Comic Review: Black Panther

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4/5 stars

I’m a big Ta-Nehesi Coates fan. You can check out his journalism here and my review of his first collection of essays here (Between the World and Me was my favorite book of 2016). So when I heard that Coates would be writing a comic book–his first published fiction–I was excited.

While some of the dialogue is over-written, there was so much to enjoy about this addition to the Black Panther universe. T’Challa, our main character, is absent for much of the action as the book focuses on other key players that make up the political turmoil and murky ethics that plague the world of Wakanda. This move pays off as the other characters are fully rounded and help to flush out the world and the social and political issues Wakanda is facing.

T’Challa fights, but he unlike other superheroes, he is a king and a part of a rich history of duty and tradition. This difference allows Coates to work with some interesting themes that revolve around country, politics, and what powerful people have to do to stay in power.

Also, it’s just really nice to have two powerful, black queer women at the forefront of a story and the art work is simply beautiful. Check it out!

 

Book Review: Ms. Marvel 2–4

Ms. Marvel: Generation Why

5/5 stars

I have never read a Marvel comic before starting Ms. Marvel. So. I’m a newbie to this world and medium. I’m continuing to love this series. The second book was really my intro into superhero dynamics and it was a lot of fun. I will be talking about which characters appear in this series but I will avoid other plot spoilers, but if you don’t want to know what other super heroes pop up, don’t keep reading, because SPOILERS:

Okay. So Wolverine and Captain America and Medusa. Exciting stuff. I’m a huge fan of the X-Men films (despite how much they suck at times) and so seeing Wolverine pop up in the second Marvel comic I read was a blast. Also, the comic was really fun because it was Kamala’s origin story. We get to see why she developed superheroes and I love that mythology stuff. Understandably, Kamala isn’t able to absorb a ton of knowledge about her past, so we have that fun dangling hope of more info into her origins to come at a later time.

It was also nice to see Kamala deal with an important aspects of being a hero–dealing with people who don’t want to be saved and learning relying on others. Spoiler: the fact that she turns a crew of would-be teenage victims into a group she relies on is gold.

Ms. Marvel: Crushed

5/5 stars

Ms. Marvel: Last Days

4/5 stars

I’ve decided that I like reading comics. I started reading graphic novels about a year ago and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed them so I figured, why not branch out even further? I didn’t go into a review for the last two because, to be honest, I ran out of time. I’m already two books ahead of this review, and wanted to get this up. I will say that the final comic was good, but my least favorite because it felt like so little got discussed and I wanted more of an ending

So, does anyone have any recommendations for me comic-wise? I love kick-ass female characters, so let me know in the comments!

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.