So how do Kamala Khan’s powers work? In Ms. Marvel #32, Bruno tries to find out! Is it good?
It’s a question that should be subject to study, right? Is it Pym Particles? Something else? Where does that extra mass come from when Kamala “embiggens”? And why are her powers suddenly malfunctioning?
Is it because … it’s Bruno? Things have been weird, so maybe it’s time to just completely start over. How possible is that, though?
Or maybe it does have a more physical explanation — electricity! No, then her powers would be on the fritz all the time. Some kind of vibration? Bad time for a D-lister to realize how unprotected New Jersey is.
Ms. Marvel #32 is ostensibly about figuring out how Kamala Khan’s stretchy powers work, but it’s all actually in service of the narrative. Each panel still moves things along, as no one “experiment” is dwelled on. Still, the characters, under the pen of G. Willow Wilson, say some pretty smart things about what may be going on.
That means both physically and emotionally. It just so happens that Kamala has a minor panic attack when Bruno tries the “electromagnetic output” measuring device, but was it because of the device itself, or because she feels like she’s making the same mistakes again? It’s all very early Peter Parker, which continues to be one of the most apt comparisons for the character.
But at the same time, Ms. Marvel is a book rooted squarely in the current generation. The interactions feel genuine, the language is modern and the issues are contemporary. So’s the art. Nico Leon delivers a “western manga” style that sets the book apart from other Marvel comics, and Ian Herring’s colors provide the perfect, muted accents for superheroism cut with the every day.
Even veteran letterer Joe Caramagna breaks from his usual style to write the dialogue in a less traditional way that better fits the tone.
Ms. Marvel #32 is a prime example of what’s made this book a pinnacle of what Marvel Comics can do, beyond straight superhero fare. Yes, there are plenty of standard tropes and referenences here, but the overall presentation is very unlike the average Avengers comic, which isn’t a slight on either of those things — it’s proof that different products for different audiences can co-exist and thrive in the same universe. And that the Shocker, somewhere, once, won a fight.
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