Hanna Lafferty ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Kamala Khan’s adventures continue in Ms. Marvel #2, which was released in digital and in print this Wednesday. The first volume was met with great reviews and sold out within the first week of its release. The second volume does not disappoint. With a cover by artist Jamie McKelvie (Long Hot Summer and Phonogram) of Kamala in full superhero regalia, it is a great lead-in for her to shoulder Ms. Marvel’s mantle. But, her powers are not quite what she imagined.
The Terrigen Bomb has dropped on Jersey City, and now Kamala must deal with the consequences of Captain Marvel’s gift. Emerging from her cocoon as a blonde and sporting thigh-high wedges, Kamala feels less confident in her new get-up and more than a little freaked out. While she grapples with her newfound ability to shape-shift, Kamala is faced with a choice: should she follow in her hero’s footsteps? Or, should she hide away her powers and let someone else deal with the bomb’s fallout?
Kamala’s desperate attempt to control her power brings her insecurities about herself and the way others perceive her to the forefront of the comic. An accidental run-in with the popular Zoe and her jock boyfriend, Josh, reveals just how intense her desire to be like Captain Marvel—strong, confident, beautiful, and definitely someone that Zoe would admire—really is. Her self-doubt is what makes this new Ms. Marvel so relatable, and gives her so much depth as a character. Wilson’s writing captures Kamala’s quirky and cute personality, and really moves Kamala’s development forward. She is no longer just a fangirl, but a young woman dedicated to her mission. Her father’s favorite verse from the Quran solidifies her resolve when she most needs it: “Whoever kills one person, it is as if he has killed all of mankind—and whoever saves one person, it is as if he has saved all of mankind.”
Wilson masterfully draws on Kamala’s background and faith as a way to ground her in the present. The dialogue between Kamala and her family is spot-on. Her parents’ concern for her and their anger at her cryptic excuses comes off as a little raw, and very personal. Her brother’s melodramatic over-protectiveness and his attempts to defend Kamala against their parents’ accusations are set up perfectly. Alphona’s illustrations capture the eerie-ness and danger of Jersey City under the Terrigen fog and Kamala’s paper-doll-esque transformation sequences are stunning.
Ms. Marvel continues to impress with its fantastic, relatable storyline, its flawed characters, and gorgeous artwork. Now that Kamala has officially started down the path to becoming a hero in her own right, it will greatly anticipated to see what challenges she faces next in Ms. Marvel #3 (which is set for release on April 16).
To give a little taste of what Kamala is all about, Ms. Marvel Infinite #1 is a mini-comic about her daily life. It is available as a free download here.