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Anarchy in the US
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Ms. Marvel, a female-version character who was created in 1968 for Captain Marvel as Carol Danvers (not the original and confusing history of DC's Captain Marvel now called Shazam!). Carol held the title for numerous years in comics and as sexual icon with her black spandex, long stocking boots, and red stash. Carol has been a prominent component for Marvel women the past decade and has risen to now status in 2012 as Captain Marvel under writer Kelly Sue DeConnick with a whole new suit and outlook on life. So with the title of Ms.Marvel being vacant, who else will take up the title? How about fan-fiction writing 16-year old Pakistani American teenage girl from New Jersey who is Muslim and who adores her idol, Carol Danvers? Well that is one way to get peoples attention.
MS.MARVEL VOL.1 NO NORMAL collects issues #1-5 and All New Marvel NOW! Point One. Our protagonist, Kamala Khan is your typical 16-year old geeky girl who lives in a working class Muslim family. She wants to hang out with the cool kids, go to parties to fit in, but her family's lifestyle holds her back. But one night, while sneaking out to a party against her families wishes, Kamala gains shape shifting abilities in a dark mist. Now scared and amazed by having super powers, Kamala takes up her icon's old alas and costume, Ms. Marvel, to help out the community, yet Kamala is trying to work out her new powers and the pressures of school and family life.
The re-launched Ms. Marvel caught a lot of media attention because it is the first time a Muslim character stars in a comic book. I personally do not care about such subject material, especially thanks in part to the wide acclaim the series was getting. And it shows. This is thanks greatly to writer G. Willow Wilson, who I have heard before but never read any of her material. She is an American who went to college and changed to a Muslim during that time, so she has a working understanding of the religion and is a woman writing for a female lead. I must say I am impressed. What makes this series special is the simple, tired-and-true regular person gets super powers formula and makes for an engaging piece that is more human and down to Earth from many other comics. The formula is very similar to Spider-Man for this opening volume with Kamala getting over her life's problems and dealing with superpowers. This isn't a book where numerous characters throughout the Marvel universe pop in and out, or ties in to other titles, or be earth-shattering consequences; this is a grounded coming-of-age superhero story that our main heroine just happens to be Muslim.
This is thanks to Wilson who portrays the character of Kamala as highly likable from the start. The Muslim background is downplayed the moment we see her family and find out, even if their religion can a bit different from most people, they are just like every family out there and we connect with Kamala. She's a bit of an outcast (with and without her Muslim background), she has anxieties about fitting in with the crowd, she likes all kinds of stuff, and she has a good heart. Wilson gives Kamala a massive amount of charm, humanity, and even some funny pieces, which is backed up by an every strong supportive cast of character as well. Kamala's best friend and her older brother are just examples. These characters are offbeat yet very real to the point where I like just about every character on panel (even the popular snobbish student, Zoe, has a selective charm as well). And this is also shown throughout this volume where the antagonist is only a secondary story that will resolve in volume 2, where Wilson spends these 5 issues getting us used to Kamala' ordeals that I think most 16-year olds would go through.
What greatly brings Wilson's story to have such visual wit and charm is Adrian Alphona's art work. The man is responsible for drawing Runaways: The Complete Collection Volume 1, so Alphona knows exactly how to draw and express teenage characters, not like super models where many comics do. It's good art and maintains a fine line for somewhat cartoony look and manga style for all ages. And Ms. Marvel's new costume is practical in the same vein as Carol Danvers current costume.
I didn't find any flaws in this opening volume from Wilson and Alphona, which those flaws are minor and do not affect the story. It's not an action-packed story like many others. It's rated Teen+, but aside from a few PG curse word this could pass for an all age's story. One fault is the lack of explanation of the Terrigen Mist which gives Kamala her power in the comic is not explained or referenced. The events of Infinity lead to the aftermath of the terrigen from the Inhumanity storyline, which explains the mist in this series. Although it is annoying for new readers who might not know that, even lack of knowledge really didn't effect the charm of the series.
So MS.MARVEL VOL.1: NO NORMAL is one of the most human and charming books on the comic stands. It's a very grounded story with a lot of heart and humor that may not be anything new in comics, but it does it right. This is one series I highly recommend and will continue to read from.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
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It's not as if Marvel hadn't dabbled with minority cape & cowls before, but, once this iteration of Ms. Marvel surfaced, I right away lumped her in on that demographics roster of what's seminal and what's impactful and what's boundary-crossing. I love the absolute f out of this Ms. Marvel. She comes off as a breath of fresh air, much like Jaime Reyes did when he debuted as Blue Beetle in DC.
MS. MARVEL: NO NORMAL collects issues #1-5, as well as material from ALL-NEW MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE #1 and features words by G. Willow Wilson and doodles by Adrian Alphona (whose artwork I loved in RUNAWAYS). Kamala Khan is a 16-year-old Pakistani girl living in Jersey City. In a world where superheroes are commonplace, she's an ordinary teen who nerds out over the Avengers. She posts her own series of online fan fic. And, man, I love how she's written, how she comes off as a real person and how she consistently reacts as a genuine teenager would even when she's at last exposed to the improbable.
Adrian Alphona is the boss. He's ridiculously talented. His artwork is expressive and sustains this wonderfully light, feathery aesthetic. His facial expressions and figure work are really impressive. I love how he perfectly captures the teenager's exaggerated emotions, one more reason why Kamala comes off as so believable.
I wonder if Kamala's superhero origin comes about as part of Marvel's pushing its cinematic universe. On an evening sneak to a party on the waterfront, Kamala succumbs to Terragen mist masquerading as ground fog what's crept out over Manhattan, Newark and Jersey City. Suddenly endowed with alarming shape-shifting abilities and pressed by exuberant aspirations of do-gooding, she puts on a makeshift costume and begins fighting crime and, before you can blink, has somehow appropriated the identity of Ms. Marvel. And is it of social import that when Kamala goes into hero mode, she reflexively assumes the likeness of a blonde Caucasian girl?
G. Willow Wilson has stuff to say about assimilation vs. staying true to one's self, about social aspirations vs. keeping faith with culture and tradition, and maybe even about our society's kneejerk perception of the "hero" as this great white savior. Kamala is a typical teenager trying to find her way. She longs for acceptance from friends and schoolmates. She chafes under the rules of her stern upbringing. This volume shows Kamala's learning that invaluable lesson about not trying to be anyone but herself.
G. Willow Wilson opts for the decompression approach to storytelling, reminiscent of Brian Michael Bendis's slow burn first arc on ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. Gratifyingly, the character work is a strength of this comic book. Kamala is a fully-fleshed out person, but her supporting cast also get some writer's love, from her strict but loving family to her pal Bruno's complicated family drama to another pal, Nakia, of Turkish descent. With understanding and knowledge and empathy, Wilson writes a story of a girl's unthinking bravery and struggle for acceptance. She gives Kamala a universal, contemporary teenage voice. If, like me, you'd been lamenting the loss of BLUE BEETLE (the Jaime Reyes edition) or RUNAWAYS or even POWER PACK, MS. MARVEL is your huckleberry. It fills in those empty spaces; it resuscitates that sense of fun and adventure and grand discovery. With her endearingly nerdy disposition and sense of not fitting in, Kamala Khan is effortlessly relatable. Rooted in cultural tradition, yet making a bid for her own identity, and always instinctively trying to do right, Ms. Marvel with her huge heart is a phenomenal role model for girls and minorities and everyone else.
By the way, Ms. Marvel's namesake - now going by Captain Marvel - she's also kicking ass in her own stellar comic book (Captain Marvel Volume 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More). So pick up on that, too.