Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2 by G. Willow Wilson

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In many ways, this is a typical superhero comic with people not guessing the secret identity of the hero even though it should be obvious, the main villain starting out as a friend, gratuitous cameos from other superheroes, and so forth. Also, as a middle-aged man, I don’t exactly fit into the target demographic since it’s about a high-school girl with high-school problems like falling in love for the first time and going through the awkward transition into adulthood. (In fact, her shape-changing superpower makes a great metaphor for the bodily changes teenagers go through.)

Despite that, I really ended up liking it. For one thing, it’s really funny. There are all sorts of humorous things going on in the background such as the names of businesses and the brand of cereal Kamala eats. Characters do funny things in the background as well, such as when we see police dumping evidence into the river or a guy in a crowd scene holding a pig for some reason. It was also pretty funny when Kamala talked to a hot dog vendor as if he was her therapist and he reacted by acting like her bartender.

Another great thing about the comic is it’s full of good messages, but the messages never sideline the plot. Kamala stands up to discrimination and gas-lighting, while making her community a better place. I liked that her brother genuinely didn’t want to have superpowers because he was happy with himself the way he was. Family is also important and is a bigger part of her life than you see in most superhero comics. It’s also nice to see Muslim characters who aren’t villains, but just regular people.

After reading Wilson’s novel Alif the Unseen, I spotted a potential overlap with Alif and Kamala both being fans of the same video game, World of Battlecraft. Reportedly, Ms. Marvel is going to get her own television series on Disney+. Like the comic, the TV series will probably be aimed at a younger audience than me, but I’m still looking forward to it anyway.

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