“Acts of Evil” kicks off this week with The Magnificent Ms. Marvel Annual #1, featuring a major villain facing off against a hero. As editor Kathleen Wisneski puts it, “You know what everyone says is worse than the devil? The devil you don’t know!” Up first is Ms. Marvel vs. Super-Skrull — who ya got?
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
If you don’t know the creative team you probably will soon enough, since Magdalene Visaggio and Jon Lam are two incredible creators. This story, titled “The Sting,” offers plenty of action and a feel-good sort of vibe.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with a snake oil salesman selling a gadget, as they are wont to do. Like in any good story, that gadget is a weapon and it threatens all of humanity! Cue dramatic music. Visaggio and Lam have done an excellent job making this extra-sized issue feel worth the extra buck, which isn’t always the case. The plotting keeps you entertained and on your toes, from the opening setup to a mysterious new hero entering Ms. Marvel’s turf, to a showdown that lives up to the purpose of “Acts of Evil”.
There is a good message in this story that anyone can relate to and learn from. It comes at the cost of the Super-Skrull’s very real anger over his world being destroyed, but it makes a lot of sense. It also connects well, since a second villain is pulled into things to add a layer of anger and potential revenge. Leave it to Ms. Marvel to calm things down and remind us she’s heroic because of her point of view and purity.
The art by Lam, with colors by Msassyk and letters by Joe Caramagna, is cartoony with an edge. The finer detail is there to make the muscles look sharp and the “Thwack” of a whip be felt. There’s some great use of motion via speed-line backgrounds and effects when characters move. I don’t know why it stuck out to me so much, but the way Lam draws lips is quite cool. It adds a certain edge to characters talking, getting punched, or just emoting. There’s extra emotion in these lips, which are a bit more angular than realistic looking ones, but they work.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
I can’t help but be irked by the message in this story since Super-Skrull lost his planet. Asking him to move on and move forward because things won’t go back to the way they were is certainly true, but the dude lost a planet when Galactus ate Throneworld. Ms. Marvel does say she’s sorry for him, but a little more empathy in the moment might have helped. Then again, Earth didn’t kill his planet! Connected to this, Super-Skrull seems to get off light given what he was attempting to do. This is a fluffy sort of story and its meaning jives well with the ending at least.
Is it good?
A great start to “Acts of Evil,” and an even better Ms. Marvel story. The creative team does a fantastic job with the character and imparts a strong message too. If you like Ms. Marvel even a little bit, don’t skip this.
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