Monday, April 24, 2017

Things I've Read Recently (46): This is All Just Ms. Marvel

If you're new around here, Things I've Read Recently is a series of posts I do that are basically mini-reviews of books that I either forgot to review, didn't have enough to say for a full review, or just didn't want to do a full post about for whatever reason. In this case, I read four volumes of Ms. Marvel and kept trying to put them in individual issues, but it was getting a little ridiculous trying to make the scheduling work and I just kept moving things around so... this happened.

Ms. Marvel, Volume 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, and Jacob Wyatt

Published: April 7th, 2015 by Marvel
Genre: YA comic book, I guess
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: Goodreads says 136 pages. None of them have numbered pages.
Part of a series? This contains issues 6 through 11.
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Who is the Inventor, and what does he want with the all-new Ms. Marvel and all her friends? Maybe Wolverine can help! If Kamala can stop fan-girling out about meeting her favorite super hero, that is. Then, Kamala crosses paths with Inhumanity -- by meeting the royal dog, Lockjaw! But why is Lockjaw really with Kamala? As Ms. Marvel discovers more about her past, the Inventor continues to threaten her future. Kamala bands together with some unlikely heroes to stop the maniacal villain before he does real damage, but has she taken on more than she can handle? And how much longer can Ms. Marvel's life take over Kamala Khan's? Kamala Khan continues to prove why she's the best (and most adorable) new super hero there is!

Thoughts: I've raved about Ms. Marvel already in a post I can't link to because it's not live yet and I've got two more volumes to read and review, so I won't go on for too long, but I have to say how much I love this series. These are so good, and now more than ever, so important. I absolutely love the direction this volume goes, and the messages it has through the lessons Kamala learns. Her family is featured a little less in this volume, but they are not less important.

So important, so good, and so recommended.

I'm going to go read more now.

Ms. Marvel, Volume 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, and Elmo Bondoc

Published: June 23rd, 2015 by Marvel
Genre: YA comic book
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 112 pages
Part of a series? This volume contains Ms. Marvel #12-15 and S.H.I.E.L.D. #2
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Love is in the air in Jersey City as Valentine’s Day arrives! Kamala Khan may not be allowed to go to the school dance, but Ms. Marvel is! Well sort of--by crashing it in an attempt to capture Asgard’s most annoying trickster! Yup, it’s a special Valentine’s Day story featuring Marvel’s favorite charlatan, Loki! And when a mysterious stranger arrives in Jersey City, Ms. Marvel must deal with...a crush! Because this new kid is really, really cute. What are these feelings, Kamala Khan? Prepare for drama! Intrigue! Romance! Suspense! Punching things! All this and more!

Thoughts: The Valentine's Day issue was just adorable, guys. I know a lot of people really enjoy the Loki character in the Marvel movies, and I thought this was a really fun way to use that character. It's a great way to start out a really great installment in this series. This is the first time the series has really tackled romance, and gosh, the way they handle it is wonderful.

They talk about how gross the idea of the "friendzone" is - and a male character says that, which I think is incredibly important to show it's not just a thing that girls are saying. They talk about the family pressure Kamala deals with regarding romance, and both pros and cons are shown for that. Kamala's parents' expectations for her are treated with respect and dignity. Kamala's respect for her parents is shown to be incredibly important to her. They talk about victim blaming, and guilt when something bad happens, and they handle it so, so well.

I legit do not want to write anymore in this review because the next volume is staring at me and I want to read it now, but just know I recommend this series so much.

Ms. Marvel, Volume 4: Last Days by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

Published: December 1st, 2015 by Marvel
Genre: YA Comics
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 120
Part of a series? This contains issues 16-19.
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): From the moment Kamala put on her costume, she's been challenged. But nothing has prepared her for this: the last days of the Marvel Universe. Lucky she's got the help of Carol "Captain Marvel" Danvers! Between teaming up with her personal hero to rescue her brother and trying to keep her city from falling into an all-out frenzy, Kamala has barely had time to come to terms with the fact that the world is literally collapsing around her. But the truth will catch up to her, and soon. When the world is about to end, do you still keep fighting? Kamala knows the answer. Let's do this, Jersey City.

