In terms of comics, nothing makes my heart leap like a superheroine done right. And nowhere is that illustrated quite as well as in the pages of Ms. Marvel. Kamala Khan's had a few chapters now to get the hang of her powers, and #8 does a grand job of showing her at her finest. Find out why below. (Spoilers follow.)
Last issue, Wolverine sent Captain America to Attilan, home of the Inhumans. His mission, tell Medusa about Ms. Marvel, aka Kamala Khan. Medusa was quickly convinced not to have Kamala brought to her. Rather, she'd send help and a companion… in the form of Lockjaw. Which brings us to our first reason the new Ms. Marvel is a superb heroine.
She Reacts Well To Surprises
It's important for young supers to think on their feet. So when a dog the size of a shetland pony shows up out of nowhere and civilians flee in terror, what does Kamala do? Give him a big ol' hug, of course.
She has a dickens of a time explaining the big galoot to her family. Thank goodness the Khan family isn't up on their superheroes, or they'd recognize Lockjaw as an Inhuman (Incanine?) and put two and two together… especially after Ms. Marvel starts patrolling with him.
She Stays On Task
Kamala's dutifully following up on the disappearing kids from her neighborhood, put to nefarious means by the cockatiel-headed Inventor. He's been using teens as living batteries. Anyway. Kamala discovers the missing girl's last known coordinates, grabs her uniform from Bruno, and steps off for high adventure. (Bruno invented the resilient, stretchy fabric that accommodates her powers. Why she doesn't hang on to them herself probably has something to do with living with her parents. I dunno. Maybe she doesn't do her own laundry.)
Who's a good boy who can teleport? Who's a good boy? Lockjaw, that's who!
Kamala follows his nose to an abandoned power plant— choice real estate for your supervillain on the go!
She doesn't get far on the premises before a giant robot (wielding an equally large meat cleaver) tries to make short work of her. Am I crazy or was that thing built out of a broken-down PATH train? Oy, New Jersey.
Kamala doesn't hesitate to lay the smackdown on PATH-tron 9000 (patent pending). Lockjaw lends a paw, and between the two of 'em, they're able to knock the 'bot into submission. (She may or my not have to resort to a headbutt to make this happen. Hint: she does.)
My hat is off to G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, and Ian Herring. Between Wilson's writing, Adrian's expressive pictures and Ian's bright colors, they've whipped together an exciting, vibrant comic that's fun to read. Comics should be good. Ms. Marvel certainly qualifies.
A dust-up in an abandoned power plant is grand comic fodder. Top marks.
So our heroine discovers that the big lug is ALSO running on a human battery, and gets the poor guy to a hospital lickety split. But… not before a little droid the size of a wristwatch sneaks on to Kamala's boot, to follow her. Which brings us to item #4:
She's Not Perfect
Balancing the life of a superhero with high school is hard work. Her exploits this issue took place on a school day, so naturally Ms. Khan is late for school. She shows up in the knick of time— wearing Captain America style duds. I love this girl.
Unfortunately… the little beacon buddy now blinking in her bag brings by a big bad brother. Boom. The PATH-tron 10,000 (patent pending) smashes open the school, looking for its target. (Also, there's a strange cameo by a goldfish. Anyone care to explain that?)
Kamala's caught totally off guard, and is half-buried in rubble. Lockjaw arrives to help dig her out, and she uses her Inhuman powers to heal, before trying to transform. Emphasis on trying.
Result: Kamala's face to face with a two-story terror, looking to smash her but good. Her powers have mysteriously disappeared, or just run outta juice… at the worst possible time. She's kinda screwed! Way to end things on a cliffhanger!
If you're not reading Ms. Marvel… well, ya should be. It's grand. It's light fare that goes down smooth, and the stakes seem on a slow-but-steady rise. I can't wait to see how Kamala gets outta this one. Go pick it up and fill in the gaps! It's totally worth your while.