Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal

Date Fri, June 23 2017

I like comics. I first read them more than half of my lifetime ago. Yet, somehow, I managed not to read any Marvel titles. I wanted to rectify that this year and had the chance when Comixology added a bunch of Marvel titles to their Unlimited subscription program (it’s no longer available from there, though). Check out my review here.

I started with Squirrel Girl, which was fun. I’m not going to write a review for it, but I think it’d be good for girls who want to read comics and anyone who wants a little girl power in their lives.

I followed up with the first volume of Ms. Marvel. I’d heard a lot about it — how it features a Muslim girl as the superhero and how she wears a pretty atypical costume for superheroes — and seen some of the art, so I definitely wanted to read it.

Ms. Marvel follows in the tracks of being a book that is family-friendly, and I’m loving that Marvel is offering those options. The plot takes us through Kamal Khan, a Muslim teenager in high school, suddenly gains superpowers and becomes Ms. Marvel. She then must learn how to use those powers to protect Jersey City from bad guys while still making it to homeroom and managing to please her strict parents. You know the drill. Everyday teenager stuff! d=

The main storyline has Ms. Marvel looking for teens who have gone missing. No one else seems to notice, and Kamala stumbles across a trail that doesn’t wrap up between these pages, which collect issues 1 – 5, ┬áso you’ll need to pick up the next book if you want to finish the story.

The first book will tell you whether you want to read more, and it’s a strong start to this character. It’s interesting for me as a non-Muslim to see how her family and background are treated, and the Comixology version included letters written in. There is a demographic of comic readers who never had a character that had similar origins before Ms. Marvel. That’s super cool!

Along with her faith and family, Kamala must deal with changing dynamics with her friends, homework and discovering who she is as a person — with or without superpowers. Ms. Marvel absolutely has the potential to be a coming-of-age story, so if those aren’t your thing, you might not fall in love with the story in these pages.

With that said, while there are certainly refreshing aspects to Ms. Marvel that make it worth the read, it’s not amazing. It wasn’t earth-shattering. I didn’t find myself clamoring for the next book, even though I did get around to reading it. This is light reading material, and I can imagine that some people might want something heavier, and a few reviewers found it slow or boring (the pace does pick up in the second volume). But the light read means even if it doesn’t hit the spot for you, you won’t have spent much time trying it on for size.

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