There is no doubt that Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel has become for the next generation of heroes in the Marvel Universe. Since making her debut back in 2013 Ms. Marvel’s popularity has been rising in and out of the comics. She is even headlining the new Marvel Rising youth-oriented franchise along with her major appearances in the Avengers Assemble cartoon. Personally, I haven’t read much of G. Willow Wilson’s run on Ms. Marvel due to falling behind and the series being in my backlog of comics to read. Since my background with Ms. Marvel has been limited to a few trade paperbacks I’m excited to have the chance to read The Magnificent Ms. Marvel from the beginning. With that said, will this first issue be a good launching point to bring in new readers into Ms. Marvel’s character? Let’s find out with The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1.
Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Minkyu Jung
Inker: Juan Vlasco
Colorist: Ian Herring
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Sometime in the future at an unknown planet a little girl asks her dad to tell her about the Destined One. The father begins to talk about the Destined One’s backstory (who turns out to be Ms. Marvel).
In the present Ms. Marvel confronts Deathbringer, who has been causing destruction around a neighborhood in Jersey City. Ms. Marvel uses her powers to quickly dodge all of Deathbringer’s attacks. When Ms. Marvel gets behind Deathbringer she grows in size and smashes him with a dumpster.
Deathbringer gives up and allows himself to be arrested.
An owner of the deli market that got destroyed by Deathbringer complains that Ms. Marvel’s presence is responsible for his business being destroyed. Ms. Marvel says she was going to help him clean up before he even started yelling at her.
Sometime later Kamala Khan meets up with her friend Nakia, who has been waiting for a while at the coffee shop. Nakia jokes that she already took into account Kamala being late because of who she is. Nakia asks Kamala to tell her about how she even became Ms. Marvel since they haven’t had time together to go over that. Kamala says she’ll talk about it as they take a walk.
During the walk Kamala goes over how she got her powers from a Terrigen Cloud accident and her first hero moment was saving Zoe, a peer they didn’t get along with at the time. Kamala then remembers that Nakia hated Ms. Marvel at first. Nakia gets defensive and Kamala jokes about what Nakia said in the past about Ms. Marvel.
As they continue talking Kamala reveals to Nakia that her friend Bruno and mom are the only ones that know about her life as Ms. Marvel. Suddenly Kamala remembers that she is late getting home and rushes off.
Kamala makes it home to find her mom and dad waiting for her. Kamala’s dad reveals that her mom already told him all about her life as Ms. Marvel. He is mad that Kamala kept that a secret from him. Kamala says that she has become a hero who has help a lot of people. Her dad reminds Kamala that his job is to keep her safe and that she has almost died multiple times. Kamala states that she is not a baby anymore but her dad says that her costume life is over as of tonight. Kamala walks outside after stating that she is not the only one keeping secrets.
While she is outside thinking she gets a text from Bruno about a 911 emergency at Circle Q. Kamala says she is going to Circle Q. Her parents try to stop her by saying they need to talk more but she leaves anyways.
At the Circle Q a wolf alien attacks as Bruno hides. While Ms. Marvel fights the alien Bruno reveals he developed a extraterrestrial threat detector while he was studying in Wakanda.
Ms. Marvel is able to toss the alien against a wall. When she goes to check on it the alien suddenly melts. Bruno’s device detects another attack nearby.
A few minutes later Ms. Marvel discovers a flying alien attacking some citizens. Ms. Marvel works quickly to take down the new alien. When she does the alien also melts like the previous one. As Bruno looks over the substance he gets a new signal of something similar to the two aliens that just attacked. Ms. Marvel realizes that the location is her house and rushes to protect her parents.
Ms. Marvel’s concern grows as she is unable to get a hold of her parents.
When Ms. Marvel reaches her house she is happy to see her parents alive. She is then left in shock as her parents suddenly melt like the two alien creatures from earlier. End of issue.
The Good: When a comic is confident in what it wants to be you can feel it. That is exactly the aura that oozes out of The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1. Saladin Ahmed and Minkyu Jung understand that Kamala Khan is a young superhero who is still coming into her own as Ms. Marvel. At the same time she has been Ms. Marvel long enough to gain a confidence as a superhero. Having that balance opened the opportunity to explore who Kamala is in and out of her Ms. Marvel identity in a way that brings the reader along for the ride.
