw in some big name heroes to her series, which in some areas turns out really cute, but it is sad that they think the comic can’t do fine without throwing in male characters especially considering it had so many printings of its first issue it broke all records.
A fun thing about Ms. Marvel/Kamala is the potential to enter the MCU, which is definitely suffering from a lack of female-lead titles. Whether it be through the Inhumans storylines planned for the later phases or even sooner with Cap 3, she is deserving of a chance to shine.
To purchase Ms. Marvel and support this awesome title check out Digital, Trades, or Find a Comic Shop
Books to complement Ms. Marvel
Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula by Elise Stokes
One Girl. One Accident. One Incredible Superhero. Cassidy Jones is your typical fourteen-year-old— that is, until a seemingly harmless accident in the laboratory of a world-renowned geneticist turns her world upside down. Discovering incredible strength, speed, and enhanced physical senses that defy logic, Cassidy embarks on an action-packed adventure that has her fighting for answers…and for her very life.
Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne
Everybody in Chicago has a “superhero sighting” story. So when a villain attacks editorial assistant Gail Godwin and she’s rescued by superhero Blaze, it’s a great story, and nothing more. Until it happens again. And again. Now, the media has dubbed her Hostage Girl, nobody remembers her real name, and people are convinced that Blaze is just Gail’s boyfriend Jeremy in disguise. Gail’s not so sure. All she knows is that when both Jeremy and Blaze leave town in the same week, she’s probably doomed. Who will save her now?
But when the villains miraculously lose interest, Gail is able to return to her life…until she wakes up strapped to a metal table by a mad scientist who hasn’t read the news. Escaping, and now more than human herself, she’s drawn into a secret underground world of superheroes. She’ll have to come to terms with her powers (and weakness) to make it in the new society, and it’s not easy. After all, there’s a new villain on the rise, and she has her sights set on the one and only Hostage Girl.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight - she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...
A Fanmix Recommendation
don’t mess with kamala khan; she’s new jersey’s (only costumed) crime fighter and self-proclaimed avengers fanfiction cult leader who has noted that mastering bigness is easy and it’s mastering smallness that takes work. basically a fanmix for underdogs discovering new ways to kick ass listen here
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out the previous Comics Corner posts: Lazarus