Kamala Khan, the new and current Ms. Marvel has been through a lot in the last few months. First she got caught in a Terrigenesis cloud that brought out her Inhuman genes and gave her her shapeshifting morphing powers. Then she went up against a bunch of villains, normal and eccentric alike, and even got to team up with none other than Wolverine, one of the greatest X-Men ever. And now she finds herself the proud (temporary) owner of Lockjaw, a loyal follower of the Inhumans’ Queen Medusa who has taken an interest in Kamala on Wolverine’s suggestion.
Recently we saw that Kamala’s powers were on the fritz and that it happened at the worst time possible, when her enemy The Inventor sent a giant murderous robot after her, which tracked her to her school and started laying waste to everything in sight. In Ms. Marvel #9 we see what happens after that, how Kamala’s powers come back and even how she meets Medusa for the first time, a meeting that has been building up for a good while now, especially once loyal and faithful Lockjaw entered the story. G. Willow Wilson knocks this out of the park once again with artist Adrian Alphona and it was a really fun issue to read.
Thanks to the recent Inhuman series from Charles Soule, we know that Medusa is pretty much on the warpath, going everywhere and anywhere to keep new Inhumans safe from the machinations of anyone who might try to harm them. And so, when she heard about Kamala through Wolverine, she was ready to go herself and bring the young Inhuman in, but stayed off on both Logan and Steve Rogers’ suggestions, opting instead to send Lockjaw in her place. And a fun decision it has been, since Lockjaw became an instant hint with Kamala though her family didn’t take to him with nearly as much enthusiasm.
In this issue, we see Lockjaw prove his worth to both Kamala and Bruno and also justifies Medusa’s faith in him when he summons the Queen to help save Kamala from The Inventor’s robot. What that sets off is a great extended sequence on New Attilan as Kamala learns that she is not a mutant after all, but an Inhuman, and that there are willing elders out there who can teach her to control her powers and even fit into society at large.
I loved this issue, primarily because of the interactions between Medusa and Kamala, but also because Bruno is swept along for the ride, and as surrogates for the readers, they learn just what the Inhumans are all about and that Kamala has a family that she never knew she had. It is pretty great stuff all the way through though I wish one or two more Inhumans had made an appearance, especially the younger ones we’ve seen in Charles’ Inhuman.
The latter third of the issue is taken up with Kamala’s fight against The Inventor, specifically his power source for his weird inventions: human batteries. She wants to hurt the villain where it will do the most damage, since because of him none of her family and friends, or her favourite buildings even, are safe. I liked this take-charge-attitude Kamala. We’ve seen some brief glimpses of her previously, but now G. Willow Wilson really pulls out all the stops and she does an incredible job with the climax, when we face up to this head-twisting cliffhanger that is unprecedented and shocking in equal measure.
Kamala is the star of the issue of course, but we also get to see Bruno in some great scenes and I liked that he is turning into a good and proper sidekick now, and also staying a voice of reason for the hero.
Adrian Alphona, Ian Herring and VC’s Joe Caramagna are on the art once again, and they turn in some fantastic work. The only problem I had with this issue was that Medusa was inconsistent and even a bit too cartoony here. I’m certainly not expecting the Ryan Stegman version from Inhuman but even then, it didn’t work as much as I’d hoped it would. Other than that though, the artwork here was fantastic, and the first half with the school battle really is incredible, such as the scene where Kamala embiggens and jumps at the robot, crashing her fists down on the robot in a very WWE style of top-rope jump. That was awesome.
Waiting until the next issue is going to be a real task now!