Comics are one of those things I’ve fallen out of love with. I used to be an avid collector and have a few long boxes full of comics to prove it but I wasn’t very good at keeping up with them. I know they come out monthly but somehow I tend to get behind.
And the other thing is I find it hard to be a causal comic reader. It feels like you have to keep up with not just one comic but ten to know what’s going on (though this might be a spillover from my X-Men days). I tried to get back into comics when DC relaunched The New 52 but failed and still have Mieville’s Dial H to finish.
So I really thought my comic days were done. But if you hear enough people talk about something you get curious to find out what all the fuss is about and that is how I came to buy a copy of Ms. Marvel: No Normal (collecting #1-5 plus additional material) in New York in November last year (I did say I had trouble keeping up). If it makes any difference I was only one or two comics in when I bought Generation Why (the next collected edition).
G. Willow Wilson introduces us to Kamala Khan – an ordinary girl from Jersey City – who is empowered by extraordinary gifts. For Kamala Khan being 15, a Muslim girl and a a superhero definitely makes her life complicated and Wilson acknowledges that and explores life for a muslim teenage girl at the same time as exploring her new role as a community hero. I think that’s a hard thing to pull off but Wilson makes it smooth and it works well.
Wilson keeps a sense of fun both with the powers and the character even as Kamala struggles against her parents expectations and the limitations they place on her.
Adrian Alphona’s art is fun and the characters expressions encapsulate the script. They make a great team.
If I don’t pick up another series anytime soon I’m still happy that there the buzz out there has made me read this one. Wilson has done something important without making it a ‘message’ book. It’s just a tale, and you can see and experience different lifestyles and ways of living without having to ‘learn’ about them as a life lesson.