Ms. Marvel didn’t have to change. It’s initial run was so successful, the series could have delivered more of the same and many of would have been fine with it.
But it did change because Kamala Khan is one of the most human (though she is an Inhuman) characters I’ve ever encountered in fiction, and humans evolve.
Turns out the almost, maybe, kinda, not quite end of the world has really worked in Jersey City’s favor. The considerable cosmetic damage has been repaired thanks to the community’s can-do spirit and Stark Industries. Zoe’s personality makeover wasn’t just a temporary change due to impending doom. She’s no longer a mean girl and even friends with Nakia.
Kamala is now a bonafide member of The Avengers and getting homework help from Tony Snark himself.
But not all change is good.
Land developers are gentrifying the hell out of the neighborhood and using Ms. Marvel’s name and image (without Kamala’s permission) to sell pricey apartments.
And, while Kamala has been busy rising in the superhero ranks, Bruno found himself a girlfriend. Of course, Kamala told him to go on with his life while she focused on being the best Ms. Marvel she could be, but she didn’t think he’d actually… do it.
And do it he did.
Mike (Michaela) seems pretty damn awesome and Bruno appears to be genuinely happy with her. When Kamala’s jealousy and anger boils over, Bruno is brutally honest about how his new relationship blossomed right under Kamala’s nose. She just didn’t notice.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Mike illustrated as a full-figured girl, and wondered if it would ever be mentioned. I hoped it wouldn’t be, but it was. And in the best possible way.
While arguing with Bruno, Kamala makes a smart remark about Mike’s weight. Bruno immediately calls her on it and as I turned the page, I wanted Kamala to say that Bruno has misunderstood what she meant. But he didn’t.
Kamala was being petty and mean, and she apologizes immediately. I fell in love with this character all over again. G. Willow Wilson isn’t afraid to show Kamala as imperfect. We’ve seen her stumble as a hero learning her way, but we’ve never seen a lapse in character. The worst we’ve seen, maybe, was when she snuck out with Kamran.
Here, Kamala is just being a girl hurt by a boy she likes, so she lashes out and says something dumb. It’s a testament to the genuine friendship Wilson has developed between the two that Bruno quickly puts his best friend in check, and Kamala instantly takes her lumps.
Ms. Marvel (2015) #1
This was a fantastic kickoff to the next chapter in Kamala’s life. It was cool seeing her as Avenger, being a more capable hero, but not losing that fangirl inside.
Like the other new release this week, Spider-Woman #1, this issue expertly used flashbacks to get us up to speed on the events post-Secret Wars. I liked seeing Bruno’s relationship with Mike grow, and it’s really brave to make Mike a likable person – someone we can root for even thought she’s dating Kamala’s love.
The artwork was split between long-time Ms. Marvel artist, Adrian Alphona, and Takeshi Miyazawa. Excellent work all around.
I had to take off a few ticks for the lack of the Khan family. I really want to get caught up with them as well.