Review: MS. MARVEL #19


Written By G. Willow Wilson
Art by Adrian Alphona & Ian Herring
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 14, 2015

Kamala and her friends and family prepare for the end of the world, offering a sense of closure and resolution to each other despite not knowing how things will work out. Kamala reaches her own conclusions about being a hero and how that identity works with the rest of who she is. As she shares a touching moment with Bruno, we are met with a familiar flash of light promising to bring in a new era or our favorite heroine.

G. Willow Wilson has done such an amazing job with Kamala from the very beginning. She has captured so much about Kamala, her family, and how she navigates two very distinct cultures. Kamala is bright, spunky, and courageous, and Wilson has helped her become a hero in her own right, especially within this latest issue. She does a great job of exploring what Kamala wants for herself, but also distinguishing her decision from her culture. It seems as though she got Kamala to a point where the conflict between her family and what she wants has been resolved, so that Kamala is now able to consider her decisions based on her own independence and autonomy.

Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring’s art illuminates so many vital elements, from important details to human interaction and emotion. Their style lends to the everyday, slice of life feel that Ms. Marvel needs. I feel as though it captures what it’s like for Kamala to suddenly be thrust into this new role and develop into a hero. For this issue in particular, the details in the environment and the people are powerful.

This issue was beautiful for so many reasons. It was a reminder that Kamala’s world is diverse, but also that her culture permeates her life and is a major part of who she is. This issue took me back to the very first issue of the series, where we find out who is in Kamala’s life and why, but also how she moves through a culture that has some contrasts to her own.

Kamala’s conversation with Bruno was excellent. This issue was a major turning point for Kamala that I’m sure will influence how she shows up in the All-New, All-Different era of Marvel. She chose how to manage her relationship with him based on her responsibilities and her sense of joy from being a hero, not from being a Muslim young woman as Bruno suspected. That moment was monumental because so often the narrative we get is ‘I cannot be with you because of my family’ or ‘I choose to defy my family to be with you,’ yet G. Willow Wilson chose an approach that I find to be much more realistic and reflective of people’s lives.

I have no doubts Kamala is in for some great new adventures. With her being a feature of ANAD Avengers, she’s being thrust further into the spotlight, where she deserves. Through these issues, people have recognized her value as a character but also as a hero. Issue 19 was a culmination of her capabilities, demonstrating what makes her a hero but also a great model of how to navigate the expectations and values of different cultures and ideals.

The Verdict: 9.0/10


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