Happy sigh. This was so so good. I love comics. I haven't been able to devote a lot of my reading time to comics so far this year, but this one right here hit the spot.
Reading about a new Ms. Marvel that is a teenage Pakistani girl living in Jersey City was fantastic. Kamala Khan feels lonely due to not fitting in at her school. She writes fanfiction dealing with the Avengers and more than anything wishes she was like Captain Marvel, who she sees as beautiful, awesome, and butt-kicking. After sneaking out to go to a party, Kamala is overcome by a mysterious gas and while sleeping/dreaming she is given a choice to be someone different, and she chooses to be Ms. Marvel.
I felt for Kamala. I am not a Pakistani woman, but I am a black woman and I had those same kind of thoughts and feelings when I was a teenager. I hated being different. Most of my classmates were white and I envied them their long hair and skin. I hated how people would side-eye me when I would go out in our small town because as a young black girl, I had to just be up to something, not just walking and minding my own business. I had these same thoughts that if I just looked like everyone else, my life would be easier. I thought that G. Wilson definitely hit the nail on the head with some of the subjects brought up during this comic (peer pressure, pressure to drink, and bullying).
We also have Kamala going up against a super villain who I am still perplexed by. I don't know what his deal was really. I am going to have to definitely read the other volumes to see where they are going with this story.
The secondary characters in this story, Kamala's parents, her brother, her second best friend Bruno (seriously it made me laugh that he refers to himself as that) as well as her best friend Nakia I thought were well done as well. You get a chance to see all of these people pulling at Kamala in different ways. Kamala's parents want her to be safe and good and are worried that she is going to get pressured into doing or being something she's not. Her best friend is all about pride in her name and culture (as she should be). And Bruno just sees Kamala as an awesome friend who says what she means, is great at video games, and finds her smart and funny. I hope in the next few volumes we get to see more of these characters.
The writing moved me to tears a few times too. One of my favorite scenes in this comic was between Kamala and her father who told her why she was perfect just the way she was. I also loved how G. Wilson shows us readers Kamala's Pakistani heritage and other aspects of her family and religion. They didn't try to pussyfoot around the fact that Kamala is Muslim and I loved it.
I thought the flow was really good and loved the cliffhanger aspects of this first volume. We have Kamala at first portraying Ms. Marvel and then coming out to show her own skin and hair and calling herself Ms. Marvel. I mentally cheered at her getting comfortable in her own skin once she realizes she has powers and she can use them to help other people without having to use someone else's face.
The setting of Jersey City is super cartoony, but that's how I feel about most fictional places in comics. Cartoony is not a bad thing, it just makes me laugh that every time you turn around these places get hit with meteors, yellow gas, Avengers and people don't move.
This whole first volume is about being careful what you wish for because it may come true. Kamala wishes so hard to fit in with everyone around her (being white with blonde hair and popular) and once she gets the opportunity to be like everyone else, starts to see that her life is not going to magically get better. I can't wait to read volume 2.