#CBR9 Review #6

Ms. Marvel, Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

I’ve seen rave reviews for Ms. Marvel, and it was only now that I decided, “I need feminist comics in my life RIGHT NOW.” So when I got the library book, I discovered I had accidentally requested the first two volumes of Ms. Marvel. Even better. I’ve been trying to diversify my reading taste, and Ms. Marvel, the G. Willow Wilson iteration (because Captain Marvel was initially Ms. Marvel, as some basic research showed me), is a great start in that reading resolution.

Kamala Khan is an ordinary American teenager. And she’s also not, in that she’s not the willowy white young woman she envisions to be the “ordinary” American. She’s of Pakistani origin, born of strict parents and a religiously observant older brother. Her best friend wears a hijab, but she does not. She also loves superhero comics, including Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers. One night, she sneaks out of the house to attend a party and gets caught up in a mysterious fog. Suddenly, she discovers that she has super powers and has been turned into Ms. Marvel herself. Kamala is conflicted and aghast, because now she’s gone from “trying to fit in” to “trying to hide my powers” amidst family obligations and conflict.”

This is a delightful entry into what I am hoping will be a thoughtful and empowering series. A woman heroine in comics is a delight, but a Muslim woman at that, is even better. Diversity is great, and it’s even better when it can be fun and entertaining. I like reading serious literature, but I’m also glad to have something lighthearted and endearing to pass on to my students. Would definitely recommend, and I’m going to tear through this series.


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