Ms. Marvel #13-15 (Comics Review)

Last time we were with Kamala Khan aka the new Ms. Marvel, Loki crash-landed a prom party and she rightly schooled him for his scheming and planning, in addition to some great heroics in general. That’s one of the most endearing things about the title and the character because G. Willow Wilson has made Ms. Marvel into a very fun and relaxed title that occasionally deals with real world issues but never gets too heavy with the allusions so that you go and think “geez, not this again”. More than a year on since release, and Ms. Marvel is still one of the best titles on the shelves, and for good reason!

Taken together, issues #13 through #15 of Ms. Marvel are about Kamala exploring more of her Inhuman legacy and also learning more about herself and fighting against everyday challenges borne out of the patriarchal bias of society. G. Willow Wilson has taken a somewhat similar line before, using Kamala’s adventures as social commentary in one way or another, but she really hits it out of the park with these three issues, and the art by new-to-series Takeshi Miyazawa impresses as much as that of Adrian Alphona before, making for a very seamless transition.

We start off the thirteenth issue with Kamala undergoing some physical training at New Attilan while Queen Medusa and Lockjaw observe her progress. It is a really great sequence that seems to reference the training usually undergone by the mutants under Professor Xavier with their whole Danger Room thing, and that’s not the only subtle (or not so subtle even) references to other comics in this issue. What I really liked about the story here was how it was essentially a fresh start for the character following her recent adventures against Loki and the Inventor and that this all then eventually tied up with Charles Soule’s Inhuman series, which is undergoing a lot of changes in its status quo of late.

Kamala’s training. Her family’s pressure to act more according to tradition. Her usual heroics. A new love interest. A new villain. There’s so much going on here that sets the stage for what happens in the next couple issues, and you really have to admire all the red herrings that Wilson puts in your way as the story progresses. One of the biggest changes to the status quo was when a new character learned about her and her powers, and then the two of them decided to take things a bit further, as borne out in issue #14.

But it wasn’t all red roses though, because this is a world of superheroes, and sometimes things really aren’t what they appear to be. If you look at these three issues as each being a third of a story, then #14 is the middle end and it really ups the pace of the story as things keep snowballing for Kamala, whether it is her family or her friends or her superheroics.

And in the midst of everything, she is still the awesome hero she has been since the start of the series when she first got her powers thanks to the Terrigen Mists. That’s what issue #15 really focuses on. And it also has a lesson for the reader and for Kamala alike: will you let society dictate who you are, what you are, what you think, how you think, or will you take charge of matters in your hands and do whatever you want the way you want? Something like this could easily have slipped past me a few months ago, but given how layered Wilson’s writing usually is, now I know to look for these things. And appreciate them to the fullest, for the context means most of all.

The art in these issues is by Takeshi Miyazawa, with colours by Ian Herring as usual though he is assisted by Irma Kniivila on #13, and the letters are by VC’s Joe Caramagna. Marguerite Sauvage does the cover for #13, Jake Wyatt for #14 and Kris Anka returns for #15. As mentioned above, the transition from the previous artist to the new one is entirely seamless. The way that Miyazawa’s pencilwork combines with Herring’s colours to deliver an entirely consistent piece of work is highly laudable, and I loved it. Most of all, I loved all the different situations that Kamala was put under, such as fighting off the female villain Kilowatt, or discovering a sane fellow NuHuman like her, or even her training session at New Attilan. Takeshi breathes life into the art, and the results are quite apparent for everyone to see. Plus Herring’s colours, top-notch stuff as usual.

Full thumbs-up!

Rating: 9.5/10

More Ms. Marvel: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12.


Posted on May 19, 2015, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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