Review – Ms. Marvel #1

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Before I start this review I just want to say one thing…Marvel you have my respect. There are so many things that could have gone wrong with this book. So many. Yet here I find myself reading through the pages of this new comic with a smile on my face, not because it’s particularly good (although it is), but because it works. And it really deserves to.

Back in November last year, Marvel announced the identity of the new Ms. Marvel. We all expected a new one after it was confirmed that Carol Danvers (the previous Ms. Marvel) was taking a permanent role as Captain Marvel, what no-one expected however, was for Marvel to announce the replacement was a teenage Muslim girl. I was very happy to see the immense amount of positive feedback that Marvel received for this decision, but I was still a tad worried about the actual book itself. It would have been very easy for the writers to focus on the religion of our new heroine, riding on the tails of the praise surrounding the controversial reveal, instead of putting in the work to create another great comic character. It fills me with joy to be able to say that is not the case. G. Willow Wilson, the writer behind this book has successfully written a character that any teen can relate to, and then just made religion a part of her life.

While this is only the first issue, we get a very good glimpse into what Kamala is like as a person: she’s nerdy, she’s rebellious in a curious way and she’s slightly naive. All of this means that a large majority of people can relate to her, I know I can despite not sharing her gender or religion. The fact that I found I could empathise with the character is what makes this book such a success in my eyes.

This is of course before we even talk about the gorgeous art from Runaways artist Adrian Alphona. The way he captures Kamalas expressions is fantastic, and it serves to make her instantly loveable. As far as the actual content of the issue goes, we don’t see much happen as far as super heroes are concerned, but what we do get is a good look Kamala’s life, which is awesome.

I’m really excited to see where this book is going, I hope that they continue to write Kamala as a character that happens to be Muslim, instead of a Muslim character. Marvel have done a great thing as far as equality goes and so far they’re doing the right thing by not smushing it in everyone’s face. This’ll be an interesting one!