Ms. Marvel #6

Story by
Art by
Nico Leon
Colors by
Ian Herring
Letters by
Joe Caramagna
Cover by
Marvel Comics

In "Ms. Marvel" #6, G. Willow Wilson and Nico Leon conclude the "Army of One" story arc with Kamala's day of reckoning after she becomes the source of her own problems. Kamala's "Sorcerer's Apprentice" fiasco is a situation ripe with possibility for spectacle, and Leon eagerly takes up the challenge to make the most of the opportunities, while Wilson adds her trademark wit and humor.

Leon begins "Ms. Marvel" #6 with a bug's eye view of Giant Kamala, and his full-page spreads of downtown Jersey City are both cinematic and filled with amusing details. There are plenty of background jokes in other panels, too, like a small dog with its teeth embedded in Giant Kamala's shoelace or the coffee cups arranged in Bruno and Mike's occult "summoning" setup.

Wilson is known for her strength in dialogue and humor, but it's worth repeating those praises for "Ms. Marvel" #6. Smaller jokes like "Patriot Pants" and a crack about how Loki "really does look like that one actor guy" enhance and lighten scenes. The way Giant Kamala repeats "Easy Peasy" while running amok like Godzilla is pretty funny, but what takes it beyond classic humor is how Kamala calls it out and refers to the "twenty-foot-tall Stay Puft version of me." Humor writing that looks easy is rare, and Wilson's ear for word choice, rhythm and phrasing make her one of the strongest comic writers in any medium. The invocation of Loki is a high point for "Ms. Marvel" #6, and the comedy is reinforced by Leon's spot-on gestures and body language.

There are a lot of cameos in "Ms. Marvel" #6, which provides another challenge for Leon. While I liked the bucket of popcorn, Leon's Loki doesn't project the unease and mischief that the "hipster Viking" trickster god requires, but Leon's depiction of Captain Marvel captures her strength and no-nonsense attitude. His pacing is perfect in the "Mom and Dad are fighting" sequence between Captain Marvel and Iron Man, with Kamala's face shifting ever so expressively between them.

As the crisis resolves, the hijinks shift almost effortlessly into a sweet ending. There's classic, cute twist that echoes "The Gift of the Magi" and "Grease." Leon tops it off with a visual reference to the iconic "V-J Day in Times Square" photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt, where he borrows the euphoria and celebratory verve of the original pose, while also saying "This is America, too." Leon also deserves extra points for the extraordinary amount of care and detail he put into all the attendees' outfits and for Kamala's outfit in particular. He strikes just the right balance. Dolled-up Kamala is different enough from Ms. Marvel or School Kamala to make the reader sit up and pay attention, but Kamala also still looks her age and like herself. Herring's colors are warm and gorgeous in this scene, and I also loved the lemon cream yellow he selected for Captain Marvel's hair and the unorthodox choice of bright teal for the T-Rex.

The various morals of "Army of One" are all forgone conclusions, obvious from the start -- make sure to prioritize the things that really matter and don't be afraid to ask for help -- but it's characteristic of Wilson's writing style that she doesn't want to leave these points unsaid. It's like she doesn't want any readers to get away with missing the message. It's too much hand-holding, but -- sappy as it is -- Kamala's explicit realization about home manages to evoke an emotional response anyway. Wilson's sincerity and light touch are able to make mundane Hallmark-like sentiments feel meaningful again.

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