The Comic Book Virgin: Ms. Marvel

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2005

Welcome to The Comic Book Virgin, the series where I dive headfirst into the world of comics and don’t look back.

This week: “Ms. Marvel“.

Oh, Kamala Khan. How I love thee. Right from the first panel, with her staring into a deli case lusting after a BLT, I knew that she was a great character. 

Kamala Khan is a young Muslim girl living in Jersey City with her overprotective parents and extremely religious brother. And of course, as with every sixteen year old with overprotective parents, she wants a little bit more freedom. The generation gap is clear, and I love it. There’s something fascinating about generation gaps- the 1960’s, anyone?-, and the fact that there are so many differences between ideals in Kamala’s family is something that draws me in.

It was also really interesting to see the culture. There are subtle references to the world that Kamala lives in, from her brother praying at dinner, to calling her parents Abu and Ammi, to the mention of pakoras, a fried snack. There’s even the stereotypical Ugly American, who pretends to be at once fascinated and concerned with Kamala’s culture. The Ugly American takes the form of Zoe Zimmer, a ditz who asks Nakia, Kamala’s friend, if someone pressured her into wearing the scarf. It’s classic, really.

Kamala sneaks out and attends a party at the waterfront, where she is confronted by faith, which takes the form of The Avengers. Kamala wishes to be different, and her wish is granted. She becomes Ms. Marvel.

msmarvel

The next two issues deal with Kamala learning how to use her powers. There was one panel which I found to be really positive. Zoe Zimmer, our Ugly American has fallen into the river. Okay, that part isn’t too positive. Thankfully, Kamala saves her, and says something that I really loved.

“‘Whoever saves one person, it is as if he has saved all of mankind’. Because no matter how bad things get, there are always people who rush to help, and according to my dad, they are blessed.”

I’ll leave you with that. I really enjoyed meeting Ms. Marvel, and I’ll probably read a lot more soon.

Any reading suggestions? Leave them down below!

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