Today I’m going to talk about one of my possibly favourite titles ever! It’s the first volume of the new Ms. Marvel run: No Normal, by Sana Amanat, G. Willow Wilson, and Adrian Alphona.
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I don’t even know where to start! This book has so many little amazing things I want to talk about. But let’s begin with a lil’ intro.
This title is a part of a new bunch of super heroes, by one of the most influential and popular companies in the area: Marvel. They are currently at the front spot when it comes to racial and other types of diversity in super heroes. Since then, a lot of other companies have come to realise that readers are sick and tired of a bunch of white, tall and fit males fighting crime. They want EVERYONE to be included, just like it is in real life. Special powers aren’t just a white exclusive thing.
I wanted to start reading more comics from mainstream companies like Marvel and DC but none of the titles really sparkled my interest. Although, with all these new changes going on, the amount of great female super heroes increased dramatically. So I decided to start reading Ms. Marvel, since the comic was featured in several lists as the best graphic novel of 2014. I plan on reading another couple of female fronted comics like Squirrel Girl, Batgirl, Spider Gwen, Wonder Woman, lady Thor and probably Silk in the future too.
So, the new Ms. Marvel is a young muslim-american girl called Kamala Khan, from New Jersey City. She is a pretty normal teenager: she has boy-related problems, her parents don’t always let her do what she wants and, mostly, she doesn’t always fit in with the popular kids. But this all changes when, one day, while going home from a party she wasn’t supposed to go to, a mystery mist falls over the city and she wakes up with super powers!
I knew I was going to love this book when, right at the beginning, a friend of Kamala’s, who wears an hijab, is confronted by a white popular girl from school about that. She not only explains she wears one because SHE wants to but she also adds that her father wants her to take it off! That’s so on spot! There’s this misconception in our non-muslim world that all muslim women are obliged to wear an hijab by the men in their families. But that’s so wrong! Most women wear it because they think it’s the best thing to do. This book is full of things that show that muslims aren’t as different from”us” as “we” tend to believe. I love how Kamala’s parents are portrait too. They are so caring and loving. They don’t stop her from doing things because their religion tells them to do so. They only think it’s the best thing for their little girl. Plus, I learned a lot of words in Urdu (please correct me if it’s not Urdu that they speak).
But onto Kamala herself. She’s such a badass! She has a mind of her own and she can’t stop following what her gut tells her to do. She’s funny, sarcastic, intelligent and, plus, she has a great sense of fashion style! Her heart is so caring and full of love, even to the people that don’t deserve it the most. I genuinely love her and want her to be real so we can be best friends!
The plot of this first book is very rich. There’s a lot of exposition, which is only normal for volume one a series of books. But there’s also a lot of action and fighting crime, just like a good old super heroes story! More importantly, it’s filled with good and precious lessons. My favourite one is: be yourself. Even though Kamala decides to take on the name Ms. Marvel (she loves Carol Danvers THAT much), she wants to be none other than herself. It’s such a powerful message. Today, a lot of little girls are starting to pick up and read a lot of comics (since it’s not only “a boy thing” now). It’s so important for them to see a good representation of all women! Besides, the book doesn’t take itself that seriously. There’s a lot of humor and fun stuff, which makes the reading process a lot more easy (that can’t be said about all Marvel titles). It combines perfect lessons with awesome humour, making the mix a whole other level of incredible.
Of course that this review wouldn’t be finished without a mention of the visual style. It’s such a different one. Most of the comics and graphic novels we have in stores today are such opposites from the styles of the beginning. And this one is just like that. There are very thin lines, and a colour palette with very predominant tones like browns and blues. I definitely appreciate a very strong style in comics. I also have a profound respect for comic book artists because most people don’t realise how difficult it is to draw all those panels and different poses of the body. It takes a lot of practise and observation.
To conclude, all I want to say is: EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ MS. MARVEL! It’s a fun and quick read. But that doesn’t take away the incredibly large amount of good and important stuff you’ll learn from it.
I won’t include a favourite quote in this review but here’s my favourite panel!
I love Iron Man in this one! Just casually holding a sloth with wings while doing a peace sign. This books is so crazy, I love it so much! I can’t wait for the next trade paperback to come out! I want more Kamala in my life!!!
Well, that’s it folks. I have a lot of graphic novel reviews in the pot so the next few posts will probably be about that.
See you next time!