MS. MARVEL #3/ Written by G. WILLOW WILSON/ Art by ADRIAN ALPHONA/ Colors by IAN HERRING/ Letters by VC’s JOE CARAMAGNA/ Published by MARVEL COMICS
Ms. Marvel #3 is very much a transitional issue, unlike the first two which were the start and wrap of the introduction to Kamala’s world and its sudden change. Ms. Marvel #3 is slower than issues one [Review] and two [Review], taking its time to set up the new conflicts Kamala and her friends have to deal with. The last couple of pages are where it springs into action. This issue ends with a cliffhanger that, while almost a cliché, will propel Kamala and her cast into territory I expected to come much later.
If all that sounds like this is a “meh,” skippable issue, I promise it isn’t. G. Willow Wilson puts her focus on the characters and hits some necessary story beats, and it’s plenty enjoyable all the way through. Bruno is working on an experimental polymer, which will probably lead into him making Kamala’s costume and being one of her secret-keepers. Kamala continues to experiment with and research her powers, which she is having a tough time keeping under control. And man, has she had a rotten couple of days or what? Grounded, cold-shouldering her buddy who got her grounded, still struggling with her superpowers, and then that last scene happens. That’s rough. Among the other castmates, Nakia remains cool and level-headed, and it’ll be interesting to see how Zoe Zimmer will develop after almost dying (can we hope for a Cordelia Chase route?). Bruno’s terrible punk brother is also introduced, who is of the lunkheaded, thug variety of antagonistic siblings.
On the art front, Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring continue to do a great job in creating a unique, quirky style for the book. Alphona’s pencils and inks are such a great fit for Wilson’s writing. His art is so fun: it’s expressive, often goofy, and just full of life and energy. One of the most enjoyable things about his work in Ms. Marvel are the little details scattered throughout, like the Khan’s cereal of choice (GM-O’s – “listen to your gut, not the lawsuits”) or the guy taking a selfie outside the mosque. I don’t know if they come from Wilson’s script or Alphona’s own sense of humor, but trying to catch them all gives each issue some hilarious re-read value. Herring’s colors blend so well with Alphona’s work: they’re soft but not too soft, and he has a smart color palette for each scene and setting. The last panel of the book has particularly good work, as Kamala sits in vibrant colors while the world seems to bleed out of color around her.
Side note: Pick up the Annie Wu variant cover if you can. It really should have been the main cover. Her cover is much more dynamic and representative of the characters and the issue’s content. Jamie McKelvie is undeniably talented and a bigger name than Wu, but his cover is static and just doesn’t cut it.
On the whole, Ms. Marvel #3 is a pretty transitional issue but not one to skip. It’s next couple issues will probably have more going on, but #3 is a well-done chapter in the story with good character moments and delightful art. So pick it up, and prepare yourselves for whatever comes next month. It’s going to be great.