Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Comic Review: Ms Marvel (volumes 2 and 3)

So this week's anime review is Gatchaman Crowds Insight which is a complicated thing to talk about so I'm taking my time and will get it up later in the week, that's why that one is late. Honestly even if I tried to rush it I don't know if I could get a coherent post out earlier because that show just requires a lot of thought, not impulsive button-pushing.

And this review is also later than I'd like, not only because my review backlog is large but because I didn't realize my library was getting new books in this series until I saw volume 3 appear on the shelves and then started looking for volume two. Wohoops, at least I know now that I should start looking for volume four soon!

Ms. Marvel volumes 2 and 3 written by G. Willon Wilson and illustrated by Jacob Wyatt, Adrian Alphona, Takeshi Miyazawa, and Elmo Bondoc

There is still trouble afoot in and near Jersey City and, as a girl who not only has strong ties to her home but also recognizes that if she doesn't protect it from superhuman threats no one will, Kamela continues her undercover crime fighting as Ms Marvel with some help from good friends and dogs.

While I did still very much like these two volumes, I think I liked them a little less than the very first one. First installments always get a little more wiggle room since of course you don't know the whole story yet, it's still unfolding and the huge range of possibilities seems magical. With middle installments there's more pressure and if there's not a significant amount of progress made character or story-wise (unless the story is pure slice of life) then that time feels slightly wasted. I honestly can't figure out what the current "arc" is for Ms. Marvel, there have been hints at a larger villain for a future showdown but so far the story is content to merely play with the idea instead of committing to it. And I prefer arcs, even if they are loose ones, to pure "fight of the week" storytelling. Having a "plot" arc would also really compliment Kamela's own character development, we see her growing into a confident young woman and so I want the story to also reflect that forward motion. Pop Culture Happy Hour has a nice episode talking about Ms. Marvel and identity and I completely recommend people go check it out.

Back to here, it may be that the connecting story thread here is the inhumans subplot (since Kamela finds out that she is not a mutant, she's an inhuman) which is the one part where the story started to lose me. I know how inhumans work thanks to Agents of SHIELD but that series is a different continuity so I was lost when a few other inhumans showed up and the story acted as if I should already be familiar with them. And I have to admit, having crossovers with things such as the SHIELD comics series feels weird since it's such a different beast than the one I know and love, the characters feel "out of character" and those crossover chapters don't help the story feel more connected (although I do appreciate that they are included for completion's sake). I'm still following the story for sure but I am glad that I'm reading it in collected, trade format instead of issue to issue, I'm afraid that it would have lost my attention if I read it in smaller chunks now.