Magnificent Ms. Marvel #17 Review

by Charles Martin on December 16, 2020

Magnificent Ms. Marvel #17 Review
Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Minkyu Jung
Colourist: Ian Herring
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This issue opens with a teaser page setting up some ominous body horror for the second half. Then it opens for real by showing Ms. Marvel more than holding her own in a running battle with a squad of Dum Dum Duggan's C.R.A.D.L.E. goons.

It's a classic Marvel blend: super-powered shenanigans + light philosophical arguments shouted at max volume across the battlefield. Kamala disposes of the goon squad, leaving her and Duggan to slug it out one-on-one.

Then the body horror element comes crashing in, forcing the antagonists to team up against a larger threat. 

The body horror threat is a call-back to a previous arc -- and in mentioning that, I've probably spoiled the big bad's identity. 

But what's important is that this big bad serves as the perfect antagonist for Duggan to watch Ms. Marvel take down. It showcases all her finest qualities: courage, empathy, and a moral compass set to a higher direction than mere compliance with the law. Duggan is impressed -- as, of course, are we.

Close it all down with some very satisfying plot thread tie-offs that put the "Kamala's Law" arc mostly to bed, and a stinger putting us on notice that we have another call-back antagonist slated for the next issue. 

I admire that the author strikes the right balance in closure here. There are enough developments to make it clear that we're turning a corner, but a few loose threads remain in a very believable "real life" way.

Artist Minkyu Jung is doing gangbuster business in this issue. His characters are on point, his Ms. Marvel stretchy powers are creative, and he does some pretty crowded street scenes with an admirable level of detail. He also proves to be a dab hand at body horror, making the big bad look appropriately (i.e. scary but not gory) terrible.

Ian Herring's palette remains the visual rock upon which Ms. Marvel's Jersey City is built. The street scenes have the town's usual lambent yellow look, but the later horror scenes enjoy a chillier blue-and-purple overcast that works well to set them apart.

I have to give Saladin Ahmed a heap of credit for neatly stitching this issue's self-contained fight onto the end (I think it's the end? For now?) of the larger "Kamala's Law" arc. The strong thematic links are explicitly called out in dialogue that feels satisfying and clear without getting preachy. Writing like this makes it a pleasure to simply bask in the goodness of Ms. Marvel.

Kamala finally gets C.R.A.D.L.E. off her back by impressing Dum Dum Duggan (and readers) with her deep commitment to fair play and empathy. Also by clobbering a body horror monster in an exciting fight scene; this is still a Marvel comic, of course! This feels like a fully satisfying (if not comprehensive) finale to the Kamala's Law arc -- and just a great read all around.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
This volume is still on an impressive streak of giving Kamala inventive new fight moves in every issue. "STOP STICKING MY PEOPLE ON ROOFTOPS!"