Nothing is Okay: Ms. Marvel #9 Review

Occasionally, a comic issue will have one big moment in it that shocks, amazes, or triggers some other strong reaction from you. It’s an important feature, often put right at the end, because individual comic books are pretty short, and they need to define themselves individually rather than just get lost in a much bigger series, or a much bigger universe.

This comic didn’t just have one of those moments. Pretty much every page was filled with such raw emotion and character exploration, and the best part is that every single line felt earned.

Yes, even this line.
Take Josh, for instance. Back in the first volume of the comic, he started off as nothing more than what seemed like the stereotypical dumb jock in every high school story ever. Since then, despite having nothing more than background appearances, the creators of the comic have managed to turn him, and a lot of the other side characters, into fully fledged, multi layered people each with their own stories and traits.

Josh isn’t a dumb jock, he’s a smart guy who feels misunderstood and upset. And Zoe isn’t a queen bee who enjoys manipulating people, she’s a young woman who is in the midst of discovering an important truth about herself (more on that later in the review).

Those are the two characters I liked least when I started reading this series, and Wilson has already taken them to such fascinating places that I am hooked onto their stories.

You are so much more than that
And I haven’t even moved onto the star of the book herself, Ms. Marvel. Last issue, she was pretty much all for Carol’s plan, but it’s in this issue that the cracks are beginning to form between them.

In the whole Civil War II narrative, Kamala sort of represents the fan in all of us. For most of us, the first instinct would be to side with the wise and powerful Carol Danvers over the guy who tried to force every superhero to register or be arrested.

But as her friends begin to get involved, Kamala’s rose tinted goggles begin to fall off. Because the truth of all the Marvel Civil War stories, even the recent movie, is that no matter how much you try to justify your position based on policy or morality, it always boils down to something personal.

The obligatory summing up of the major Civil War II conflict
Tony wasn’t spurred to action against Carol until his best friend was killed, Steve didn’t start opposing the Accords violently until his best friend’s life was at stake.

And Kamala didn’t start seeing how wrong what she was doing was until she arrested one of her friends, and her best friend was almost (please, please be don't be anything more than almost) killed trying to free him.

Despite the really downer ending, the rest of the book was no less Ms. Marvel than any other. The family history flashbacks continue, this time with Kamala’s mother, pregnant with her, on the cusp of moving to the United States from Pakistan. The art in these segments, done by Adrian Aphona, is absolutely phenomenal, as he manages to cram details in every inch while still giving the whole setting an almost dreamlike look.

Something... Metahuman? Mutant? Gifted? Enhanced? There's gotta be a better word...
The remainder of the issue is drawn by Takeshi Miyazawa, who uses a slightly bolder style, which is important for all the action packed moments.

Another important feature of the book was Zoe coming out to Josh. Having an LGBT character in a Muslim led (and written) comic book is a huge win for diversity and tolerance, especially considering the horrible events in Orlando that took place a few weeks ago.

And while I may not be a fan of secret crush stories most of the time, Zoe having a secret crush on Nakia completely caught my attention, and I am absolutely fascinated to see where this storyline leads.

My initial reaction was basically the same as Josh's
Captain Marvel also makes an appearance in this issue, and the differences (and similarities) between Kamala meeting her last time and this time are fascinating. Last time Kamala was excited, ready for action, ready to do anything her mentor says. This time, she’s a bit more subdued, a bit more frustrated, and even a little bit less trusting. While she agrees with Carol again at the end, it’s not with the same bright eyed enthusiasm as she had earlier.

Kamala is growing up, and she has to, but it’s breaking my heart.

She may grow up, but she'll never stop being adorable
Aranwe Quirke is a totally real, definitely not made up name. No, you may not see the birth certificate.