Writer: G. Willow Wilson, Devin Grayson, Eve L. Ewing, Jim Zub, Saladin Ahmed / Artist: Nico Leon, Takeshi Miyazawa, Joey Vazquez, Kevin Libranda, Minkyu Jung, Juan Vlasco / Marvel Comics
When I think about newer characters that have blown me away it’s easy (especially with the recent explosion of awesomeness that was Into the Spiderverse) to focus solely on Miles Morales. He was a young black character from the Northeast and crazy relatable to my life. Kamala Khan, though, was a different experience entirely. I am definitely not a young Pakistani-American, Muslim woman nor have I known any. In my cultural ignorance, I was enthralled by the Ms. Marvel comic. It’s my great honor to review Ms. Marvel #38, the glorious G. Willow Wilson’s last issue. I’ve followed Ms. Marvel from the jump, aside from a shameful lapse earlier this year. Wilson’s exit issue reminds me why it was so easy to fall in love with this character.
“Boss Rush” tells a story of the mundane, normal side of Kamala’s life being interrupted by the fantastic. She is sucked into an inexplicably placed wormhole that spits her out into a Role-Playing Game-based adventure. Getting through the different “levels” she comes across her closest friends filling roles as bosses and then joining her party. Along the way, our hero is forced to think deeply about how her relationships with these amazing people have evolved over the years.
I was a little worried when I saw that Miss Wilson was sharing this book with a slew of creators as a preview of the some of the teams set to handle Khan’s legacy when she’s gone. I am not generally a fan of the collection of short stories that a book with eleven creators usually is. My concerns were swiftly put to rest as the team puts together a single story with the reigns handed off the next team throughout the book. The RPG theme worked well with this strategy; each level being a slice of the story for the next team to tell. The RPG theme also plays in with Ms. Marvel, probably more so than any character I can think of. From her genesis, Ms. Marvel has been a queen nerd. Video games, fan fiction, tabletop games. References to this world are all over Ms. Marvel comics. It leads in to what I believe to be a source of the success of the character. Kamala Khan is a complex character with multiple aspects important to her identity. Wilson has never been shy emphasizing her nerdiness, her religion, her Arab-American culture, her identity as a Jersey girl. It makes for a compelling person and provides for a variety of stories that can and will be told in the future.
I want to pay special attention to the last few pages by Saladin Ahmed, Minkyu Jung and Juan Vlasco. The first two of them will be the creative team behind Ms. Marvel’s main book. Their pages were delightfully narrated and softly colored, making for a warm and heartfelt conclusion to the book. I look forward to discovering what directions they decide to take this Magnificent character.
Reading Ms. Marvel? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.