The last issue ended with Kamala Khan breaking into a secluded house run by “The Inventor” to rescue her friend’s misguided brother. It was her first act of active heroism, complete with robot fights and a creepy basement. This issue picks up where the last left off, with Kamala in the basement with several punks working for “The Inventor”.
G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel has taken the slow burn approach so far, spending most of its time developing Kamala Khan as a character before giving her superpowers. This issue is where that changes and the pacing starts to pick up. Kamala’s first real battle doesn’t end the way she hopes, so she spends much of the issue practicing with her powers while asking her friend, Bruno, for his scientific expertise. Despite this issue’s faster pace, there’s still room for plenty of good character moments. The conversation between Kamala and her father is a particular highlight, showing how much Abu cares about her.
Adrian Alphona’s art is excellent. Ms. Marvel’s powers are always visually interesting, with the wide variety of ways she uses her polymorphing abilities. Character expressions are always good at conveying emotions, along with Kamala’s strain while fighting off the Inventor’s robots and laser guns in the opening fight. The real highlight may just be the environmental detail though, with all the robots and debris in the Inventor’s house and all the debris flying around. There are also a number of sight gags and references in the writing. There’s a cereal box with the line “Hey kids try a maze” and the cobra hot sauce. Bruno’s shirt is a Back to the Future reference, highlighting how he’s a bit of a nerd like Kamala, and his stop watch reads “Acme.” My favourite though might just be the “Poison Dart Frog Burger.” There’s just so much to notice if you pay attention to the environment.
This series deserves to be read by fans of the superhero genre in general. In many ways it feels like Spider-Man’s early years, but it’s still its own unique title. The lead character is both likeable and relatable, a lot of the writing feels genuine and it’s an entertaining read. And oh boy is the art delightful. This is my favourite comic of the week.