It’s OK to Keep Secrets in Ms. Marvel 30

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

In any relationship, romantic or otherwise, there are bound to be secrets. For a long time, there was belief that prevailed which said your partner was entitled to know everything about you, which basically meant no secrets were kept. However, times have changed, and people have begun to accept that it’s healthy and natural to not tell your partner everything. That’s not being duplicitous, that’s just being human and respectful. This is healthy turn of events, but as with all things, it’s more complicated if you’re a superhero, just as Kamala find out in Ms. Marvel 30.

Kamala is dealing with a lot of things at once. She just kissed Red Dagger, has realized she still has feelings for Bruno, and is having to deal with a new student at her school who may be an evil robot. In the previous issue, I was happy to see how maturely Kamala and here friends were able to handle their relationship issues. In this issue, I’m equally impressed by their ability to set boundaries on said relationships. For example, when Kamala meets Red Dagger again, he makes it known that he wants to set some boundaries and expectations on what they have.

As Kamala, says, this is a reasonable request. This is an important conversation to have whenever starting a relationship, and that proves especially true when you’re a superhero who has a secret identity to protect. But Kamala has learned enough about herself at this point in her life that she knows right now, at this moment, she isn’t ready to have this talk. Her life is already extraordinarily complicated and the last thing she needs is a new relationship which demands more of her than she has to give.

While Kamala thinks her running away is immature, it actually demonstrates the opposite. At this point, she hardly knows Red Dagger and as sexy as he may be, there’s no reason why she should feel pressured into revealing anything about her life to him. And you know what? That’s ok! She shouldn’t have to tell Red Dagger anything she doesn’t want to. Should she wish to do so in the future is a different story, more power to her, but for now, her desire to keep some secrets is not only smart, but healthy as well.

For a complete list of what we’re reading, head on over to our Pull List page. Whenever possible, buy your comics from your local mom and pop comic bookstore. If you want to rock digital copies, head on over to Comixology and download issues there. There’s no need to pirate, right?

One comment on “It’s OK to Keep Secrets in Ms. Marvel 30

  1. This issue makes me confident Wilson knows where she is going with Bruno. Because this issue seems to understand that Bruno is an awful person. In fact, it’s entire structure is built around the contrast between healthy male sexuality and toxic masculinity.

    Red Dagger represents healthy sexuality. He makes very clear that he is into Kamala. But he also understands that he needs to balance it with respect. He wants a Real discussion about boundaries, because he doesn’t want to unnecessarily impose on Kamala. He wants to make sure they both understand the relationship and have the right expectations. The bedrock of a healthy relationship. And when he realises that Kamala is dealing with issues, he gives her space. Being a superhero comic, space means Karachi, but makes clear that it is merely to help support her and not add to her baggage. Everything he does is respectful, with the goal of making sure the eventual next stage of their relationship, whatever that is, is one that is best for both of them. He respects Kamala’s feelings at every turn.

    Meanwhile, Mike is given focus she wasn’t given last issue to make clear that Bruno is not Red Dagger, and provides the villainous contrast to Red Dagger’s healthy approach to relationships. The issue opens with Mike’s pain, making clear the cost of Bruno’s selfish, awful actions. And finally demonizing him for his actions last issue. Mike saying ‘he doesn’t care’ is key, the perfect thematic summary of Bruno’s awfulness and why he is so different to Red Dagger, who very clearly does care.
    And when Bruno and Mike do finally talk, it is hard to ignore how dismissive Bruno is of Mike’s feelings. Hard to interpret it in any, more positive way. Hell, Kamala’s narration is placed in such a way to suggest that Bruno is Kamala’s next mistake. But let’s look at the conversation. Look how Bruno favours interpretations of events that don’t implicate him. Things didn’t happen the way they did. Bruno made a series of cruel choices because he doesn’t care. But Bruno’s conversation is, unlike Red Dagger’s great care for Kamala’s emotions, all about forgetting about what happened so it doesn’t get in the way. When Mike even calls him out and says that he was the person who flew half way across the world, he acknowledges fact but he doesn’t acknowledge responsibility. He doesn’t apologise. Instead, he shifts the conversation into other places where things can be empty and vapid and avoid the topic entirely. I don’t think it is a surprise that Bruno is drawn with his eyes closed. Eyes are the window to the soul, and the last thing Bruno demonstrates this scene in a shred of empathy.
    Ultimately, Bruno’s story is about an abuser reingratiating himself into the group through manipulation.

    And so, we have a fantastic plotline about masculinity through the contrast of these characters, albeit with a dark ending

    On the other hand, the part handled the best last issue is handled the worst here, I tnink because next issud is the 50th and Wilson wanted to resolve the plot here. Kaylee being Doc.X is a fantastic twist, but wasted potential. A premise rich with possibility. Especially with the Zoe factor. But it is all resolved in five minutes. Zoe finding a girl at the end doesn’t feel like a satisfying payoff as we never get to see Zoe struggle with the fact that the girl she’s interested in is a bad person. Hell, Zoe and Kaylee could have actually dated as a parallel to Bruno’s toxic relationship, with Zoe actually getting hurt before finding an actually nice girl. Instead, the arc is Zoe has a crush – person not nice – Zoe has a new crush. Nothing actually happens.
    Meanwhile, instantly assuming Kaylee is a supervillain because she has superpowers is very close minded from Kamala’s friends, who are usually better than this. They are right, but they have no real reason to have been right.

    This feels like an arc that has been cut down to two issues when it should have been much longer, which is a shame as an arc all about social relationships like this could have been amazing. Instead, each issue feels compromised by a too fast story. At least this issue addressed how awful Bruno is. I’ve been waiting for that.

    Also, Kamala sleeping on the steps of the school is my favourite background visual gag yet

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