Book Review: Ms. Marvel — No Normal

I took a break from reading from my list today and spent a few hours in my local library. I couldn’t help but pick up the Ms. Marvel series.

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Ms. Marvel written by G. Willow Wilson, drawn by: Adrian Alphona

5/5 stars

No regrets. I am in love with Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel and protagonist of this comic. It only took me reading the first two pages to know that I was a goner. Quickly, we learn that Kamala and her family are Muslim. Kamala exists in a weird space; she is an American teenager, a nerdy fan girl who wrote a freakin’ Avengers fanfic, but her peers see her family and her skin and her “strange” food rules and they mark her as other.

The fact that Kamala is an outsider to both her Pakistani family and her American peers makes her crave normalcy. So when Captain Marvel seemingly grants Kamala what she wants, to be able to look like whomever Kamala desires, it’s perfect symbol of Kamala’s desires and the issues that go with them. First, she appears as a blonde, white attractive copy of Captain America. Spoiler: But by the end we have our brown skinned Muslim superhero.

Kamala’s father is a really great, nuanced character. He is Muslim but not as strictly religious as his own son. He doesn’t like that his son’s religion gets in the way of him being productive and finding a job. At the same time, he is really controlling of Kamala and does not allow her much freedom because she is a girl. He tells Kamala that she is “perfect just the way she is” but this rings false because he is so preoccupied with maintaining her chastity that he can’t possibly see her as a person.

I have an other hour off of work right now and I’m gonna power through the next installment. I will post a review by Wednesday of the remaining three. This installment got me really excited about Ms. Marvel and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

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