The previous Ms. Marvel volume only ended just over a month ago, making it one of the lucky titles compared to most Marvel comics on hold during Secret Wars. Better yet, Kamala made several appearances in Battleworld and is a member of the All-New, All Different Avengers that began last week. It almost feels like she never left.
G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel 1 takes place months after the end of Secret Wars, just like almost every other All-New Marvel title. It begins with a quick action scene with the Avengers, followed by a series of small scenes that help us catch up with her current circumstances. She’s overwhelmed by everything that’s going on, so much so that she’s missing out on what’s happening with her best friend, Bruno. And while the opening pages are fun, Bruno’s scenes really make this comic work. Basically, after Kamala and Bruno decided not to pursue a relationship despite their mutual feelings for each other, Bruno’s found another girl that he’s grown quite fond of. The flashbacks dealing with how they met and grew close are beautiful, and occasionally funny.
The superhero action in this comic is fun too, with both the Avengers and Ms. Marvel’s solo work facing somewhat bizarre threats in Jersey City. Whether it’s a giant ninja rat, security drones from an urban development company or a 10-foot techno frog, there’s no end to awesomely weird things for Kamala to fight. I do have a minor complaint about this issue however. Kamala’s family life was a consistent theme in the previous volume, with some big changes promised in the last few issues, and yet they don’t appear in this issue at all. Kamala’s brother is mentioned but that’s it. It’s great to see more focus on her friends, especially Bruno, but without her family showing up, this issue feels like it’s missing something.
The art is handled by both Takeshi Miyazawa and Adrian Alphona, with Alphona handling the flashback scenes. Their art styles fit each other quiet well, and when it made the switch it took me a moment to notice. Miyazawa’s style is simpler, but there’s still a lot of detail in the backgrounds. Facial expressions do a good job at capturing Kamala’s fatigue over everything she’s up to, while still expressing her surprise when she learns about Bruno’s relationship. There’s the occasional gag in the backgrounds from both artists, like a random “cats are too cute” sign in the middle of a protest by Miyazawa. The best visual gag is with the giant frog in Alphona’s scenes though – just look at it. Ian Herring handles all of the colouring, and it’s good.
Even though it feels like she never went anywhere, Ms. Marvel is back. Although I missed seeing her family, this is a great issue and also a good starting point for new readers. Ms. Marvel truly does feel like Spider-Man’s early days in all the best ways. In other words, Marvel readers should give this series a chance if they haven’t already.