Thoughts: This might be my favourite set of issues yet. I've mentioned before that I think fans of Legend of Korra would enjoy Kamala, but I don't think I've ever mentioned that I like Season Four of that show best. Story arcs that deal with the aftermath of trauma are something I enjoy a lot, although that does kind of make me sound like a terrible person, but I think it can be really interesting and I like when that's given time and respect and not just ignored.

This volume opens with Kamala dealing with feeling betrayed and heartbroken from the events of the last volume. For a great deal of the arc, Kamala has no idea what to do, and even as she goes into the action, you can feel how terrified she is that things are out of her control. It's not just her fear, either. When Kamala tells her parents that something bad is happening to Manhattan, they assume there's been an attack, and you feel their fear. The comic shows people stepping up to help when it looks like the world is ending, and people who don't - and why. This takes the time to focus on Kamala's family as much as possible, and it's beautiful and I may have cried a little.

Possible spoilers ahead - I did a little googling because Ms. Marvel is the only Marvel comic I read, and this arc is part of a larger Marvel arc. This is the end of a story. This is the beginning of another. I can't wait to see what comes next.

Ms. Marvel, Volume 5: Super Famous by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona, and Nico Leon

Published: July 12th, 2016 by Marvel
Genre: YA comic
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: Goodreads says 144.
Part of a series? This contains issues #1-6 which are not the same as the ones in No Normal, and I totally don't understand comic books. I guess everything kind of restarted in the Marvel universe after Last Days? Don't ask me. I'm just here for Kamala.
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): She's your new favorite. She's everyone's new favorite. And now she's joining the big leagues. Look out world, Kamala Khan is officially an Avenger! But will being one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes be everything she imagined? Or is life as a celebrity harder than she thought?

But while saving the world is important, Jersey City still needs its protector too. A development company that co-opted Ms. Marvel's face for its project might well have more in mind for gentrification than just real estate. Can Kamala take down the evil suits destroying her home without ruining her personal life? Speaking of which, who exactly is that with Bruno? Get back on board and cling on, Kamala Korps, the ride is about to get wilder than ever!

Thoughts: Okay I totally lied in that last review. This is totally my new favouite volume. Honestly, I won't lie, it's mostly because this volume introduces a new character and I love her so much. Beware spoilers (for the series - these pictures won't have spoilers for the issue really), but I need to post pictures.

(Sorry for the glare. The pages are reflective, so my flash really bounced back, and it was nighttime so I had to use it since the lighting in my room is not very good. BUT LOOK AT HER.)

This is Mike. She's chubby and she has blue hair, and I love her so much. I LOVE that she doesn't have a super plus-size model perfect hourglass shape, but is just... chubby. She's beautiful and I love her, and she looks like a real teenager. I love that they show her in pajamas and not only all glammed up, and there's nothing bad about that. I absolutely adore that when Kamala, Kamala (!!!), our protagonist, makes a fatphobic comment (and not to Mike's face - to someone else), she immediately gets called out for it, and it's very firmly said both by other characters and by the narrative that wasn't okay. And then it never happens again, which is nice. I like that they addressed it, but didn't make her entire narrative about it. She's also a geek and lovely and adorable, and I'm so happy about this character. Give me all the characters like this.

Also Mike has two moms, and that's awesome. There are several new characters in these issues that I think are awesome. Like, there's a teacher who I can't remember if she's showed up before, who's black and uses a wheelchair, and a few others who may not be giant characters who are constantly there, but they really add to the idea that the world is diverse and wonderful.

I just adore this series so much. I love this world they've created. I love Kamala. I love the other characters. I love how they talk about such real things that aren't just superhero things, like gentrification, and interracial and interfaith relationships, and that body-shaming isn't okay. I already have the next one out from the library, and I'm super excited to read this.

Okay! I believe that's everything. Thanks for reading.

Peace and cookies,

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