Review: MS. MARVEL #1




Written By G. Willow Wilson
Art by Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona, & Ian Herring
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: November 18, 2015

Between the Avengers and high school, how exactly do you budget your time?

Kamala is now part of the Avengers, and she’d be completely ecstatic if she weren’t still traversing high school and everyday teenage relationships. Not only does she have to adjust to a higher profile as a hero, but she unexpectedly finds herself reconciling important relationships. The Secret Wars didn’t just do a number on the entire universe; Kamala finds not only the face of her neighborhood changing, but also her connections to significant people in her life.

Ms. Marvel #1 immediately lets us know that Secret Wars was not just an inconsequential event for Kamala. In the eight months since the resolution of the multiversal conflict, Kamala has risen in the superhero ranks, leading to some compromises in her everyday life. This issue gets us caught up on how things have changed for Kamala and points to how she will adjust in the future. Ms. Marvel #1 was a great jump into the new status quo for one of my favorite heroes and, even with the inherent challenges, I absolutely trust she will effectively find balance in her life.

G. Willow Wilson never disappoints, especially writing Kamala. The relationships and interpersonal changes are front and center, helping to better elucidate the nuances of Kamala’s world and how her supporting cast has been dealing with the near-end of the world. Wilson is stellar at fleshing out Kamala’s connections to the people she holds dear, even if sometimes that involves heartbreak. One of the shining elements of this series from its beginning was how Kamala managed her culture, friendships, and superpowers, and in Ms. Marvel #1 we have a crash course in her ability to cope with life as a hero and a teenager.

All around, the art team for Ms. Marvel #1 delivers. Takeshi Miyazawa conveyed such a lively and animated element in Kamala’s world. The manga-esque feel was perfect for Kamala as a character, expressing her enthusiasm and emphatic tendencies. As always, Adrian Alphona’s pencils reflect something youthful and fresh, the lines and shapes stylistic and free. Ian Herring is the common denominator between Miyazawa and Alphona’s art, capturing something wonderful about each of these artists’ creations, and all of them coalescing to illustrate the unique draw of Ms. Marvel.

Gentrification was a secondary villain in this issue. While there is definitely a villainous element to the changes in Kamala’s neighborhood, gentrification itself sent a very clear message to me. I’ve watched urban neighborhoods in my hometown suddenly become okay for White hipster consumption, encroaching on an area of town that people of color have lived for ages. To see this in the pages of Ms. Marvel #1 reminded me why we need to address such issues and how they affect local residents. I’m glad this part of the story was included, because diversity is such an important part of Kamala’s world and this issue implicitly pointed to how gentrification harms people it doesn’t need to.

I had every bit of faith that I would continue to enjoy Ms. Marvel, and this post-Secret Wars issue was a great start to a new era for the series. We will undoubtedly see how Kamala adjusts to changes in her world, but also how she lives up to her deserved title of hero. I look forward to seeing where the series goes and I highly recommend this launching issue.

The Verdict: 9.0/10