G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona give Kamala an unconventional superhero team up in the form of Lockjaw, the giant teleporting Inhuman dog, for “Ms. Marvel” #8. The team up makes for good fun, some nice insight for Kamala, and renewed effort to solve the mystery of the Inventor, even if it’s not the most crucial issue in the series thus far.
Though this issue is technically a bit less significant than others in plot and emotional beats, it still manages to be fun, engaging and insightful when it comes to Kamala — about life generally and her life specifically (i.e. that choosing not to be afraid is powerful).
What continues to impress about “Ms. Marvel” is how effortlessly fun and genuinely funny it is. While Kamala’s life is not necessarily easy or free of conflict, she revels not only in being a superhero, but in being alive, in having power, in helping people, in growing as a person and as a hero — she simply teems with life, goodness and hope; traits that are in surprisingly little supply these days in both real life and media. There’s a boundless enthusiasm in Kamala that is absolutely intoxicating. It’s impossible not to love her and root for her, and by contrast, to worry about her in this big dangerous world that she’s just discovering. It’s a compelling way to build stakes.
It speaks to how well Alphona has built Kamala’s world that it feels so uniquely full of variety, rooted in realism, and can handle the insertion of a giant teleporting dog. Kamala and Lockjaw make for a great team, especially in how Alphona renders them as adorable partners in crime, full of hilarious expressions and awe-inducing moments. As usual, Alphona makes the most Kamala’s visually intriguing power set in both the action sequences and the comedy scenes. A dazed moment after head-butting a machine doesn’t have to rely only on just her (hilarious) expression because Alphona also gives her a (hilarious) giant head. It really is the little things that make this comic so much fun.
Ian Herring continues to provide a really lovely soft palette for “Ms. Marvel,” which is a smart look for the light and fun tone, but also for the more reality-based feeling of the series in its handling of characters and locations. It’s a light look that is subdued enough to feel like real life and vibrant enough to speak the superhero language of comics.
G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring are a dream team, crafting an effortlessly enjoyable superhero coming-of-age comic in “Ms. Marvel.” If you’re not reading, you’re not just missing out on a wonderful series, you may just be missing out on the start of a zeitgeist for comics.