By Arpad Okay and Jarrod Jones. Our Week In Review collects our thoughts on the comics that demand attention. Do you have a deep-rooted desire to know what we think about all your favorite books? Well. This is where you need to be.
Ms. Marvel #6
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Nico Leon; colored by Ian Herring.
Lettered by Joe Caramagna.
AOK: The first act of the All-New, All-Different Ms. Marvel comes to a close with mayhem and megafeels. The army of Kamala Khan clones running rampant through the city have glommed together to become a well-meaning fifty foot tall monster. Bruno, high school genius and Kamala’s BFF, has created a big blue Tyrannosaurus to help even the odds. It doesn’t. Yes, it’s bananas — even more than usual.
Delightful as it is, the reason we read this comic isn’t the action. Ms. Marvel’s greatest asset is the girl behind the mask, and G. Willow Wilson writes with a reverence for Kamala Khan first and costume second. As Jersey stands (once again) poised on the brink of destruction, great powers step in to intervene, turning expectations upside-down, imparting a little wisdom and disappearing as suddenly as they came. The crux of Kamala’s story has never been whom she punches. (Or how hard.) It’s that little moment of conversation with her idols. It’s her discovering the power to change the world was hers long before her exposure to Terrigen Mist.
That single panel of a comforting hand on Kamala’s shoulder was worth every page of the series leading up to it. We are right there with her, Our Hero, in a moment of tremendous vulnerability. The world is a scary, fast, overwhelming place. Who hasn’t felt that way? But the reserves she draws upon to save the day are human, not Avenger. A true All-New, All-Different superhero uses inner strength. Kamala Khan is one of the most important things to happen to comics in quite some time, and Ms. Marvel bears that responsibility with grace.
9 out of 10
Written by Brian K. Vaughan.
Art by Fiona Staples.
Letters and design by Fonografiks.
JJ: Brian K. Vaughan once told ComicsAlliance that he hoped Saga would continue for as long as he was willing to write it. Asked if his collaboration with Fiona Staples would top out at around 60 issues — or as long as Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina had enjoyed their runs — BKV had this to say: “Long after people have stopped being interested in it, I would still like to keep writing this book.” When most comic series can scarcely pull past 52 issues without resetting back to #1, the prospect of keeping Saga running past #60 is an intriguing one, indeed.
If 60 is that nice round number to which we can project a presumed ending (or, at the very least, a milestone), we’re definitely over the halfway point with Saga #36. But if the content of this issue is any indication, Vaughan and Staples have enough to work with for another 36, no problem. In fact, because of everything that happens in this very busy issue, you can say that Saga #36 is a fitting close to the first book of this fabulously entertaining series. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that Marko and Alana keep coming up with ways to make their lives as complicated as possible. That’s probably why we love them so much.
It’s an issue about the delusion of safety. Staples’ rendering of a elementary school safety poster — where a horned child runs gleefully with scissors at their peril — is the perfect visual for an installment that concerns itself with imminent danger. (And the considerable danger that will come after this issue’s insane cliffhanger.) Page one finds Marko at the smart end of a shiv. Page three finds Hazel hidden away in a box cradled by her teacher Noreen, just seconds away from being discovered. Ghüs stands off against The Mark.
With all these events taking place on top of each other, there are moments where you can spot the gears of Saga‘s deterministic machine turning a little more than necessary. That’s largely due to Vaughan and Staples’ apparent desire to see certain subplots finally get put to bed — and that’s just what they do. It’s not clean, but the team sticks their landing. Because of course they do.
7.5 out of 10
From earlier this week —
Agree? Disagree? What books are YOU reading this week? We want to know! Tell us about those feelings of yours in the comments section below.