Ms. Marvel #12

by H├ęctor A on October 27, 2016

Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Mirka Andolfo
Color Artist: Ian Herring
Lettering: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel

 

Civil War II left Kamala Khan stranded from her friends and her mentor, thus she decides to travel the world to take a well-deserved break. Ms. Marvel #12 follows Kamala as she travels to Karachi to meet her extended family, who she hasn't seen for almost a decade. It doesn't take long before Kamala runs into water cartels, who take advantage of a water shortage by blowing up hydrants to sell water at high prices. And Wilson uses this to take on several topics.

 

You can have a very politcal reading of this issue but because G. Willow Wilson has such a great understanding of the medium, you could also just focus on Kamala's relationship with her family and the action scenes. But since this run started, she's done these issues that are in a way very didactic but they never end up feeling preachy. And the plethora of themes which the book deals with helps with that. The first act of this issue is about Kamala's relationship with her extended family and how this defines her identity but Ms. Marvel #12 is ultimately a comic book about self-determination and interventionism. At night, Kamala runs out to stop the water bandits and blows up their truck. After which The Red Dagger, a local superhero, appears and talks to her about the context in which the bandits work.

 

It's a very smart book and it coming out so close to the US presidential election debates, where both candidates showed that if elected they'll carry on with current American foreign policy, makes it feel more poignant. It's really weird to find this type of commentary sneak up on you but it's also done in such a way where there isn't any disconnect between the concept and the execution. Wilson has previously tackled subjects like education in issue #7 and appropiation in the first arc of the post-Secret Wars run, and she's done it all from the perspective of a teenager growing up right now. Those issues have all had a morale, in the same way that a fable would, but the layered themes keep them from feeling trite, while still being a book that is aimed at kids.

 

The book is drawn by Mirka Andolfo, making her Marvel debut. Andolfo's done a lot of work for Zenescope but her work here doesn't have that cheesecake vibe. Her lines are more polished than Miyazawa or Alphona's but Andolfo matches the tone of their work with very expressive faces and a lot of humorous beats. Herring colors the first scene of the book with a brighter palette and the latter half with the same palette that he used for Alphona's flashbacks in the previous arc, mirroring the colors that he used in the Civil War tie-in. It's a very straightforward way to differentiate between the part of the book that takes place in America and the one that takes place in Pakistan.

 

Ms. Marvel #12 is another great issue in one of the best runs in recent memory. G. Willow Wilson tackles complicated topics with remarkable ease and the art by Mirka Andolfo is a seamless fit with the book.

Our Score:

10/10

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