Ms. Marvel #1
G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, and Ian Herring

As I (briefly) chronicled on Twitter last week, I finally sat down and read the new Ms. Marvel. And I LOVED IT.

Premise:

16-year-old Kamala Khan, a New Jersey girl of Pakistani descent, struggles to find a balance between her protective parents and her need for independence, her Muslim faith and her more secular interests, and her individuality with her desire to fit in and be a "normal" girl.

And that's BEFORE she gets superpowers.

Artwork?

LOVE. Her facial expressions, especially, are so... expressive.

And there are loads of great details: there's a tiny sign over the magazine rack in the convenience store that says YOU READ FOUR WORDS, YOU BUY!; before she gets hit with the Superpower Whammy, she wears a hoodie with the Ms. Marvel logo; the sloth stuffie in her bedroom appears later in the mist sequence. 

Writing?

It's AWESOME. Funny and smart, with believable dialogue, and even in just this one issue, a whole bunch of distinct, three-dimensional characters are introduced. Kamala's various struggles are specific to herself and her situation, but are also totally relatable. It's geeky and full of pop culture fun—there's a Star Wars joke on the first page, a meathead refers to Kamala's friend Bruno as Good Will Hunting, and Kamala writes superhero fanfic:

Kamala's mother: Kamala! Dinner!

Kamala: One minute, Ammi... there is epic stuff happening on the internet.

KM: What?

K: My Avengers fanfic has almost 1,000 upvotes on freakingcool.com.

KM: I didn't understand one single word of that sentence.

As frustrated as Kamala gets with her parents (and as frustrated as they get with her), the home-life scenes are full of warmth and affection. AND, while Kamala finds her parents' protective restrictions chafing, her older brother is giving their parents a hard time in the OTHER direction:

Dad: Prayer is noble, but when you spend all day praying, it starts to look like you're avoiding something.

Like finding a job, for example.

And finally, the book realistically portrays cultural insensitivity, but rather than doing it in a didactic, preachy way, much of it is played for laughs (eyerolling, embarrassed-at-the-speaker's-gauchitude-laughs, but laughs nonetheless):

Keep going?

YES.

(I totally already have, actually. I'm ALL OUT OF NEW ISSUES until #7 drops. *SOB* But writing about it gives me an excuse to re-read them all, so.)