She’s been an Inhuman, a Champion, an Avenger, and soon a movie star, but Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #1 is the start of Kamala’s biggest era ever.
I’ve covered various titles during the “Fall of X” already and I’m loath to repeat myself, but here’s where we are: most of the X-Men are MIA after the catastrophic Hellfire Gala, the remaining few are hiding out in the Morlock tunnels under New York City, and Kamala Khan (AKA Ms. Marvel) recently learned she’s a mutant after being brought back from death on Krakoa. Bad time to hard launch her as an X-Man, right? Wrong! She’s now a perfect double agent for the mutant cause, and is now attending an Orchis-led summer program for high schoolers to infiltrate the enemy. Just another day’s work for the magnificent Ms. Marvel!
A lot has been said about Kamala’s reimagining —mainly that her death storyline was cheap and that it’s a blatant excuse to have her 616 counterpart more closely align with the MCU version, who might be their first confirmed mutant— but honestly? I think adding yet another layer to her character in addition to everything else she is or was (i.e. an Inhuman, a Champion, an Avenger) enhances her established themes of cultural assimilation and feeling like she’s caught between opposing worlds that have been present since her first series. (Which, by the way, was nearly a decade ago now in case you want to feel old.) It’s addition, not subtraction; lots of characters have undergone similar shifts and turned out fine. So maybe just chill out a little bit if you’re one of the people mad about this? But enough about that. How’s Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #1 as a comic?
As you may have heard, Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant marks Iman Vellani’s comic book debut — and yes, that Iman Vellani, as in the actor who portrays Kamala in the MCU. I believe she might be the first actor in the franchise to then write their character’s comics? As an outspoken fangirl of Marvel —but especially Ms. Marvel— Vellani brings lots of enthusiasm that is apt for the character, herself a major superhero fangirl in-universe.
Vellani’s script, co-written with Sabir Pirzada, manages to make the best out of an admittedly cynical premise (corporate synergy) that keeps within the spirit of past Ms. Marvel runs while also feeling like a new chapter in the character’s history. Things may be harder than ever for Kamala now that she’s establishing herself as a member of the X-Men, who are once again public enemy number one, but it’s nothing she hasn’t experienced before. The sense of optimism that defines Kamala keeps the bleak state of mutant affairs from feeling overwhelming, and she may be the key to helping them come out on top once again. I also really enjoy the art of this issue, done by Carlos Gomez & Adam Gorham. Kamala’s powers naturally lend themselves to creative visuals, but they take it a step further by also utilizing dynamic page layouts that keep the momentum going. I don’t know if Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant is intended to run for longer than the announced four issues, but there’s so much story potential with Kamala’s new status quo, and I’d really like to see this team continue it further.
Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #14.99
- Writers: Iman Vellani & Sabir Pirzada
- Artists: Carlos Gomez & Adam Gorham
- Color Artist: Erick Arciniega
- Letterer: VC's Joe Caramanga
- Cover Artists: Sara Pichelli & Matthew Wilson
- Editor: Jordan D. White
- Publisher: Marvel Entertainment