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Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal (Ms. Marvel Graphic Novels) Paperback – October 28, 2014
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About the Author
Willow Wilson began her writing career at the age of 17, when she freelanced as a music and DJ critic for Boston's Weekly Dig magazine. Since then, she's written the Eisner Award-nominated comic book series Air and Mystic: The Tenth Apprentice and the graphic novel Cairo. Her first novel, Alif the Unseen, was a New York Times Notable book. It was shortlisted for the 2012 Flaherty-Dunnan Award. G. Willow spent her early and mid twenties living in Egypt and working as a journalist. Her articles about the Middle East and modern Islam have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly and the Canada National Post. Her memoir about life in Egypt during the waning years of the Mubarak regime, The Butterfly Mosque, was named a Seattle Times Best Book of 2010.
Willow is published by Grove/Atlantic Books in the United States and Atlantic UK in the United Kingdom.
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Top Customer Reviews
I am glad I did. It turns out this is a book for anyone who likes good writing and a unique fresh take on a very cookie cutter genre. It is also a book for anyone who enjoys great art work and coloring. In short, it is a book for anyone who loves comics.
Collected her are the first five issues of the 2014 Ongoing Marvel series plus the relevant pages from Marvel Now Point One. In the back of the book it has alternate covers, Character designs and even a coloring example.
G. Willow Wilson broke into the comic field in 2007 with her Vertigo graphic novel CAIRO she continued with her Vertigo series AIR, then her first superhero work on VIXEN. Her first novel ALIF THE UNSEEN won the 2013 World Fantasy Award for best novel. She is herself of Muslim faith and spent her twenties living in Egypt.
Adrian Alphonsa is a Canadian artist who came to prominence with the charming art for Brain Vaughn's Runaways. Mr. Alphonsa's realistic depictions of children made him a great selection for this book. Sadly, I could name a couple Big Name Artist's who totally lack this ability. They draw children and teens simply as smaller adults. Adrian's art has evolved a little since Runaways and he has a very fine line drawing style that evokes a whimsical mode in which he portrays some of the characters as having exaggerated faces. This is a style which works perfectly.
I also found the coloring done by Ian Herring to be excellent and it added nicely to whole package. I find most modern coloring to be over-done and too dark so that it obscures the art work, this was clearly not the case here.
The story itself involves Kamala Khan an ordinary Muslim girl in Jersey City who writes Fan Fiction and dreams of being a Super-Herione. While her origin is not fully explained in this volume (that will be in the next collection) she ends up with elastic like powers which not only allow her to stretch her body out like Mr. Fantastic but change her physical appearance.
The first form she appears in is almost wish fulfillment as she takes on the form of the Carol Danver's Ms. Marvel at her sexiest best. She has long flowing Blonde hair and a skimpy costume. But in this reality based story, the high boots chafe her and the costume gives her a wedgie.
The story follows Kamala Khan and her gang of friends as she learns about her powers, makes mistakes and tries to do good. Like Peter Parker decades before her, things never quite go right for Kamala and she winds up being grounded most of the time.
The Inventor is first real villain that Kamala encounters. He is operating behind the scenes orchestrating much of the bad stuff. Towards the the end of the volume we finally get a peak at the Inventor and it is quite a shock. I look forward to all her future meeting with other heroes and bigger villains in the Marvel Universe.
Please Sample this refreshing take on Super Heroes and support this excellent book which is truly meant for All Ages. Highly Recommended.
The characters are nicely drawn, believable, and relatable. Marvel has always done a God job there, well most of the time, anyway. I find the situations real (as real as a comic book gets) and Kamala's problems those of many of us, especially young people.
Oh yes, the character is Muslim, btw, which adds some nice cultural backspin to the tale, but it does not become the story. I love the fact that the emphasis is on her humanity, not her religion. I mean, is Spider-Man Baptist? "He's a great super hero but he can dance on Sundays". Kamala's Pakistani culture is interesting but not the focus of the story.
I enjoyed the somewhat quirky artwork and the plot, so see what you think. Think I'll buy the next issue.....
You see, Ms. Marvel is really, really damn good. Ms. Marvel returns to ground well trod by comics: the immigrant experience (Superman); gangly, gawky teenage years (Spiderman); and being the Other (X-Men). But it remains fertile ground when done well, and Ms. Marvel is exceedingly well done. Not in the big ways of great action set pieces or an epic storyline, because at the very least we haven’t had time to get there, but in the little ways. All of them, from Ms. Marvel trying to control her new powers to simple moments between a frustrated, loving father and a teenage girl outgrowing the nest.
The teen girl is Kamala: a young, Pakistani-American girl. A more devout female friend (Nakia) and brother, a more Americanized male friend (Bruno) (and love interest?), a “mean girl” (Zoe), long suffering and hardworking immigrant parents round out the main cast for now. The rebellion comes early when Kamala sneaks out to go to a high school party where she has her first sip of booze. It ends like it ended for most of us, with an encounter with a terrigen bomb that activates her Inhuman genes. (You might not understand any of that any more than I did; it’s ok, you don’t really need to because the comic doesn’t much concern itself with the source.) The result is Kamala gaining powers; that is, the power to manipulate her body—both to do stuff like create giant fists and to make herself gigantically huge or ridiculously tiny—and a healing factor.
Like I said, the story doesn’t start with a bang, but the volume sets up a Big Bad, someone named the Inventor with suitably villainous inventions. But Kamala starts by pulling girls out of the lake and foiling convenience store robberies. Which is good, because we get treated to wonderful scenes of Kamala trying to control her powers and repurposing a burkini as a superhero costume. And of course all that little stuff, including not just the two-way tension between being a superhero and being a normal teen, but the three-way tension among a stricter faith, mainstream American consumerism, and immigrants striving for the American Dream.