Much like Miles Morales, Kamala isn’t hiding who she is from everyone around her. Having friends and family members know who she is opens more of an opportunity to explore how Kamala interacts with the world around her. Though she carries herself in a jovial way normally there are layers to each interaction she has in The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 depending on who it is.
We see a good example of that with how Kamala interacts with Nakia early on in this issue. As the latest person to learn about Kamala’s life as Ms. Marvel, Ahmed was able to use this conversation with Nakia to catch the reader up. It was a good way to frame telling Kamala’s origin story that did not get in the way of developing her relationship of Nakia. It worked naturally in the flow of the story and help grow the bond between Kamala and Nakia. Now that Nakia knows more about her friend’s life as Ms. Marvel there are more possibilities to explore their friendship as it relates to Kamala’s life in and out of her superhero life.
The interaction with Nakia made for a good dichotomy with how Kamala’s scene with her parents broke down quickly. Given all the dangerous things that she is involved with as Ms. Marvel it is understandable that her dad would freak out the way he did. Afterall, he was completely in the dark about this and was struck with this news after Kamala kept it a secret for a good while. Through his reference of when Kamala was baby Ahmed was able to get across that everything he said was from a place of love and concern, even if the yelling wasn’t the best approach.
Ahmed also was careful not to make Kamala come across as uncaring in this scene. The dialogue for Kamala got across that she has become confident in her abilities as Ms. Marvel. The way she defended herself got across that being a superhero is what she wants to do. She has a strong sense of responsibility along with how she enjoys being Ms. Marvel.
Immediately springing into action when Bruno called her, showed that Kamala won’t let anything keep her from being Ms. Marvel. The way she took on Deathbringer at the beginning of the issue and the two alien creatures towards the end showed how far she has come. She is no longer a rookie superhero. Ms. Marvel understands how to use her powers to appropriately take down different opponents. And how she adapted her style of fight made for energetic action sequences through The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1.
Minkyu Jung is the perfect artist for this series. The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 was a strong example of why that is. Jung’s artwork has a fun energy that matches who Ms. Marvel is in and out of the costume. He got across that Ms. Marvel is a young superhero and the world around her is still developing. At the same time, he is able to switch the tone of his artwork when needed, as shown with how he drew the scene between Kamala and her parents.
The Bad: The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 was not without its faults. The opening with the unknown characters from another planet telling a story about Ms. Marvel was oddly placed. There was no clear reason given why The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 needed to open in this way. We don’t even get a clue as to how they relate to Kamala’s adventures as Ms. Marvel.
This created weird pacing issues for The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1, as when the dad in the future added his own narration to scenes it was a jarring addition. There was too much of a break between the periods these narration instances happened that you forget that this is a story being told by a third party. Falling to properly integrate this portion of the story caused momentum to start and stop at various points in The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1.
Another problem that hurt The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 was how Ahmed presented Kamala’s dad learning her identity as Ms. Marvel. There was absolutely no build up to what should’ve been a moment in the history of Ms. Marvel. Ahmed didn’t even reveal why Kamala’s mom revealed her identity to her dad. And since newer readers only learned about Kamala’s mom knowing her identity this scene did not have the impact it should have. It is a major reveal that deserved more time to have weight to when it happened. But since it happened the way it did, the entire scene did not carry the importance it should have.
The end of The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 also fell flat. There was no surprise as it did come across as completely telegraphed that Kamala’s parents would turn into mush. Part of the reason for this is because of the lack of build up to the earlier reveal. The other reason is that it would have been better if these aliens that are attacking connected to the aliens we saw at the opening of the issue, since they needed it more. But since it was Kamala’s parents who were put in this position it came across as a way to get cheap heat for this opening storyline.
Overall: The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 was a good start to Kamala Khan’s new series. For the most part Saladin Ahmed did a very good job writing Kamala Khan in and out of her Ms. Marvel identity. There were a few parts in the story presented that fell flat but overall Ahmed put over how fun Ms. Marvel is. Minkyu Jung also showed why he is the perfect artist for this series. His vibrant artwork elevated Ahmed story. If you are looking to get into a new series from the beginning I recommend picking up The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content, visit our Facebook page, our Twitter feed, our Instagram feed. And catch up with all of Kevin’s other musings about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over Twitter page.