The newly (re)launched Ms. Marvel’s first arc (sort of) wrapped up last month on a really nice melancholic note. Writer G. Willow Wilson really went to town to create a realistic modern teenaged character with some real personal issues and she made Kamala Khan’s story resonate. That has been something that has served this series in good stead, for most of the comics right now from the Big 2 really don’t focus so much on characters like Kamala. In a lot of different ways. And the uniqueness that results has made this series one of the best on the shelves each month.
The new Ms. Marvel #6 takes some time off from Kamala’s usual heroics and interactions with her family to focus on things like her religious instructor and mentor as the two interact really well together in quite surprising ways. And also, we get to see a surprise guest star in the second half of the issue (spoilers will be below!) and that really made my day, to see Kamala meet and hang out with this superstar superhero. G. Willow Wilson’s writing in this issue was spot on and consistent, though with Jacob Wyatt stepping in for a pencil guest-spot, the art isn’t to the usual high standards.
One of the things we saw in the last issue was Kamala’s first true villain, cockatiel-faced The Inventor who had an indirect hand in the kidnapping of Bruno’s brother Vic a couple issues back and who has now become quite adept at hunting down Kamala wherever she is in Jersey City. The interactions between the two of them are easily some of the best moments of this issue, and I loved that for her first true test Kamala doesn’t have to face someone out-and-out evil or villainous or the like. In keeping with the tone of the series, The Inventor is a quite light-hearted villain and plays up to be quite the nice foil for Kamala herself.
Looking at this from the perspective of a teenage-oriented comic however, the starting of the issue takes all the brownie points. We’ve seen Kamala’s religious mentor Sheikh Abdullah cast as a severe and very conservative authority figure thus far, someone that Kamala respects but is averse to in a way since she can’t stand his sermonizing and the like. Just like any other rebellious teenager! In this issue however, the time for second-hand characterisation is over for Kamala gets to interact with him directly as the two of them sit-down for a talk about what she has been up to.
I’ll admit, I was expecting Sheikh Abdullah to be quite the cliched character, which I realize is doing a disservice to G. Willow Wilson considering how she’s conducted the series thus far. He genuinely surprised me however, and I found that I really liked him. Kamala’s interactions with him, and his lessons for her, are really good and I really want to see more of him now, because I think that he can be a really important supporting character in the series if he is played right.
And finally, there’s the guest spot in the second half, featuring none other than Wolverine himself. On the trail of The Inventor himself, Wolverine runs into Kamala in this issue and the two of them spend some quality time together. All this means that in a single issue, Kamala gets two very important mentors in her superheroing life, and things really couldn’t be better. G. Willow Wilson plays up the similarities and differences between Kamala and Wolverine really well, and I can’t wait to see what she does next for the two of them given the cliffhanger.
The art in this issue is mainlined by Jacob Wyatt this time instead of series regular Adrian Alphona, though Ian Herring is still on the colours and the same for VC’s Joe Caramagna on the letters with Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson doing the cover. Jacob’s art is not on the same level as Adrian’s, that’s for sure. Less details, more “general-work”, and thus less excitement. But there are some scenes that he does well, such as the scenes with Kamala and Sheikh Abdullah, so I won’t complain much. And where the colours are concerned, Ian Herring is a genius as always so nothing bad to say there, all good, 100%.
There’s a new chapter in Kamala’s beginning now, and this is going to be a really fun ride!