After a marvel-ous debut, Ms. Marvel #2 gets right back into the thick of things as Kamala Khan comes to terms with the new power she’s developed.
Waking up after she meets Captain Marvel in a dream, Khan — blonde and dressed in Ms. Marvel’s old uniform — takes her first babysteps as Marvel’s newest superhero with unintended results.
After spotting Josh and Zoe on a pier — the pair are drunk and wobbly — Kamala jumps into action to save her rival when Zoe falls into the cold waters.
A small crowd appears to tape the the aftermath of the rescue on their cellphones. Nobody recognizes Khan who sneaks back into her house unsuccessfully. Despite being grounded, the new Ms. Marvel feels inspired enough to accept the challenge of her predecessor.
Ms. Marvel #2 scores huge points for not ditching everything that propelled it forward from the first issue. In fact, it expands upon them.
While religion has been a hot topic regarding the title, what really gets me excited about writer G. Willow Wilson’s portrayal of Kamala Khan is the ground-floor perspective that doesn’t take for granted the hair in the face, the pinching boots, and the wedgie-inducing leotard. Wilson is all about details, details, details, and we get more of those here.
And Wilson’s ability to go from telescopic to microscopic puts us right near Kamala who sees her powers as a means to an end and not an end in and of themselves. After she rescues Zoe, she examines the superficial changes on her body — the new costume and hair come with their own problems. The power of Ms. Marvel alone doesn’t save people — it’s the willingness to step forward and be the change you want to see that makes Kamala a real hero worthy of the Ms. Marvel mantle.
What makes it awesome is that we’re there to see it happen. The approach is organic, the development is natural, and the process is fluid. When Kamala comes home, it would be tempting enough to disregard her parents — she’s a superhero now. Instead, she sees the situation as a daughter of two strict parents who mean well. We root for Kamala because she’s the kind of girl the world needs more of.
All of the credit shouldn’t go to Wilson — Adrian Alphona delivers the awkward moments with visual aplomb. Alphona gets it. The panels are pitch perfect, the compositions are astounding, and Kamala and friends come to life right there on the page.
Ian Herring on colors adds another layer with spot-on hues that don’t take away from the artwork. Colors are soft with just the right amount of contrast to make the art pop off the page without being distracting.
When it was announced on release date that issue would go to a second print, it’s easy to see why. Ms. Marvel is the people’s hero — a normal girl with an amazing power with all the right intentions. She doesn’t have it figured out yet, but she’s ready to step up to the plate, and we’re with her on this journey.
The creative team has created a series that makes you want to cheer with every homerun and cry tears with every miss. It’s a hard thing to do, but they’ve captured lightning in a bottle. I haven’t felt this excited in a while about a comic that captures what it feels like to want to become a superhero. Comics in general have taken a gritty turn, choosing to become darker. Ms. Marvel is hopeful, inspiring, and fun.
Welcome to the Marvel Universe.
Ms. Marvel #2 (2014)
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Words: G. Willow Wilson
Art: Adrian Alphona
Colors: Ian Herring
Letters: Joe Caramagna