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‘Ms. Marvel’ #13: building up the courage

‘Ms. Marvel’ #13: building up the courage


Ms. Marvel #13
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Takeshi Miyazawa
Colors by Ian Herring & Irma Knivila
Published by Marvel Comics

Since its release last year, Ms. Marvel has stood as one of the most subversive and earnest teenage superhero books coming out of either of the Big Two. It’s drawn in fans both old and new who never dreamed to see a teenage Pakistani-American girl don superhero tights and stand up against injustice in her own home city. The book has been charged with the fury of Millennials sick of being told they’re the social rot that marks the downfall of society. Even when conveying to traditional cynical comic book marketing, like a Wolverine team-up, the title kept its identity and worked something that was editorially mandated into a natural extension of Kamala Khan’s development. As Ms. Marvel has done its best to ignore typical female superhero tropes, this month risks all of that when Kamala realizes she’s developed a crush on a handsome new boy who’s come to town.

The reason for this uncertainty is simple. Teenage female superheroes with love interests are about as common place in this industry as drawn out event comics and excessive Batman titles. It can easily become a grudging moment when this landmark series begun to conform. That being said, perhaps it’s time. This series has lasted an entire year dodging these exact tropes and while Kamala Khan falling for a pair of dreamy eyes does fall right into that category, it’s something perfectly normal for young people and shouldn’t be avoided or ridiculed just because it’s been done a dozen times.

Moving on to the broader scope of this comics, if there were any fears of Ms. Marvel loosing focus in the Valentine’s Day issue, now’s the time to put them to bed. G. Willow Wilson doesn’t skip a beat falling right back into the pace she’s been building for the past year as Kamala slowly integrates herself into the greater Marvel Universe. The greater threat that Inhumans face from the outside world comes front and center this issue from a group of old and new characters. The Khan family, who’ve gone missing for several issues, make their triumphant return. Readers are reminded of the wonderful chemistry they share. This issue marks a big evolution for Kamala as she shows a much more feminine side that’s gone unseen for the entirety of the series. It’s a fascinating moment that shows such great potential she has as a character. Wilson fails to disappoint this month. Even some minor plotting details are easy to forgive thanks to the rich interaction she writes between her cast.

The artwork this issue is handled by one Takeshi Miyazawa. While Adrian Alphona’s style has been what’s defined the look of this series, truth be told, Miyazawa’s pencils and inks feel much more suited for this new stage in Kamala’s life. While the last year of Alphona’s art perfectly captured the awkwardness, clutter,and chaos that was Kamala’s phase of blooming into a hero in her own right, Miyazawa shows a much more refined Kamala as she hones her superheroic game. Ms. Marvel makes one step closer to adulthood. This entire change is streamlined by the excellent colors of Ian Herring that have been making every issue a wonder to behold.


As with any good teen book, Ms. Marvel shows Kamala mature as a person. This new storyline may come off as clichéd but Wilson’s energy makes it anything but trite as G. Willow Wilson has been keeping this book on a course for greatness. Takeshi Miyazawa comes on board as the artist for this arc (and possibly more) and he’s a fantastic find. He shows Kamala in a whole new light and its one for the better. This is a fantastic issue full of great character moments and stand out panels. It’s not often that a book can trigger a physical reaction from sheer cuteness alone, but this one certainly can.