PICK OF THE WEEK: Ms. Marvel #1

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And thus continues the season wherein Marvel raids my wallet: beginning with Black Widow in January, spring 2014 is seeing the release of a slew of new female-led titles. February 5th gives us the much-anticipated Kamala Khan, star of the new Ms. Marvel title, and this #1 doesn’t disappoint. With two Muslim women on board (writer G. Willow Wilson and editor Sana Amanat), Kamala’s book seems set to explore the intersections of Muslim-American life, anguishing teenagehood, and superhero dynamics.

Nakia's side-eye is without parallel.

Nakia’s side-eye is without parallel.

Kicking off in Jersey City, Ms. Marvel finds Kamala dealing with teenage woes like not being allowed to party (as well as teenage joys like your Avengers fic getting a lot of faves), not to mention Muslim teen woes like the allure of BLTs. She’s obsessed with superheroes, annoyed by familial drama, unsure of where she fits into her own life: she’s the kids in America. Unlike most kids, though, her daydreams of Captain America punching space monsters morph into reality when her three favorite of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes descend in a bona fide vision of light and dole out some weirdness. This first issue has a pleasant build-up and background, fleshing out Kamala’s life with friends Nakia and Bruno, frenemy Zoe (whose character nails a particular brand of fauxminism), and the Khan family; then it goes hog-wild as Kamala busts out of a cocoon (HMMM) wearing a very familiar costume.

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It’s nice to have heroes singing your song.

Wilson’s writing is top-notch for Ms. Marvel, with great, varied voices for Kamala, Nakia, Zoe, and the rest. Kamala’s dialogue and monologue in particular stand out, as they should, allowing her personality to really define the book. Adrian Alphona is also a wonderful fit for this title–for one thing, his teenagers actually look like teenagers, and his faces are delightfully expressive. His slightly zany style pairs well with Ian Herring’s wide-ranging color palette, creating some eye candy of a comic. From Bruno’s convenience store to Zoe’s waterfront party to the heights of Kamala’s imagination, Ms. Marvel #1 deals out relatable and intriguing in equal doses. This comic is off to a roaring start, and I’ll certainly be back for the continuing story of “Meta Morphosis”!

Have you picked up Ms. Marvel yet? What did you think? Check out the conversation on Kamala here and let us know.

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