Of late, Ms. Marvel writer G. Willow Wilson transformed the title from one that was meant to remind us of the incredible potential of brand-new characters (and young ones at that) to one where the title could actually tap into the apathy of the modern generation and force them to sit up and take notice of the things around them. It was a nice (subtle) arc that I really liked, and it also brought to conclusion the whole thing going on with the supervillain The Inventor, with the whole thing becoming one of the most fun and awesome meta-arcs of any comics of late.
In this past week’s issue, we see a new guest character on the comic, none other than Loki Laufeyson, the adopted son of the All-Father Odin and the All-Mother Freyja. Loki is sent to Kamala’s high school by Freyja to find out and neutralize a threat to Asgard. Of course, said threat also involves The Inventor, so things are a bit woozy there for a while, but by the end, you see some fantastic stuff between Loki and Kamala, not to mention that Elmo Bondac’s art made for a nice change from Adrian Alphona’s typicla high standards.
Loki in a high-school setting where he kinda-sorta has to baby-sit a high-schooler? Well that has fun written all over it. G. Willow Wilson did a fantastic job by bringing in the villain The Inventor for her first long arc on the title, and now she goes some way further still to bring in yet another foil for Kamala, someone who is so much more rooted in Marvel history, and who can be a real pain for the hero beyond the fact that he is often a villain and a hero both. Doubly so when there’s a Valentine’s dance involved and Kamala has to once again go beyond the dictates and traditions of her family to do what she wants to do.
This issue is said to be a Valentine’s Day special, and I think that it does the job without appearing to be something typical and cliche. The All-Mother sends Loki to find out about The Inventor’s… influence on Kamala’s high school, and along the way he gets swept up in Bruno’s unrequited love for Kamala, and it ends up being hilariously fun. G. Willow Wilson uses Loki’s awkwardness and his flair for the silly and the dramatic to expose more of who her characters are, and it is fun to see the young ones interacting without the need for a school-destroying robot or a mad rooster clone-fail who is trying to take over the world.
This is a relaxed story that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and along the way the characters get to chill out as well. Plus there might be some truth serum shenanigans involved and those are always… fun, shall we say. And depending on who did drink a certain spiked punch or not, things get get even better in the second half of the comic. Absurdly hilariously so because we are talking about the Norse God of Mischief here, or rather, the Asgardian epitome of mischief here, and he doesn’t do things the easy way or the considerate way. That is indeed what sets him on this mission in the first place, following a somewhat disastrous mission elsewhere for the All-Mother.
A nice done-in-one story that slows down the hectic pace of the previous arc, gives the characters the time to catch up with each other and just time out, G. Willow Wilson is on form here and she gets all the characters down really well too, a great bonus as usual.
Replacing Adrian Alphona on the art here is Elmo Bondoc, though Ian Herring is still on the colours, VC’s Joe Caramagna on the letters, and Kris Anka on the cover art. The art here is fairly good. Elmo seems to have a style that very closely echoes that of Adrian Alphona, which can be slightly weird, but is acceptable I suppose. There were some scenes here where characters were a bit exaggerated, needlessly so, but nothing major, and Elmo definitely did a good job with Loki himself, and some of the… bigger pages were handled well too.
A nice time-out story you should definitely read. And it has a great message too about people making mistakes. Recommended read.