Monday, 11 July 2016

Ms Marvel Volume 5: Super Famous by G Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona and Nico Leon

Ms Marvel Volume 5: Super Famous written by G Willow Wilson and illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona and Nico Leon is the latest collected volume of Ms Marvel comics. It takes place after Secret Wars and collects issues #1–6 of the 2015 run. This volume follows on directly from Last Days, which the world didn't end, and takes place after Secret Wars. The last issue is apparently part of the Civil War II event, but not in a way that disrupts the story (in fact, I didn't even realise it was until after I'd finished it and saw the Civil War II cover).

She's your new favorite. She's everyone's new favorite. And now she's joining the big leagues. Look out world, Kamala Khan is an Avenger! But is she really cut out to be one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes? Saving the world is important, but Jersey City still needs its protector — and a development company that co-opted Ms. Marvel's face for its project has more in mind for gentrification than just real estate! Can Kamala take down the evil suits destroying her home without ruining her grades and personal life? Speaking of which, who exactly is that with Bruno? And when Kamala creates an army of automatons to help her fight crime, will she learn that too much Ms. Marvel is actually a bad thing? Get back on board, Kamala Korps, the ride is about to get wild!

As seems to always be the case with Ms Marvel, this was an excellent issue with a cohesive storyline. It deals with issues of gentrification in Jersey City, with the issue of the normal residence being pushed out by new developers being central to the plot. It also deals with the question of ownership of the Ms Marvel image. If she's everyone's hero and otherwise anonymous, can anyone use her likeness, for example in advertising?

On a character level, this issue also has Kamala struggling to balance everything going on in her life. Between being an Avenger and a normal teenager who has school and family commitments, there's a lot for her to fit in. Unlike for a normal teenager, the consequences of letting a few things slide or trying to fit more in are rather dire and dramatic.

As well as enjoying the story, I absolutely loved the art. There are several panels with extra detail in the backgrounds which adds amusement while reading. It was pretty rest and I was soon finding myself disappointed with the sparser panels that didn't have significant backgrounds.

Ms Marvel is an excellent comic series that you should probably be reading if you're not already. I am particularly pleased to see with this volume and the previous one that the creators have managed not to disrupt the main story and character development too much with events. Although, so far this has probably been helped by the fact that Ms Marvel hasn't been to instrumental to said events, which could change in the future (fingers crossed that it doesn't). I highly recommend this comic to all comics fans and YA readers to might be interested in dabbling in comics. I do suggest starting from the first volume, however. While this volume doesn't make a terrible entry point, it is volume five and does build on the story from the previous volume and so forth.

5 / 5 stars

First published: July 2016, Marvel
Series: Volume 5 of Ms Marvel (Kamala Khan), ongoing series, containing issues #1–6 of the second run (2015)
Format read: Trade paperback
Source: Local comic book shop

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