In the conclusion to the arc, Kamala must discover the limits of her bravery and that of her friends. Is it good?
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Picking up in the immediate aftermath of the last issue, Zoe walks into school after the virus has released her love letters to the entire student body. Luckily, while there are some taunts, a bunch of folks stand up and show her their love and support.
This display of kindness and bravery inspires Kamala to reach out to Bruno and her RPG guild for help, and they not only come through for her, but they give her exactly what she needs when facing down a terrifying villain – one she can’t punch.
Is It Good?
In most writer’s hands, this story arc would be pure schmaltz. Kindness saves the world! I can feel the snark and sarcasm forming just reading that sentence. But the beauty of Ms. Marvel is through the confident writing of G. Willow Wilson, wherein issues and ideas like this just work. The lack of irony, the self-awareness and thoughtfulness that plays out in the thoughts of Kamala draws you into that same mindset. The fact that Kamala asks “So why is it so hard to be kind?” as a group of teenagers embrace their classmate who has just been outed makes you contemplate that same question.
The reality teenagers are facing right now is a tough one. An ugly side of our society has been exposed and it could be really easy for comic writers to embrace that hardness and nihilism. But that’s not who Kamala Khan is, that’s never been her way. She is optimistic, but not a Pollyanna. She sees the bad side of the world and chooses in each moment to fight back against it with hope and courage, even if that means she has to make a tough or painful decision. She’s what a great role model should be, someone who’s tough choices aren’t made through her superhero gifts, but through her heart and mind.
Did the solution to defeating the villain not make perfect sense or was realistically feasible? No, not really. However, it didn’t bother me and the bit with the marching band made me laugh. It did fold up a bit neatly, but it worked for where the story needed to go to wrap up, and I had a lot of fun reading it, so I can’t ding it too hard.
Takeshi Miyazawa’s art is part of what made Runaways such a phenomenal book, and he is the perfect artist for this arc, since it shares themes with many of Runaways‘ great storylines. I absolutely adore his facial expressions and his manga styling gave the RPG world a great touch. Ian Herring had a lot of fun with colors, doing a great job of differentiating the RPG world with the real one.
Outside of the main villain storyline, I’m so happy we got some great character movement throughout this arc. Zoe’s transformation has been wonderful to watch, and her conversation with Nakia in the last issue was beautifully handled. And I’ll admit that my heart gave a little leap when I realized that Kamala was calling Bruno, and the cover for next month’s issue has me very excited for potentially reuniting this friendship.