Friday 19 August 2016

#CBR8 Book 83: "Ms Marvel, vol 2: Generation Why" by G. Willow Wilson, Jacob Wyatt and Adrian Alphona

Page count: 136 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Kamala Khan has gotten better at juggling her life as a teenage girl with her secret identity as Ms. Marvel. She shoulders her responsibilities as well she can, even when being inundated both in school and in the media that her generation of teens are really just parasites on society, draining it of precious resources and brainlessly just existing in a multi-media reality, without ever giving anything back or asking necessary and critical questions. She geeks out adorably when given a chance to team up with one of her heroes, fighting giant sewer alligators with Wolverine. Being a total fangirl doesn't mean she can't hold her own, though.

She discovers more about exactly how she got her powers from the mysterious cloud, is introduced to the Inhumans and (possibly temporarily) gets herself a gigantic, teleporting dog. The local supervillain, the bird-headed the Inventor, is still at large, trying to outmanoeuvre Ms Marvel and now there are more teenagers going missing. Kamala is determined to stop him, once and for all.

I thought Vol 1, No Normal was a very good introduction to the amazingly likable Kamala, her world, her friends and family and the new challenges she found herself with when given super powers. In Generation Why, she's clearly been superheroing for a while and getting better at balancing her dual identity. She takes her responsibilities very seriously, but finds surprising allies even in her imam (the conversation she was expecting and the one she ends up having are very different). Her team-up with Wolverine is a true delight from start to finish and I laughed out loud more than once. Her powers are clearly linked in some ways with the Inhumans (of whom I know little to nothing about, being fairly new to the Marvel comics universe - if it's not in a movie, I'm probably ignorant of it) and they are doing their best to keep tabs on her.

Sadly, there are only five issues in each of these trades, so I read through it quickly and will have to wait until my finances are better (or until after my upcoming birthday to see if I get some gift cards) to get more of Kamala's adventures.  Kamala is such an important role model for teens out there, regardless of gender, race or nationality. She's kind, competent, hard-working, loyal and brave. I am so glad that superhero comics are getting better at diversity and representation and continue to love the practical and completely non-gratuitous nature of Kamala's costume. I absolutely loved this book, and will continue to recommend it to anyone asking about comics.

Judging a book by its cover: The cover depicts a scene not actually in any of the comics (but which I would have loved to read), showing Kamala happily engrossed on her phone, while also using her amazing body-morphing powers to stop a bank robbery. The cover is bright, colourful and cheerful. It shows the reader Kamala in her excellent costume, being a teenage girl and a crime fighter all at once. What you see is exactly what you'll get. If the cover image appeals to you and makes you want to pick up the comic, you are not going to be disappointed with the contents of the book. It's also a cover that is unlikely to make any female reader depressed to wander through a comic book store, which is more that can be said for other superheroine comics I've seen in my day.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.  

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