“Ms. Marvel” #15 provides the conclusion to G. Willow Wilson and Takeshi Miyazawa’s “Crushed” storyline, and not only do we see the wrap-up of last issue’s betrayal, but also a reminder on just where Kamala’s strength is. While there’s a lot of setup for stories to come, this issue does a good job of serving as the conclusion to this first storyline in the comic’s second year.
After being in a fairly good situation – establishing the support of the Inhumans on New Attilan, a potential boyfriend with whom Kamala could share her secrets, good friends, a town that appreciates her heroics — it isn’t too surprising that some of that had to come crashing down. Wilson removes part of Kamala’s safety net this issue, even while we’re reminded which the most important segment of that proverbial net was. In some ways, it’s a bit stereotypical for a superhero comic, with the love interest gone bad and the gloating supervillain explaining to Ms. Marvel how she’s in trouble, but it ultimately works because Kamala uses both her powers and her brains to get out of the bad situation as best she can. At the same time, Wilson isn’t afraid to leave some plot threads unresolved; her victory can’t come too easily, after all, or else it will feel a bit hollow.
Most important, though, is the handling of Bruno. He’s a great supporting character, and here he shows us that he’s as much of a hero as Kamala is. Watching him fumble his way towards rescuing Kamala is both fun and endearing; it would be easy to relegate him to sounding board and occasionally being rescued, so it’s nice to see Wilson remind us that he’s capable in his own right. Kamala’s friends and family are ultimately the biggest strength of the character, and this is a prime example of why they — and the comic as a whole — work so well.
Miyazawa wraps up his stint on the book well; I think, with each issue, he’s gotten a little stronger and more comfortable with Kamala and the rest of the cast. The scene with Kamala first talking to Lineage is great; she looks like a real teenager, and I love how completely expressive she is in those panels. She’s able to look confident one moment and slightly panicky the next, all depending on what the story requires. When she’s bounding away from the bad guys, well, Miyazawa reminds us that he can bring a nice comedic touch to the proceedings, too. Add in some nice backgrounds to both Jersey City and New Attilan (to say nothing of the hideously murky waters thanks to Ian Herring), and this is a good looking book.
The one rough part of the book is Lineage, who feels a little too mustache-twirling for my tastes. I know that the character wasn’t initially created by Wilson but, given time, I’m sure she’ll be able to temper the character a bit. For the moment, he seems to be around only because of his ability to drop a very special hint about Kamala and her family. It’s a good thread to leave dangling, though, and hopefully we’ll get to see just where Wilson’s going to take it before too long. All in all, though, this is another solid issue of “Ms. Marvel” and there’s a lot being readied just in the wings. Once again, I’m already eager to see what happens next.