One of the many great things about “Ms. Marvel” is how a turn of events can partially reshape the entire series. That’s the case with “Ms. Marvel” #2, where G. Willow Wilson and Takeshi Miyazawa take something as simple as Kamala’s mother knowing her secret identity and make it into a core element of the comic.
There’s a lot going on in “Ms. Marvel” #2, as Kamala has to juggle a development company using her name and image, a series of creepy brainwashings and her best friend dating someone else. It’s Kamala’s interaction with her mother, though, that truly stands out. By changing this dynamic, Kamala suddenly has someone else with whom she can talk about her exploits. However, instead of a peer, it’s an authority figure. This is a great thing, because it provides a stronger check-and-balance structure for what Kamala does as Ms. Marvel. A friend’s idea on the consequences of staying out late on a school night is far different from that of a parent’s, with each of them coming at it from a different but very valid perspective. Her mother talking about the importance of public perception also comes from a place of wisdom; while Kamala might not be wrong in her attempt to clear her name, her mother has a great understanding of how a bad view from those around you can drag you down.
All the while, the rest of “Ms. Marvel” #2 is fun, too. I love the super-villain tinge to gentrification here, even as the real-world pros and cons of the phenomenon are packed in side-by-side in this larger-than-life issue. I also love the fact Kamala gets pulled into being a chaperone (of sorts) for her brother Aamir in keeping with the Islamic faith, or that Tyesha totally made a “Dune” reference in response to the brainwashed citizens of New Jersey. There’s a lot of fun here, and Wilson balances serious matters with an overall sense of glee.
With each contribution to “Ms. Marvel,” I feel like Miyazawa just gets better and better for the title. I’ve watched Miyazawa’s style grow for over a decade (ever since his art on “Sidekicks: The Substitute”) and this is some of his best art yet. Kamala’s dumbfounded look at the brainwashed victims is wonderful and, when Kamala bounds across the city to try and rescue Bruno, the scene has a real sense of urgency. Most importantly, I dare you to not laugh at the slightly irked expression on Ms. Marvel’s face when she looks at the grinning depiction of herself on the billboard below her.
“Ms. Marvel” #2 is another installment of a series that didn’t just come back the same, but rather stronger than ever. This is still one of the gems in Marvel’s line-up, and — if you aren’t reading it yet — this is a good a place as any to leap on board. Just be warned: as soon as you finish reading “Ms. Marvel” #2, you’ll want to start it again.