I don’t usually go big for Marvel (besides the movies) but I was really interested in this retelling of Ms. Marvel from the first I had read about it. I also am hopeful every time I see a different representation of any female character than usual in television, books or movies. I’m tired of splitting between damsel girlfriend or badass with no other defining qualities except attitude. I admit I don’t know the history of Ms. Marvel but this also came highly recommended by a few of my friends who do.
Khamala Khan is a normal teenage Pakistani girl living in New Jersey. She’s got your typical problems. Over-protective parents, annoying blonde girl frenemy and of course the cute smart boy whose just a friend that may want to be more than a friend. She also suffers from a general sense of not fitting in anywhere. This is not helped when she sneaks out one night and gets caught in a strange fog and suddenly becomes super-powered Ms. Marvel.
This was a simple straightforward origin story. The characters are likeable. The villain is barely there but it was enough to get me interested in reading more. Khamala is presented as smart, loyal and caring. I liked the way they handle her family as well the religion thing. It’s treated with respect- she’s proud of her heritage and it’s mentioned throughout. At the same time I appreciated a scene at a mosque when Khamala and her friend point out that the girl’s are separated by a screen so no she actually can’t see that the Iman is upset with her.
Comic downside? The art is really good. I’m always so jealous of people who can draw! There are a couple of random boxes where I thought Khamala looked too old but that’s really splitting hairs. I did feel however that there’s a line between the theme of accepting who you are and learning to believe in yourself and being smacked over the head with it by a giant superhero hand. There were times when I wanted to yell, “I get it! You don’t fit in! Do something!” Hey, I suppose that’s every origin story.
If I had a little sister I would so be forcing her to read this one.