Ms. Marvel 29: Discussion

by Taylor Anderson and Ryan Mogge

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

Taylor: There’s a reason why Archie comics are still around almost 80 years after the first issue was published. The lives of teenagers, to a certain extent, will always be the same, and Archie comics have traditionally done a pretty good job of chronicling what it’s like to be a high-schooler. In particular, the series’ focus on the romantic and emotional lives of its characters is what has made it an enduring title. After all, it’s not necessarily your AP Biology class you remember so much as the crush who happened to sit next to you in it. But it would be a mistake to think that Archie comics have cornered the market when it comes to teen dramas, or, as Ms. Marvel 29 shows, that teen dramas can’t include super heroes. Continue reading

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Sometimes a Comic is Actually Comedic in Ms. Marvel 28

By Taylor Anderson

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

Comics as a medium suffer from a case of poor branding. They’re called “comics” even though a majority of what we think of when we think of comics aren’t comedic at all. One has only to pick up an issue of Batman to get what I mean — the Dark Knight’s adventures aren’t exactly full of laughs (Joker antics aside). There are reasons for this nomenclature, of course, but it’s always kind of rewarding when comic treats its content with levity. This proves true in Ms. Marvel 28, but G. Willow Wilson accomplishes this without losing any of the series’ heart. Continue reading

Inspiring Vulnerable Populations in Ms. Marvel 26

By Patrick Ehlers

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

Kamala Khan is such a good kid. She get’s these stretchy-growy-shrinky superpowers and the very first thing she does is try to protect the vulnerable people in her community. Of course, that doesn’t mean helping impoverished families navigate the SNAP program or helping people with job placement or anything like that — it means punchin’ bad dudes with her temporarily over-sized fists. It’s an inspiring thing, both to read and for the characters within Kamala’s orbit. Issue 26 continues the ‘Teenage Wasteland” story arc by showing us just how thoroughly Kamala has inspired her friends to act as nobly and selflessly as she did when faced with roughly the same threat. Continue reading

Best of 2017: Best Issues

Best Issues of 2017

Episodic storytelling is the name of the game in monthly comics. Month- or even multi-year-long arcs are fine, but a series lives and dies by its individual chapters. From self-contained one-offs to issues that recontextualize their respective series, this year had a ton of great issues. Whittling down those issues to a list was no easy task (and we look forward to hearing how your lists differ in the comments), but we would gladly recommend any (and all) of these issues without hesitation. These are our top 10 issues of 2017. Continue reading

The Hole in the Center of Ms. Marvel 25

by Ryan Mogge

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

How does an issue of Ms. Marvel work without Kamala? Well, in the case of Ms. Marvel 25, I’d argue that it doesn’t. There are moments here that feel unmoored, floating in a pool of heightened drama without the grounded tether that Kamala offers when she is the center of the narrative.

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Generations: Ms. Marvel and Ms. Marvel 1: Discussion

by Taylor Anderson and Ryan Mogge

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

Taylor: When I was in college, I was a man of strong convictions. I may not necessarily have acted on these convictions, like a true American, but I at least had ideals that I believed and on which I was unwilling to compromise. Now that I’m older and have experienced the real world, my convictions aren’t nearly as strong as they once were. This isn’t to say I don’t believe in them anymore, but I recognize the need to make certain sacrifices and compromises for the things I truly believe in. It’s a hard lesson, but one Kamala Khan learns when she meets a young Ms. Marvel, and one that I can appreciate now that I’m a bit older. Continue reading

A Heartbreaking Loss of Innocence in Ms. Marvel 22

by Drew Baumgartner

Ms. Marvel 22

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

The song I’d like to do for you is a song that I had the pleasure of doing when I was 15 years old…it’s a song that will last, unfortunately, for a long, long time. And when I say “unfortunately,” I’m talking about the fact that it will always be relevant to something that is going on in this world of ours.

Stevie Wonder, introducing “Blowin’ in the Wind”

Love, loss, betrayal, greed. There are a number of timeless themes we might trace back to the earliest stories we can find. But there are other themes, just as timeless, that have not always been featured in our stories in this same way — themes kept so out-of-sight that some people refuse to acknowledge that they exist at all. Of course, for the people actually affected by those timeless truth of oppression, it is simply a part of life. If we are any more aware of those themes in this day and age, it is only through listening to the people who actually experience them. As ever, G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel presents a frank account of what life is like for a young muslim woman in America, bringing hard truths to those of us who might not see them, otherwise. Continue reading

Current Events Explained in Ms. Marvel 21

by Taylor Anderson

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

It’s hard not to look at the events of the past weekend and wonder just how we, as a nation, got here. How did we get from electing the first black president to having a president who seems to tolerate Nazis and white supremacists? How is it that our country has become so fractured that it seems we are unable to even roundly condemn men who openly advocate for the suppression of an entire race of people? There are no easy answers to these questions, but in Ms. Marvel 21, G. Willow Wilson and Marco Failla offer an explanation on why (at least in part) the world is the way it is in 2017. Continue reading

Philosophy and Politics Laid Bare in Ms. Marvel 20

by Ryan Mogge

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

Every character has a set of principles by which they live their lives. These can be made clear in daily actions or revealed in moments of crisis. Sometimes, a writer can just have the character lay it out. In Ms. Marvel 20, G. Willow Wilson give several of her characters a chance to share their philosophies directly, making it more a story of ideas than super-heroes.

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Perspective and Power in Ms. Marvel 19

by Drew Baumgartner

Ms. Marvel 19

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

Plenty of comics have come out over the past year or so commenting on the rise of Trumpism, but few are as equipped to position their protagonists as the target of growing racial and religious resentment as Ms. Marvel. Helmed by writer G. Willow Wilson and editor Sana Amanat, this series has never been afraid to tackle the issues that face muslims in America — particularly young women — but this issue places islamophobia front and center as the “Keepers of Integration, Normalization, and Deference” disrupt Eid al-Adha, the holiest of Muslim holidays. Artist Marco Falla makes that disruption literal, as the “K.I.N.D.” men obstruct Kamala and Gabe’s path. Continue reading