First impressions aren’t always right.
Before reading the first volume of Ms. Marvel, I had heard amazing things. I knew that once I got the books, I would want my fix for the next one as soon as I finished the first. That’s why I initially ordered the first three volumes (I’m still deciding whether to order more). I was extremely disappointed once reading the first volume, and under normal circumstances, I would not have bothered to read the second, but I thought, let me at least read the three that I’ve already bought. They’re short, and I still had a small shred of hope that the comics would get better. I’m so happy I made the decision to continue, because Volume 2 really exceeded all my expectations, and I truly enjoyed it.
The first thing I liked about it was that Ms. Marvel’s Muslim identity was no longer the spotlight of the piece. While she has not compromised her values and there are still references to her religion in the piece, with the opening scene being her meeting with her imam, it’s an aspect of her identity that helps make her who she is, but is not ALL that she is. This is all that I wanted from the beginning. I didn’t want a Muslim superhero, I wanted a superhero that identified as Muslim.
Because the focus was no longer reminding the audience that Kamala was unique and worth reading because she is Muslim, this opened the path to really start to get to know Kamala, and her best friend Bruno, and they actually ended up being super likable and relatable. It was adorable to see Kamala fangirl over Wolverine, but also show her comical and blunt side, or to see the way Bruno wants to help Kamala, but also often feels a little left in the dust behind his super best friend.
My favorite part of this book (other than Lockjaw who is the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen, makes this cat lady almost want a dog) is that a lot of unanswered questions are addressed in this volume. I know I was a little skeptical about why Kamala was the only person seemingly affected by the mist, and where her powers really originated from, and I was happy that this was addressed in a clear manner in this volume.
Also, because less time is spent with Kamala figuring out her abilities, an actual plot developed, and I think it was a pretty solid one. In this volume, what Kamala was working toward was really obvious, the threat was blatant, and there were concrete things for the reader to build on from issue to issue. I appreciated this. I also appreciated that the threat was particularly relevant for Kamala, as it dealt with her peers, and she was able, in a way that someone older would not have been, to relate and rally the forces together to really give them perspective and hope. Despite it being evil mutant clones, and alien dogs, and draining teens for energy, it felt weirdly realistic, because of the conversations they were having.
So yeah, I have very high hopes for the next volume and hope that it keeps up the same pace set in place by this one. It makes me wish that the first volume could just be skipped, because that sour taste left by the first book is quickly replaced by high expectations in this one.
What I want from the third volume:
-More Nakia. I missed her presence in this novel, and I feel like she really balances things out, with her representing Kamala’s Muslim side, and Bruno representing her average New Jersey teen side.
-A simple and focused story line, moving toward a definite goal and conclusion.
-Kamala being her goofy self, and writing that makes the story seem realistic and relatable, even when impossible things are going on.
-As many cute scenes the Lockjaw as possible.