Out this week from Marvel Comics, The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #9 is both heart-wrenching and uplifting, it will quickly unsettle you but gradually bring you back with its wholesome scenes to follow.
Ms. Marvel has always felt like a symbol that you CAN still make new superheroes fresh and awesome. Anyone who has kept up with Magnificent Ms. Marvel might not have kept those same thoughts in mind the entire ride. Not to say they’ve been bad, I still enjoyed watching Kamala’s parents interact with alien life, as goofy as it was. But there’s still a clear hill to topple for this series to reach what it could be.
Issue #9 continues this story arc about Kamala’s father. (Spoiler warning for past issues) Yusuf Kahn is dying of a very new and unknown illness that doctors can not find a treatment for. Kamala turned to Tony Stark in issue #6 but even Iron Man did not have a way to help. Which lead to a lot of pain, and struggle for the Kahn family.
This was a very real tone that was significantly different from story arcs in previous Ms. Marvel runs. At first, it was a tough pill to swallow. However, issue# 9 really brings it together. Without giving too much away, the issue begins with Kamala and Zoe (Who I’m so happy to see again finally) at Kamala’s house on the dreaded homework grind. This scene is abruptly and horrifyingly interrupted by an off-panel yell and CRASH. Shown to be Kamala’s father who has fallen over in the next panel.
The lettering by VC’s Joe Caramagna in this scene made it all the more bone-chilling. It’s depressing when a close family member has any form of illness, let alone your own father. For Kamala I imagine hearing this yell, clearly from her father, was terrifying and the two panels that create this scene feel as real as it can get. It was the simplicity of the lettering that made it this way. There’s a sense of urgency, the way no one says anything when something like this happens, everyone hears it and reacts on instinct alone.
Ian Herring’s coloring for this scene is well executed. The way the first panel has that red tint over everything adding to the look of shock and heavy tone in the air. Speaking of that look of shock, Minkyu Jung’s penciling of this entire scene is very on point. The character expressions are believable, there’s a sense of blank fear on everyone’s faces followed by that rush of realization and worry. Paired with the inking by Juan Vlasco, who emphasized these dark foreboding shadows that linger around Kamala in the hospital after, this issue really does bring the art style for this series together.
It’s been a tough transition coming over from G Willow Wilson’s run with Kamala, where the struggles had more emphasis on social issues than domestic. But this is an issue where I feel the team starts to bring it all together and define the story they’re trying to tell. Magnificent Ms. Marvel is telling a harsher more real story than the previous series. Something less “Saturday morning cartoon” feeling which has its ups and downs for this character.
That’s not to say this entire issue stays like this. While things start off seeming as bad as it can get for Kamala and her family, this rest of it ends up focusing a lot on showing her relationships with characters. (As the cover by Eduard Petrovich may have implied)
Starting very simply with her and Zoe just palling around talking about Zoe’s potential crushes, we see their light-hearted relationship as school friends. But even Zoe doesn’t come with Kamala to the hospital. Of course, it’s Bruno who comes to her side instead. Anyone who has kept up with Ms. Marvel going all the way back to 2014 knows Bruno and Kamela have a relationship that is bittersweet and can only be described by the term “It’s complicated” at best. But Bruno coming to Kamela’s side in this detrimental time shows a lot for how close they still are despite their history.
Among these relationships, we also get to see a little Iron Man and Kamala in this issue, with Tony making a brief appearance. During Civil War II, Kamala once stated that the conflict between Tony and Carol Danvers, (Captain Marvel) was like her “superhero parents are getting divorced.” –Ms. Marvel #10 and I believe Ahmed has really kept that in mind when writing Iron Man in this issue.
While Tony describes himself as an uncle to her, there’s a clear sincere relationship between these two and that Tony will do anything for Kamala, much like a father would go out of his way for his daughter no matter the circumstances. This is a very wholesome part that adds relief from the heartbreaking moments in the beginning. As well as giving the reader hope for events to come.
Magnificent Ms. Marvel #9 ends on some action with the return of a classic villain who I will not spoil, leading into some more expected action for issue # 10. The end of the issue has one more surprise I’ll leave be, and overall this is a good issue for the new run. If you’ve been following this story but have not been crazy about it this issue may jump-start your interest in the series again. I recommend it for any long-time Ms. Marvel fan.
Read it already? Let us know how you felt about this issue in the comments below!