Thursday, March 19, 2015

book review: Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson

The backstory: G. Willow Wilson is one of the keynote speakers at next week's Association of College and Research Libraries conference in Portland, Oregon, and part of the conference marketing campaign was designed around Ms. Marvel, so I knew I wanted to read it before seeing Wilson speak at the conference.

The basics: The titular Ms. Marvel is Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American Muslim teenager living in Jersey City.

My thoughts: I don't read many traditional comics, and while Ms. Marvel is clearly a subversion of the genre, I knew there were references I wouldn't understand. I even wondered if I would get all the things it was trying to do, so I enlisted the help of a veteran comic book fan, Mr. Nomadreader. He explained a few things to me that gave the book more depth, but I was pleasantly surprised how much I did get just from my own reading.

There's a lot of set-up in this comic, but that didn't detract from the plot. Kamala's family and friends are well developed characters, as is she, and this combination adds insight into the comic's events and how they will be perceived. Some might say the ending is a cliffhanger, but I found it incredibly abrupt and felt as though there was at least a page missing. I'm definitely eager to see where the series goes from here.

The verdict: I enjoyed the time I spent with Ms. Marvel, and I will definitely seek out the second volume of this series. There's a lot of world-building and set up here, but Wilson develops Kamala and her world well. Although the volume ended abruptly, its climax was compelling.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Length: 120 pages
Publication date: October 28, 2014
Source: library

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Ms. Marvel: No Normal from Amazon (Kindle edition.)

Want more? Visit G. Willow Wilson's website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter. Also listen to this NPR story about what Willow plans to do with the new Marvel universe.

As an affiliate, I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!

1 comment:

  1. This is something that's been really difficult for me with comics and what a book I'm reading addresses about new comics readers: we are not used to that abrupt ending. Comics readers are. That's why often Watchmen or another collected series in book form is more palatable to people used to typical narratives. I hadn't thought much about it, but that's certainly what I want in my stories.

    The more of them I read, though, the more ok with it I am.


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