The first thing you’ll notice about Ms. Marvel #6 is a shakeup on artist duties.
Jacob Wyatt fills in for Adrian Alphona, but don’t you worry — the art is stellar and great at capturing the quirks and personality of Kamala Khan’s character.
That said, G. Willow Wilson gets right into the thick of things with a great issue that builds on the new mythos of the current Ms. Marvel.
Settling into her role as the titular hero, Khan serves as Jersey City’s protector even as she’s hunted by the mysterious Inventor. Most of her superheroing happens at night, putting her at odds with her parents’ curfew, and it’s time for a meeting with Shiekh Abdullah at the mosque.
Worried about a confrontation, Khan’s surprised when the Shiekh actually encourages her to continue her secret quest as long as she follows certain criteria — performing her tasks with “Courage, strength, honesty, compassion and self-respect.”
He also suggests she needs a teacher, and when she inquires further, he tells her it’s a matter of the student being ready for one.
That occasion happens when Kamala hears something growling from a hold in the street. Rushing off to get her costume from Bruno’s shop, Ms. Marvel dives into the sewers and finds alligators with devices attached to their heads. The Inventor makes an appearance and declares he doesn’t want her dead as much as he wants to see her fight.
And then, a new challenger appears — the one and only, Wolverine.
It’s great seeing Kamala meet one of her heroes, and their team-up — which makes so little sense that it makes perfect sense — brings out something in their respective personalities.
For one, it’s apparent how much Logan has changed in recent years. Once the bad-boy of the Marvel Universe, he’s been somewhat domesticated in recent years after going heads-up with Cyclops and becoming the headmaster of the Jean Grey School. Despite things becoming more dire for him since he lost his healing powers — and he hasn’t let that stop him from living so closely to the edge — he hasn’t been the same Logan since he regained his memories.
In contrast to the peppy Ms. Marvel, Wolverine seems more like a relic legend. Kamala’s attitude and newness to the situation/circumstances heightens the contrasts of worn and new, but by the end of the issue, we get some great banter that reminds us why we fell in love with Wolverine in the first place.
As for Kamala, she proves this issue that the student is ready and willing to learn, and she holds her own — at least against technologically enhanced alligators. Her embiggen and shrinking powers give the team-up some strengths, but it’s her healing powers that may decide whether the duo will survive the cliffhanger threat.
Ms. Marvel #6 brings the fun back with great scripts and articulate artwork. Wilson has a way of surprising readers with twists and turns that come out of left field. The strange pathways lead us in new directions that play out to great effect. It keeps things fresh and unpredictably delightful.
Going back to Wyatt’s art, the tone of the issue doesn’t drop off the way it does when other titles change artists. There’s a playfulness and level of creativity — and a style that more resembles Mike Allred — that creates a visual version of the story that jumps, rolls, and dives with incredible acrobatics.
Credit also goes to Ian Herring’s colors which creates consistency despite Wyatt’s flatter line-art. Do yourself a favor and look at the previous issue, studying Kamala’s face. Then, take a look at some of Khan’s closeups this issue to see how Herring creates dimension through his color shading. The soft tones and blending do so much in stretching the panels to their full potential, giving them life through perspectives that bends and builds layers.
Issue #6 is an amazing issue that can stand alone just for its ability to make you smile. This is a comic book in the truest sense of the word, and Wilson’s mastery of the scripts — Khan’s geek-speak and pop-culture references — makes this a compelling title that reads very well. The visuals also add something to an incredible title that’s a winner for Marvel.
Next issue, master and mentor take on something big. I’m looking forward to more jousting, verbal and physical.
How could I expect anything less when Ms. Marvel lives up to its name.
Ms. Marvel #6 (2014)
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Words: G. Willow Wilson
Art: Jacob Wyatt
Colors: Ian Herring
Letters: Joe Caramagna