Review of Ms. Marvel #5

Jamie McKelvie

Ms. Marvel #5 by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona

Over the past few issues, Kamala Khan has been struggling to adjust to the sudden emergence of her super-powers. She was never in doubt about what to do with them. Taking inspiration from the Quran’s lesson that “whoever saves one person, it is as if he has saved all mankind,” Kamala quickly accepted the responsibility which comes with her powers. Her immediate instinct was to help others. In her heart, she has been a heroine from the beginning.

Good intentions, as another saying goes, only gets you so far. Thus, the reader has been watching over the past couple issues, as Kamala learns by trial and error how to succeed as a superhero. After failing in her first attempt to rescue Vick from The Inventor’s goons, she returns home despondent. In a touching conversation with her father, Kamala realizes that she has been going about the whole crime fighting thing in the wrong way. Having grown up on stories about the Avengers, writing fan-fic about them, or playing them in RPGs, she had become too concerned with imitating them. Instead of worrying about perfecting the style of someone else, she needs to concentrate on being the perfect Kamala.

And that is exactly what she does with the assistance of her friend Bruno. She designs a costume that matches her, works with her powers. She practices, learning what techniques are her strongest. She devises a plan so that she is no longer improvising when the time come to make a second attempt at rescuing Vick. Along the way, she also finds a new inner strength. When the time comes for this Ms. Marvel to publically announce her presence, Kamala is radiating a newfound confidence which is inspiring.

Alphona’s artistic style continues to be a great match for Wilson’s story, mastering both the quiet character moments and dynamic action sequences. Over the course of the past five issues, they have given us a compelling, endearing new heroine by the name of Kamala Khan. Yes, I wish that Kamala were allowed to pick a new identity instead of a legacy one; however, that is simply the way the Big 2 function these days. Regardless, Kamala is a strong edition to the Marvel Universe, and I look forward to discovering what the next chapter of her story will be . . .


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