One of the things I love most about Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel is her ability to show empathy and emotion as a superhero. We have always experienced this through the eyes of our favorite comic book heroes, but Kamala always puts her full heart into everything she does – and this issue is a test of that.
Does it do it well? Eh.
While this issue is quick and mostly full of a fun fight sequence between Ms. Marvel and Stormranger, Kamala is faced with two different choices: Stop the supervillain from killing a friend, or saving her father from a bone disease by being his donor.
My first thought was “How the hell is an Inhuman going to be able to donate her own flesh and bones to a human without turning them into an Inhuman?” Luckily, I never need to find out because by the time Kamala gets to her father, Doctor Strange has concluded that it’s too late to save his bones – except for the next page where he promptly turns around and says everything is fine, and that Kamala’s father is going to be able to walk with a cane. The stakes were high for a hot second, before giving us an ending similar to an ’80s cartoon.
There is a good bit in here when Kamala chooses to save her friend after Doctor Strange ghosts his way into her romantic boat ride. She is asked if she has a choice between saving a friend or her father. Kamala’s response: “That’s not how it works, Bruno. That’s just… not how it works.”
This moment is so dire for a superhero. The job of being a superhero comes first before being a family or friend. It’s a dilemma all superheroes face, whether it be a lover, a child, or even a friend. Their duty to protect the greater humanity steps in the way of them sustaining happy relationships with the people they love. In this case, Kamala has to choose between which of these two horrible circumstances will present her with more guilt. She chooses her duty to being a superhero. That’s a hell of a choice for a teenager to make.
Luckily, Kamala’s father turns out relatively fine after the work of Doctor Strange. No transplant is needed to take place, and everyone gets their happy ending. Everyone is alive and well – this is a Ms. Marvel comic after all.
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel has been a great run, but it has put Kamala’s parents in peril quite a few times. At this point, we see that her parents are going to be fine, no matter what the circumstance. There are no stakes. It’s like watching an episode of She-Ra, where despite all odds, we know that She-Ra and her friends are still going to be waving at the camera happily at the end of the episode.
That being said, seeing the emotional breakdown of a harsh decision for Kamala choosing between her superhero duties and her family is a tough one, and I would love to see this plot point explored in a little more depth than a quick couple of issues.
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