The last issue ended with Ms. Marvel facing off against the Inventor, an apparent evil clone of Thomas Edison in bird form who has been kidnapping teenagers to use them as power sources. Some of the kids volunteered, some did not. The story actually digs into the idea that a lot of young people feel useless in a changing world where they find it difficult to find jobs, giving this arc more meaning than we first anticipated.
Ms. Marvel 11 concludes Kamala’s struggle against the Inventor, and it’s so much fun. The fight itself forces Kamala to use her powers in creative ways to defeat a giant robot specifically designed to counter her abilities. Meanwhile, the dialogue remains delightful, from her references to internet memes to the issue’s best insult, “I think you’re a bird.” In this issue, Kamala learns several lessons about being a hero that will likely impact this series in the future. For one, she realizes that her hero life and her normal life must remain separate, yet she’s done enough that it’s too late to stop being Ms. Marvel. She also gives the other teenagers an inspirational speech, partly inspired by her own father. It’s nice that even when they don’t show up, her family still has an impact on the story.
The art by Adrian Alphona is fantastic as usual. The Inventor’s lab of kidnapped teenagers in battery tubes contains a good variety of body shapes and outfits. Facial expressions are well-drawn and exaggerated, from Kamala’s grin when calling the Inventor a bird to her look of panic when the fight isn’t going her way. Somehow the bird is just as expressive. The action flows smooth and makes great casual use of Kamala’s powers. But perhaps the best part is the art related jokes and Easter Eggs, and this one has more than any previous issue. To name a few, look for the random skeleton with an umbrella on the first page, the magazine titled “Bigfoot Ghost Hunter” and a rat sucking on a lollipop. I haven’t’ even mentioned half of the ones I noticed.
In the last two weeks I’ve had trouble deciding on my favourite comic. Today’s is no contest – Ms. Marvel 11 wins. G. Willow Wilson’s writing remains entertaining yet meaningful at the same time. It feels quite similar to Spider-Man’s early days, yet Kamala stands on her own as a fun character with a lot of room to grow. If you read Marvel comics and haven’t checked Ms. Marvel out yet, just do yourself a favour and read a couple issues.