Kamala Khan’s newest adventures have had some mixed reception from her fans, but these past few issues have been an emotional roller coaster, to say the least. Issue #9 left us with Tony Stark bringing Dr. Strange to perform Yusuf Khan’s surgery, Kamala kissing Bruno, and a classic Marvel villain, Mister Hyde, showing up to put a wrench in all these gears. Now Kamala has to balance handling this stressful time while her father is under the knife, catch a villainous murderer before someone gets hurt or killed, get back to her mother and brother’s side to support them during this time, protect her secret identity, and to top it all off, she and Bruno will have to talk about that kiss between them.
With everything that’s going on, the way this issue explores these situations surprisingly simple, but also effective. The story continues to unravel with one thing at a time, progressively showing us the events without jumbling them together. The main focus of this issue was Ms. Marvel vs Mister Hyde, and that certainly shows as it takes up most of the narrative, but the other events that are going on do get their points across without overextending and taking up too many pages.
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel has an art style that is generally very different from previous titles with the name. Minkyu Jung keeps to sharper lines and mildly more realistic shapes, which has its ups and downs for this super cartoony character. On one hand, the characters look great as they are, plus the Stormranger suit is a cool redesign for Kamala and I welcome the addition. On the other hand, some of the “Embiggening” looks strange in this style. It’s not particularly off-putting, but it does not really translate perfectly with a more realistic art direction.
The coloring for The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #10 by Ian Herring compliments Jung’s art very well. I’m especially fond of the palette choices for Hyde in these issues, as well as the inking on him. Juan Vlasco gives Hyde these immense dark shadows under his eyes and around his massive figure making him this menacing Hulk-like monster stomping around with his pale skin and outrageously proportioned forest green monkey suit. Hyde’s design fits this style very well and it shows.
Writer Saladin Ahmed has been keeping us guessing on what will happen next in this story, and there’s a lot to consider for the direction it has been going. Each new struggle for Kamala feels just as intense as the last without much of a clear resolution in sight. VC’s Joe Caramagna handles the lettering and gets to have some fun with all the grunts and growls from Hyde as he makes them all pop and practically audible.
As we progress through this heart-wrenching chapter in Kamala’s life, things only seem to get crazier with each turn. While the themes and conflicts have a strong bite of realism, the way Kamala goes about it does keep this feeling like Ms. Marvel. The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #10 continues to hit us with these harsh themes but does so in a way that is still consistent with what we’ve seen in the past. If you’re a long time fan of the stretchy Inhuman superhero, I still recommend this book as it expands more of our spectrum on Kamala’s experiences.
How do you feel about Ms. Marvel’s change in tone to more serious issues? Let us know how in the comments!