Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa
After my hackles raised in issue Ms. Marvel #13 at new character Kamron’s suspicious interest in MMORPGs, I was disappointed but not surprised to find out this month that Kamala’s fellow newborn Inhuman was not quite the charmer he seemed at first glance.
Kamala’s interactions with family friend: Kamron take up the bulk of the issue, both to flesh out Kamala’s budding crush and give us another perspective on the impact of the Terrigen Mist incident. Though this part of the storyline is a bit hamfisted at times (surprise! Welcome to the Brotherhood of Inhumans), it’s a good fit for the book overall. It would be strange not to see Kamala struggle with the consequences of her abilities on unpowered humans or underpowered adversaries, or how she fits into the world as both a superhero and an Inhuman.
However, the use of Kamala’s new crush specifically to move this plot along is a bit disappointing. He makes an interesting foil for Kamala’s friend and aspiring love interest Bruno, both culturally and in terms of powers vs no powers, I found his role on the Inhumans side of things trite.
The issue isn’t bad by any stretch. It’s well written, beautifully illustrated, and Kamala’s crush is sweet and light-hearted. It also provides interesting new avenues to explore Kamala’s continued effort to find where she fits as a young Pakistani-American Muslim who truly loves and wants to respect her family’s more traditional values as she finds her place in the community. Wilson always explores these themes with a deft hand, making Kamala’s story welcoming and relatable even if her exact experiences don’t totally line up.
Ms. Marvel #14 is another solid installment in an excellent series, and I look forward to seeing just how Kamala reacts to this new perspective Marvel’s ever expanding Inhuman family and the Terrigen Mist incident. The final pages take a jarring turn — perhaps to begin shifting the tone of the book in a less upbeat direction. Leading Readers into “Last Days” — and the short time left til Secret Wars kicks off makes me wonder how exactly Kamron’s storyline will play out against the backdrop of this universe changing event.