The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2
From MAJK’s Coffee Corner:
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2 picked up seconds from where The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 left us, stunned and whimpering over a devasting loss for Kamala. The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2 continues setting up the big story without feeling like a setup issue.
Kamala goes through a lot of emotions in this chapter. This book is about who Kamala is as a person. It peeks inside at what it is that makes her special without ignoring her very human flaws. Her relationships with those she cares for are spotlighted but not at the expense of the action. There’s a nasty “final boss,” and Kamala’s victory is messy, disgusting, and yet ingenious.
Spoiler Warning: If you have not read The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 or #2 There May Be Spoilers Below
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2 Creative Team:
Publisher: Marvel Writer: Saladin Ahmed Pencils: Minkyu Jung Colors: Ian Herring
Ink: Juan Vlasco Cover Artist: Eduard Petrovich Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna Variant Cover: Afu Chan
The Story So Far:
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 opened with a teaser for a galaxy-spanning story involving Kamala. Somewhere in an unknown time and space, a father tells a bedtime story about The Destined One. The father’s narration was woven throughout the entire issue as Kamala went about her daily life. As Kamala rushed in late meet a friend, evades a relationship discussion mid-battle, and argued with her traditional parents about her less than traditional life, Ahmed was painting a picture for use of Kamala as both a hero and a human.
Ahmed’s introduction served as a great debut for both new readers, and long-time Kamala fans then culminated in a powerful cliffhanger that Kamala and her fans stunned, devastated, and guaranteed a rush to grab The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2.
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2 Cover & Variant:
Both cover options for The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2 were beautiful. Afu Chan’s variant embodies a lot of Kamala’s personality with her cheeky grin and chillax pose. Giant Kamala lounging lazily on some unnamed skyscraper spoke more to Kamala’s general persona than to the situation occurring in the issue. It’s lovely work, but I chose the Petrovich cover for my purchase.
The image of Kamala fighting to hold on to the Jersey City sign spoke volumes about where this story is going. The events of The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2 are putting Kamala in a place where destiny is pulling her away from all she knows and loves. There’s a lot of power in Petrovich’s imagery here when combined with the story Ahmed is crafting.
Usually, I am critical of comics that rely heavily on narrative, but Ahmed uses narrative to great effect both in the debut issue and in The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2. It’s clear Ahmed has a massive tale that he is cleverly crafting and much of his tale focuses on Kamala as a person rather than Ms. Marvel. Bruno’s narration in this issue gives us some very intimate insight into Kamala, as well as into Bruno’s adoration and admiration for her.
At the same time, Ahmed allows Kamala to display the raw emotions of a daughter dealing with loss. I doubt many teens could watch their parents literally melt into a pile of goo during a family disagreement and walk away unaffected. Kamala is traumatized, but as Bruno points out, she has always “…struggled to her feet when I’d have stayed down.” And she does just that, but it isn’t easy. Ahmed paints a picture of a Kamala working to keep it together and sometimes failing. She screams at a fan, growls at Bruno, and comes terrifyingly close to take her rage and frustration out on Discord, who had nothing to do with her parents.
Even Superheroes Need Help
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2 is an emotional issue. Kamala’s parents are missing or dead. The stakes can’t get much higher for a teenager. Ahmed does an excellent job of bringing out the human in Kamala. Throughout Wilson’s Ms. Marvel run Kamala experienced a lot of growth both as a person and as a hero. Ahmed keeps that thread going even as he takes the story in a new direction. We see Kamala reach out to Bruno for help. She’s learned she can’t do everything alone.
The sheer intensity of human emotion in The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2 is exactly what makes this issue more than an extended setup for Ahmed’s larger tale. He shows us how much Kamala has matured, and at the same time where her emotional limit lies. Kamala’s parents’ fate sets her off. She goes after everyone and everything in an effort to find out the truth. She regrets how she lashed out at them, agonizes over storming from the house after the argument with them. Ahmed does such a good job keeping us invested as he moves us towards a reveal of her role in broader narrative that The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 showed us was underway
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2 Art
The artwork by penciler Minkyu Jung, inker Juan Vlasco, and colorist Ian Herring synergize beautifully throughout this issue. Together they create dynamic visual displays of each character’s feeling; at the same time, the action scenes are energetic and fluid. This symbiosis of talent results in striking full-page splashes and kinetic action panels that scream (and in some cases spurt) from the page.
Jung’s style leans toward the realistic side of comic art, which creates depth of expression in close-ups while preserving a comic book aesthetic. Jung avoids turning secondary or background characters into caricatures through the use of detail. Vlasco’s inks are bold enough to give a solid pop to all high action imagery and scenes demonstrating strong sentiment. He’s careful to pull it back when a softer take is needed or in cases where blending is key. Herring’s color work employs a consistency that helps The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2 maintain a visual tone and style that doesn’t deviate too drastically from the original series and yet enhances Jung & Vlasco’s work to create potent visuals that give this new series a fresh look.
Caramagna wields fonts in a precise manner. He manages to give Bruno’s narration a calm air of introspection yet Bruno’s external dialogue speaks a range of emotion from barely keeping it together to confident determination. Kamala’s word balloons flow perfectly with her rollercoaster emotions, from sheer frustration yelling at a fan, to a veritable war cry as she confronts Discord. Caramagna’s sound effect fonts are excellent. The noise Kamala makes bursting from the center of that giant three-headed purple lizard beast make me cringe with disgust – precisely as it should.
MAJK’s Age Recommendation:
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2 is suitable for most comic readers. Marvel recommends twelve and up, but I feel confident that your average tween could safely enjoy this book. In fact, thus far I feel like this series does a good job being entertain for a wide age range of readers.
Next Issue: May 29 2019