THE TURNAROUND BLOG

Graphic Novel of the Month – Ms. Marvel Vol. 5: Super Famous

9780785196112

Having survived the events of Secret Wars and captured the hearts of comic fans everywhere, Kamala Khan has returned in an all-new volume of Ms. Marvel. But now she finds herself in the big leagues as she is drafted into the Avengers.  Will being one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes be everything she imagined? Or is life as a celebrity harder than she thought? 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?

This is the fourth time I’ve written about Ms. Marvel for the blog and I am probably going to sound like a broken record at this point so apologies in advance. But I have to say once again it is one of the most consistently great ongoing series being published across all comics today. Once again, the best part of the series is Kamala who is as endearing as she was at the start of the series, even with the continuing demands that her dual identity has on her family, academic and social life. In a new facet of the series, Kamala is now part of the All-New All-Different Avengers which provides plenty of great fangirling moments as she geeks out over the company she now keeps.

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Despite having now accumulated some experience in the superhero game, Kamala is still very much discovering herself and is still struggling with the whole balancing super heroics with everything else in her life – especially now she’s an Avenger. Another struggle comes with the engagement of her older brother and the resulting conflict between the two families over their different cultures and religion. This makes for plenty of great moments but it is Bruno and Kamala’s solution to being all places at once that leads to the greatest laughs (easy peasy!). On top of all that, she now has to handle her newfound fame which is being exploited by a twisted development company. G. Willow Wilson continues to do a great job of portraying a realistic and relatable teenager adjusting to both normal (her best friend and unrequited admirer Bruno now has a girlfriend) and abnormal problems (hordes of doppelgangers and gentrification ninjas).

Along with the returning Wilson, this new volume also brings back original series artists Adrian Alphona and Takeshi Miyazawa. Having worked together on Runaways previously, their art – whilst different – naturally flows together. Miyazawa handles the bulk of this volume and it is some of the best work of his career. Having worked on both Runaways and Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, his portrayal of teenagers and high school settings is some of the best you’ll see. Nico Leon (who handles the last three chapters) is also a great fit, bringing great aspects of humour and action to the series (the Kamala doppelgangers go from cute to terrifying very quickly without much change in their appearance).

Anybody who read the previous installments of Ms. Marvel will love this latest chapter in the series and any newcomers who want to see some of the best teenage superhero adventures since Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s original Amazing Spider-Man run need look no further.

Ms. Marvel Vol.5: Super Famous is published by Marvel on 28 July 2016 (Paperback, 144pp, £13.50, 9780785196112)

Browse other Ms. Marvel titles here

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