OK, so this is possibly premature. It’s only the first issue, after all; this isn’t even like watching the pilot episode so much as watching the first ten minutes of the pilot episode. But the first issue of the new Ms. Marvel is definitely something to love. And not just because it’s a genuinely different perspective on the superhero story, created by people who have a genuinely different and interesting take on the “teenage hero” subgenre; this is a great comic because it’s awesome.
Pretty much every page has a laugh-out-loud line, from Kamala’s unseemly interest in bacon on page one (“delicious, delicious infidel meat”) through to her Avengers/My Little Pony fanfic (which has almost 1000 upvotes on freakingcool.com) to her explanation that she wants to be just like Carol Danvers, “except I would wear the classic, politically incorrect costume and kick butt in giant wedge heels.” G. Willow Wilson makes Kamala instantly charming, funny, relatable and sympathetic, while giving the reader a look at a cultural experience that doesn’t share a whole lot with Peter Parker or Richard Ryder or Christopher Powell or…wow, there’ve been a lot of whitebread teen heroes out there over the years.
But again, I don’t want to say that this is a “worthy” book, even though it is, because what strikes you about it isn’t that it’s saying something important about race and religion and cultural relations and the very real prejudice that second-generation immigrants from Muslim countries face, and the difficulties they have in fitting in with their native culture while keeping true to the cultural heritage of their families. I want to say that this is a good book, because it’s well-written and amazingly drawn by Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring and it really made me want to see what happens in the next issue. And ultimately, that’s what you should want out of your comics on a monthly basis. That’s what I love about comics. And I’m happy I took a flyer on this one.