The penultimate chapter of the “Generation Why” story pits Ms. Marvel against the Inventor in a tale written by G. Willow Wilson with art from Adrian Alphona. The Inventor has convinced a battalion of teens that their lives are meaningless and the world would be better off if they were transformed into energy. This is the type of mustache-twirling mad scientist plot that was so prevalent in the 1960s, but is so scarce now. Considering that the Inventor is an anthropomorphic cockatoo, “Ms. Marvel” #10 feels like a throwback-type comic book from start to finish.
Wilson and Alphona have built Kamala Khan into a believable, lovable, human hero whose humanity is as important to the character as her power set, much as Lee and Ditko did with Spider-Man in the 1960s. In “Ms. Marvel” #10, Khan rallies the Inventor’s victims into a force to defend themselves, proving her instant likeability. The Inventor may not quite be as fierce as some of Spider-Man’s foes, but the choices he makes in battle make him a fine match for Ms. Marvel. Kamala powers through, setting a heroic example for her newfound allies.
Alphona’s art is the epitome of fun with rangy characters, dynamic expressions and spectacular bizarreness. When the Inventor shows up in his robotic exo-suit, Alphona makes it believable in the context of “Ms. Marvel” #10, despite support rails on the insides of the feet, evocative of a dollar-store wind-up toy. The storytelling carries the adventure, both the quiet moments and the explosive ones, as Alphona proves to be a true creative collaborator. Alphona’s lines, the soft, pastel-tinged coloring from Ian Herring, and mixed-case lettering from Joe Caramagna give “Ms. Marvel” #10 the visual heart of an independent comic book, but Ms. Marvel and Lockjaw keep the story firmly planted in the Marvel Universe.
“Ms. Marvel” #10 is yet another quality installment in the adventures of Kamala Khan. As the series progresses and she finds confidence in her powers and persona, Wilson reminds readers that this is still a sixteen-year-old with powers no other sixteen-year-old has. That means things are going to get weird and that weirdness is going to make a mark on her life, which Wilson, Alphona, Herring and Caramagna translate into a memorable, energetic adventure with heart. The conclusion to “Generation Why” comes up next issue, but there appears to be no end in sight for the fun tales “Ms. Marvel” is ready to share with readers.