The Ms. Marvel run written by G. Willow Wilson is one of the most important runs to happen in my lifetime. For my money, Kamala Khan is the best superhero debut since Peter Parker, and one of the best runs in Marvel comics ever. That run was good enough that she has her own Disney+ show happening right now (and it’s my favorite MCU show so far).
It is disappointing that one of my favorite characters doesn’t have a current ongoing. Just a few years ago, she was an Avenger! Now, she’s appearing less often, and her show is reportedly being viewed less than any other MCU show. This is bad news.
Good news? This miniseries is fantastic, and if Samira Ahmed, Andrés Genolet, and Tríona Farrell get to continue telling Kamala Khan stories, I’ll be gladly along for the ride.
Genolet and Farrell work together perfectly, and are a perfect fit for the material. They are able to make Kamala’s powers look good and fun, but not pretty, and can simply sell the wonder of the Marvel Universe in a way that feels at ease. I really like the line work, which is curvy and bouncy in ways that fit the character in wonderful fashion. Farrell gets to have just as much fun, especially in places like the Bollywood sequences, where the palette becomes extremely vibrant and dominates the art.
Even then, they work together, with the colors matching the energy of the line work, creating a whole that neither could have done alone. Just great examples of collaboration all throughout, and a delight to experience.
Of course, the story that the artists told is wonderful, and not just because of their aesthetic magic, as Samira Ahmed has a clear understanding of the character and has made this volume as approachable as any. One part of that is the way this series recontextualized Kamala as not just a legacy hero, but one who could potentially become another’s inspiration in the future.
This choice works well for me because it demonstrates not just growth for Kamala, but it exists it conversation with her past stories. The response by fans to Kamala Khan enabled her to have the run she had, but with a new team working on her, it’s important that they have room to do more than just play the hits. The choices in this series give me confidence that they won’t just do that, but also try to say new things about Ms. Marvel and her surrounding characters.
Maybe the most important aspect of this series to me was the tone, which the original series perfected, with its ability to moralize without speaking down on readers. This new series does well at matching that quality.
It can get Saturday Morning Cartoon-y at times, but I think that’s one of the strengths of Ms. Marvel, both as a series and as a character. It can present very simple morals and lessons without feeling overly childish or infantile. At their core, superheroes are designed to be enjoyed by children—even if adults 18-35 are the primary target because they have money—and I think they should be aspirational too. Beyond the Limit does both, while still being a great read for someone who lands in that 18-35 age range.
Ms. Marvel: Beyond the Limit is a worthy continuation of one of the greatest superhero stories ever told. It doesn’t reach that high of a peak, but it doesn’t continue the trend of Marvel quietly making some of the best superhero stories on the market in miniseries. I just really hope this creative team’s output doesn’t end up limited to this one volume.
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