Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Ms. Marvel #31 Review



Writers: G. Willow Wilson, Saladin Ahmed, Rainbow Rowell, and Hasan Minhaj
Art team: Elmo Bondoc, Gustavo Duarte, and Nico Leon
Covers: Valerio Schiti and Stephanie Hans
Marvel Comics
Release Date: 6/27/18
Cover Price: $4.99
Reviewed by: Jon Wayne

As we hit the 50th issue of this series I find it refreshing that G. Willow Wilson has consistently given readers something most comics don’t these days: Character growth. We’ve seen Kamala go from discovering she’s an Inhuman with “embiggening” powers, to becoming an Avenger and a Champion and beyond. Yet through it all, she’s always been kept grounded by the high school antics found on a CW show. While that can grind on people sometimes it is generally heartwarming stuff that we can all relate to. Here Wilson teams up with Saladin Ahmed, Rainbow Rowell, and Hasan Minhaj making his comic writing debut, to deliver a stellar issue for everyone from longtime readers to any people just giving the book a try. Let’s get into it!


We open with Kamala welcoming her friends over for a slumber party she’s begging her parents for forever apparently. We get the classic girl pow-wow talk as Kamala admits she had her first kiss (a couple issues back!) and is completely confused by it. While this stuff is clearly dedicated to the younger girls who are big fans of the book, it certainly hits the right notes to trigger some memories of high school. Then we get into the meat of the issue as Kamala dashes outside when what seems like an earthquake hits… but it’s just Lockjaw! I won’t spoil what they do, but it’s fun enough.



Thus begins the gag of the issue where Kamala will dash out to help someone or deliver heartfelt speeches, all while realizing how tough it is to keep her secret identity from her best friends. We get more fun cameos and a nice set of pages showing fans Kamala for exactly who she is: a hero who always makes time for the people who need help. From friends to other Inhumans who smell “earthy,” Kamala is there for you. 

I don’t want to spoil much, but that’s ok because there isn’t a ton to spoil! There isn’t a deep plot in this issue, but that’s because it’s an anniversary celebration! And this is certainly an issue that does a good job of celebrating the very best of both Kamala Khan and Miss Marvel. 50 issues is nothing to scoff at folks, and at the end we get a reveal that has been in the making since the beginning. 



This book doesn’t sell great, but it does well in trades. Plus, Wilson does a lot of outreach to schools which is great for the industry - more creators should do the same - and getting to 50 issues is a testament to the power of that outreach. I can think of another prominent writer who is great at outreach for another big 2 company writing another book that didn’t sell great but did well in trades. With the cult success of Ms. Marvel, maybe that other company should’ve taken a cue and kept that book going a little longer? 

Anyways the art is really good (and that Stephanie Hans variant cover was amazing!) despite various artists contributing. Frankly, the art has been consistently solid throughout this whole series. That said I wouldn’t mind an art team shake up as we move into the next stage of Ms. Marvel’s superhero career!

And if any of y’all ever want to talk comics, just shoot me a tweet @the_jon_wayne!

Bits and Pieces:

This was a perfect celebratory issue for Ms. Marvel and despite having multiple writers and artists it never missed a beat. Lot of fun for longtime fans, a good entry point for new readers, and art was solid throughout. I highly recommend.

9/10
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