The new Ms. Marvel title forgoes cliche to create a relatable coming-of-age story that's easy to read but firmly set in the Marvel Universe. Simply put, read this book.
Kamala Kahn and her friend Nakia visit their friend Bruno at a corner store, smelling how good bacon is, then hurry to school when pretty blonde Caucasian Zoe comes in. The two girls quickly escape from Zoe's brand of pandering concern for small business and culture.
At night, Kamala brushes up her Avengers/My Little Pony fanfic, she has dinner with her parents and older brother (at least I believe that's what 'beta' means in Urdu). Her father says she can't go to a party; being a teenager, she sneaks out and goes anyway.
At the party, Kamala quickly grows frustrated with immature underage drunken antics, and walks off as a heavy fog rolls in. Everyone reacts differently, but our heroine starts to hallucinate; Captains Marvel, America, and Iron Man appear to her, warning to be careful what you wish for. Kamala comes to inside a cocoon, busting out...and looking like the classic Ms. Marvel. To be continued!
I am sold on this book. I may have been a few pages into it. It's full of charm, from the smart characters and dialogue to amazing artwork and coloring. Kamala is every admirable female teenage protagonist and completely unique in her own right. Everyone in their teens feels like they're trapped between worlds and unsure of who they are at some point. Being a Muslim in a predominantly white Jersey neighborhood actually puts her between two cultures, which means her identity crisis isn't inflated cliche drama; this is actually happening out there. It's Marvel stories being of the world today, just like the classics.
Of course, because it's Marvel a cloud of Inhuman Terrigen gas comes floating in and gives her powers. So the identity crisis gets ramped up, especially when she literally becomes Ms. Marvel. Honestly, the continuity bug in my brain started assuming this story took place in the middle of "Infinity," which means the world is at war with Thanos, but I told it to be quiet. This book is going to get a huge amount of buzz, not just for its quality but for its lead, so they made it new reader friendly. All you need to know going in is that Avengers exist. Got it? Read.
G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona have created a great new series. It's part of Marvel, accessible, and fantastic. Subscribe to it.