Monday, July 4, 2016

Ms. Marvel #8 Review and *SPOILERS* Marvel Mondays

Even in the Midst of Civil War…

Written By: G. Willow Wilson
Art By: Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona, Ian Herring, Irma Kniivila
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 22, 2016
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by: Dan Mayhoff

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Ms. Marvel was never a character that interested me when the title was held by Carol Danvers (the current Captain Marvel). However, a little over two years ago, the title was passed to the Pakistani-American Kamala Khan. This new character was a much more appealing and interesting to me. Still, it took a little convincing but as soon as I got to know this new character I immediately was hooked on the book. It may sound sacrilegious to some Marvel fans but to me, Ms. Marvel felt like the second coming of Spider-Man. Just like Peter Parker swung around the streets of New York City and became such a symbol of what that city stands for, Kamala runs around the streets of Jersey City doing the exact same thing. At the same time though, this new Ms. Marvel has to deal with problems that Spider-Man never did. This gave the book a familiar feeling while still giving audiences a new story that hadn’t been seen before. That being said, let’s dive into the latest issue of the series in Ms. Marvel #8.

The book begins with a flashback to Bombay in 1947. During this time, the British Empire had surrendered control over India and a new state of Pakistan had formed. Along the borders violence had broken out between Hindus and Muslims causing many to flee their previous homes in search of refuge. This is where the flashback take place as we follow a few members of a family fleeing the home. We get the typical dialogue of the husband promising to protect his wife and his father rattles off some poetry while looking at the night sky. However, we see the wife’s wedding bangles which resemble the bangles that Ms. Marvel wears. This could be a hint that these are our hero’s ancestors. At the very least, this flashback gives us a story of civil war between those who were previously neighbors. Get where they’re going with this one yet?

Flash forward to our hero and we are traveling to space. Not surprisingly, Kamala acts like most 16 year olds if they were in space; FREAKING AMAZED! However, the gawking at space is short lived as Ms. Marvel is meeting with Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) to address some of the major events that are rocking the Marvel Universe. For those of you who don’t know, we are smack-dab in the middle of Marvel’s latest line-wide crossover event, Civil War II. While some books may only touch on the event a bit, Ms. Marvel can’t exactly ignore the situation. She’s an Avengers, an Inhuman, and Carol Danvers’ successor. Each of those things puts Kamala in the thick of it. Back to the matter at hand. Kamala and Carol discuss the newest Inhuman Ulysses who is one of the most accurate fortune teller the world has ever seen. Carol wants to use his abilities to take a proactive stance against crime and to test it out she has put together a new team and has made Ms. Marvel its leader.
Back on Earth, Ms. Marvel meets her new team and after a brief introduction to all of them, they launch into action. According to Ulysses, a villain named Hijinx will be stealing a tank and driving it through Jersey City. However, the tank has a self-destruct function that will trigger, causing enormous damage to the city. Just as Ms. Marvel begins to question the legitimacy of these predictions, a tank flies past her with graffiti all over. They give chase and come face to face with Hijinx. Thanks to the heads up given by Ulysses, the situation is handled very quickly. When she returns home though, Kamala speaks with Tyesha and is reminded that criminals aren’t always bad 
people, but sometimes victims of circumstance. 

It isn’t long before a new tip comes in from Ulysses and the team is sprang into action once again. Kamala’s inner dialogue tells us that this time is different though. Suddenly, she starts to recognize the specific neighborhood she’s in. The streets become familiar, and she realizes she has been there before. She reaches the home that the tip led to and breaks down the door. She rushes up the stairs to the culprit’s room and there sits Josh, Kamala’s classmate and a reoccurring character for the series. What’s Ms. Marvel going to do when the “criminal” is not only someone she knows but also a kid who most likely had no idea what he is doing? We’ll have to check to next issue to find out. 

There’s a lot to like about this issue but also quite a bit that wasn’t executed perfectly. I believe that the experiences that Kamala talks about are legitimately things she has dealt with being a Pakistani-American. In addition, the art is amazing and the reveal at the end is very well handled. However, the story at the beginning certainly felt heavy handed by the end of it and the dialogue that is usually handled perfectly, felt very forced. Ultimately, it feels like the writer was told that this event was happening and is doing the best that they can to keep up.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue suffers from having to set up a side story in an ultimately much larger event. However, what few problem exist are easily overshadowed by amazing art and wonderful storytelling. The issue is setting up a lot but the ending has me excited to read the next issue.

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