A Very Civil War -- Ms. Marvel #7 Review

Everyone's favorite teenage Avengers!... and Nova.
While recently overshadowed by a Captain America reveal, one upcoming event that has been a concern at the back of many a comic book reader’s mind has been the impending Civil War II. As such, the banner on the cover of this issue of the latest Ms. Marvel issue, declaring it a Civil War II prequel, was bound to unnerve some people.

You can rest easy now, because not only is Ms. Marvel #7 an excellent comic, it has basically nothing to do with the major crossover event aside from the final page, which has little to do with the actual story.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

After the masterpiece that was the last issue, packed to the brim with action and emotion, Wilson wisely chooses to scale back with the opening to this new arc rather than try to top it.

The premise is simple: a science fair, a staple of high school stories since time immemorial. And yes, while we get the cartoonish antics of the two teams constantly trying to top the others’ efforts, naturally ending in disaster, there is a much deeper, real life, issue that is touched upon.

No conceivable way this could go wrong.
As Kamala and Bruno explain, science fairs like these are one of their few opportunities to get scholarships to good colleges, saving them from a lifetime of student debt. It would be easy to take that as just another reason to support Team Jersey, but Mike (a character who I’m liking more with each appearance) takes it to an even deeper level: the people on the other side are facing the same problems too.

It’s a complex issue, and it leaves our heroes questioning why good guys always have to fight other good guys and how no one ever wins in that scenario and oh god this was a Civil War II tie in.

This issue also delivered the long awaited Miles Morales and Kamala Khan crossover, which was hinted at during her appearance in Spider-Man #3. The character is written excellently here, and is given some of the best lines and pop culture references. (I don’t know how saying “I feel a disturbance in the Force” is supposed to be an acceptable excuse for your Spidey-Sense, but I love it.)

The (Smugly) Superior Spider-Man
 For those of you keeping track, Kamala does know Miles’ secret identity, while he doesn’t know hers, which results in some awkwardly adorable interactions, all leading to an amazing moment where Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel (and Nova, who was conveniently in New Jersey at the time) all show up to save the day at the same time, and have a nonverbal moment of understanding between each other.

The last page almost feels like a tagged on post credits scene you’ll find in a Marvel movie. Queen Medusa and the mysterious Inhuman Ulysses are watching a news report covering the science fair explosion, and he feels a premonition while looking at Bruno (please let Bruno be okay, please). Aside from the thematic elements mentioned above, that’s as far as the Civil War II lead up goes in this issue. It's one of the few instances where I'm glad about false advertising on the cover.

Overall, I was immensely pleased with this. The story was fun, but surprisingly deep, the characters (both the usual crowd and the crossover ones) were well written. Shout-out to Josh the Jock, who like many other side characters, is proving to have many more dimensions than we initially thought. The artwork, done by Ms. Marvel’s OG artist, Adrian Aphona, is fantastically stylistic, and a welcome break from the slightly more generic, but still enjoyable, work by Nico Leon in the last few issues.

There are definitely some hints of what’s to come; the issue of scholarships is never resolved, Miles probably figured out Kamala’s identity which marks a change in the status quo, and while the two of them may have settled their differences in this issue, we know they’ll soon be on opposite sides of a much bigger conflict…

But until that comes, let’s just enjoy this peaceful moment where everyone gets along.

Reason #238 to love this comic
Aranwe Quirke is a totally real, definitely not made up name. No, you may not see the birth certificate.