Magnificent Ms. Marvel continues to be a strong solo series full of energy and relatable writing.
This issue takes place after the events that permanently injured Kamala Khan’s father. Kamala is still feeling guilt for not saving her father from this injury, a choice she had to make while fighting one of her common supervillains who had stampeded through New York like it was Gotham City. She consistently faced with choosing between being a superhero and a normal kid – oh, the woes of being a teenager.
Kamala has such vigorous love and respect for her father. There is a sweet moment right at the beginning of the story in which he is driving Kamala to the county fair, and asks if there will be boys there. Kamala gives a long winded answer, and then responds “Yes, of course there will be boys.” She gets out of the car and her father tells her to make good choices. They tease each other a bit, and them embrace in a hug. Rarely do we get to see a superhero, even a teenage one, interact with their parents in a comic book. Often times, those interactions do not go well or are full of angst. Not Ms. Marvel. Kamala embraces her father with love, and I commend Saladin Ahmed for writing Kamala with such a big, open heart.
The rest of the story takes place at the county fair where Kamala has to battle with two different problems: Not being ready to tell her friends about her new boyfriend, and setting aside the stress of a superhero to be a normal teen.
One of my favorite and most relatable parts of this story is when Kamala tells herself to “let go” and just enjoy being a teenager, not being on duty as a superhero 24/7. She boards the bumper cars and has a wild time. She describes the experience as feeling like “being a kid again”. Unfortunately, that moment ends when the ride ends, and she’s back to her teenage angsty thoughts.
Often times in our adult lives, we work more than we allow ourselves to relax. I often find myself wishing I had time to just blow off my responsibilities to go do something more fun. I can never bring myself to do that, mostly because my Google Calendar has been carefully crafted to work multiple jobs while producing multiple avenues of content as a hobby – but there are moments where I just want to say “screw it” and go to Six Flags and see where the day takes me. It’s a reality that most adults face. The older we get, the less time we have, and we often wish for when our lives were more simple with less responsibility. That is a very real feeling Kamala is experiencing in this issue.
Kamala and her friends stumble into a fortune teller’s tent, which accidentally summons a series of multi-armed cat demons that terrorize the county fair. Ms. Marvel gets to work in defending the people of the fair, and she is joined by a new superhero, Amulet. I really wanted Amulet to be revealed as Kamala’s father, and honestly I thought that was where the comic was going after seeing the front cover, but it seems that Amulet is a teenager around Kamala’s age. Only time will tell!
I also want to mention that these fight scenes feature some beautiful artwork illustrated by Joey Vazquez.
The end of this story comes full circle, with Kamala returning home by her curfew. She knows it wouldn’t be a problem if we she is a few minutes late, but she has such love and respect for her father that she ensures to be there on time. In turn, her father has the same love and respect for her, and he pushes back her curfew. It’s a sweet moment, and I honestly love them.