Ms. Marvel Vol 1: No Normal

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Rating: 5/5 Author: Willow Wilson Illustrator: Adrian Alphona Link: Ms. Marvel

Who is Kamala Khan?

Kamala Khan is a sixteen year old Muslim girl trying to juggle her culture, religion and freedom. Her family moved to Jersey City from Pakistan but Kamala is a Jersey City girl born and brought up here.

Even before all the superpowers, her life is complicated enough. She loves the smell of bacon but does not eat it as her religion prohibits. She writes about avenger fan fiction and visits mosque with her brother for youth lectures. Kamala Khan is the living embodiment of every single teenager who is trying to balance his/her life on the swing set of east and west.

Kamala struggles to balance the restrictions imposed by her worrisome parents with her own yearning desire for freedom and fun. The incident of Terrigen Mist gives Kamala superpowers to shapeshift and the brown girl with dark brown hair shape shifts into the white and blond Ms. Marvel. But being a superhero is not like she expected, she does not feel strong and beautiful, instead she felt freaked and underdressed, with a horrid realization that superhero costumes doesn’t include underwear.

The people who made it happen:

Willow Wilson has done an outstanding job in penning this story. A story that is not just about a superhero crusade but a coming of age, cross-culture adventure.

The most important thing in comics is artwork. Even good stories are doomed to fail if the artwork does not appeal to the audience. I believe Adrian Alphona has set new standards with her illustrations in Ms. Marvel.

The artwork is so remarkable and extraordinary that even if I unload a whole thesaurus of praise, I still won’t be able to do justice. The dialogues are no doubt funny but here the humor in the artwork speaks volume; it’s funny, detailed, perky and fresh. While reading this volume, I was paying more attention to the background art than the dialogues in the bubble. For the first time I felt that the artwork was a page turner. I couldn’t get enough of it.

Kamala’s trials and tribulations with her conservative family are beautifully portrayed. The characters in her family (brother Aamir, mom and dad) appear so real and authentic that minus the superhero part, it would appear like a story of your next door teenager.

Ms. Marvel is here to take on the Marvel Universe by storm and I for one am picking up the next volume.

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One thought on “Ms. Marvel Vol 1: No Normal

  1. I saw someone recommend Ms. Marvel in my comic book community on Google+, and I was immediately struck by the fact that this woman looked like a woman. I mentioned that I am so tired of women looking horrible in comics. I know that men look unrealistic in comics, too, but they tend to be portrayed as powerful and capable, whereas women look promiscuous, uncomfortable, and in danger of being exposed if their clothing shifts too much. I hope you keep reading!! On my blog I have a graphic novel tag if you are interested in reading some of my reviews. Other than Bitch Planet, my reviews tend to be of graphic novels instead of comic book series, though.

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