In this issue, Kamala learns her digital enemy’s reach goes much further than she realized. Is it good?
Ms. Marvel #15 (Marvel Comics)
Kamala’s fight against the cyber troll is starting to affect her unmasked life; she’s tired, late for school, and afraid–really afraid. When a fellow student is shamed and horrified because her personal texts have been leaked to the rest of the school, her off-hand comment that her phone’s screen had a troll picture on it makes Kamala realize this person has a lot more power.
This sends her tracking down a suspect, but even as the fight begins, Kamala realizes that things are even more complicated than they seem.
Is It Good?
On the surface, this continuing story shows how much more powerful Kamala’s cyber enemy is, stepping up their game by possessing a person in real life and giving them super strength. But the real story is a deep look at the effect that cyberbullying and internet trolls can have on teens. Okay, maybe it’s not hidden that much, considering the main villain uses a literal troll as his avatar. But it’s a bold move especially to imply that a teen girl has sent nudes to her boyfriend and have the book support her as the victim; it’s also a brave and necessary one. Add in on the next page teens comparing their struggles as the kids of gay parents and immigrant families to always be the very best, and you have a very potent 1-2 punch of reality to a cape book.
Luckily, Wilson and co. have proven over and over that they can handle these stories with grace, cleanly making it part of the larger, more typical punching and capes action. And Kamala shows that she has some of her namesake in her when she goes straight to punching her problems in the face. It made me uncomfortable and Wilson has Kamala acknowledge that in her thought bubble: “I don’t pause. I don’t think. I just want this to be over.” She’s showing us how exhausting and frustrating dealing with online threats can be, when you have no way to fight back.
The art team kills it, as per usual. I love Miyazawa’s softer style, and she is a master at facial expressions–this whole page is full of fantastic faces, aided by Herring’s on point colors.
Also a big shout out Nelson Blake II and Rachelle Rosenberg on their fantastic cover. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned them, but I have loved the lettering for Ms. Marvel since the first issue. It looks exactly how I would picture Kamala’s handwriting to be and it’s one of those extra touches that shows how much care goes into every detail of this book.
I’m only expecting this short arc to get more real, and I really can’t wait to see how Wilson and team tackles the current state of our country once this arc is complete.