Archive for Ms. Marvel

The Most Marvelous Marvel


Ms. Marvel #4

Kamala’s brother, Aamir, has announced that he wants to get married to his girlfriend Tyesha. While Kamala is initially elated, her spirits fall when she realizes the newlyweds will still be living in her parents’ home, so she’s going to be more overwhelmed than ever, particularly with her grades falling and her duties as a superhero and Avenger getting tougher. But when she discovers that Bruno is running a new experiment utilizing 3D printed robots and rudimentary artificial intelligence, Kamala hits on an idea — she gets a couple of robot duplicates of herself that are just smart enough to repeat a few simple phrases and mimic her movements. Now she can be in more than one place at the same time! Things should work great as long as the 3D printer doesn’t go out of control, right?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Oh, mercy, glorious super-science superhero super-shenanigans! It’s a wonderfully well-told story with great art and absolutely grand humor. People, y’all are reading this, right? If you aren’t, you’re freakin’ crazy, and you need to go out and buy all the Ms. Marvel comics you can. Do not hesitate, people!


The Totally Awesome Hulk #3

Lady Hellbender, the Monster Queen of Seknarf Nine, wants to capture Earth’s greatest monster — Fin Fang Foom! Amadeus Cho, the new Hulk, is eager to help out — but there’s the issue of a cruise ship in distress nearby. Can he save the ship without losing control of his anger? And can he stop Fin Fang Foom with his brain and not just his brawn? And is Lady Hellbender really on the Hulk’s side?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a nice, action-filled comic that’s never shy about dipping into the humor of the situation. It’s great to see Amadeus remembering that he can use his genius to fight monsters and not just the Hulk’s strength. Also, dang it, I’m in favor of any comic with a good guest-starring role for Fin Fang Foom.

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Flying High


Captain Marvel #1

Another new #1 issue?! Marvel, I’ma whup you with a Chrysler fender.

Carol Danvers has a new gig — she’s in charge of the Alpha Flight Space Station, which is supposed to be Earth’s first defense from space-based threats. The name of the station is no coincidence — several members of her crew are members of Canada’s once-foremost superhero team, including Puck, Aurora, and Sasquatch. Her second-in-command is Abigail Brand, formerly of S.W.O.R.D., and it looks like Brand is not happy having Carol in charge. Carol and the crew fend off a rogue asteroid, but a member of the science staff determines that the asteroid was deliberately targeted at the station — and an attacking spaceship crewed by dead aliens just opens up more questions.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Everything’s pretty keen, but gotta give credit to the fantastic characterization. Puck is particularly fun, and I hope the rest of Alpha Flight get some great character moments, too.


Astro City #31

The Living Nightmare returns, leaving havoc and terror in its wake. It’s viewpoint is narrated by the scores of Astro City residents who had dreams about it last night as it rampaged through the city. We get its origin story — the ever-reliable scientific experiment flying out of control — and some of its history, including the period when it was controlled by a military pilot and served as a member of Honor Guard. Now in the present, it attacks Honor Guard again — but this time, it has a very surprising reaction.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’ve always loved the Living Nightmare, so I was entirely jazzed that it’d be making a return, and even happier that it was going to be the focus character for this issue. But it’s nothing compared the excitement I feel when I see that next issue will feature the return of one of my favorite characters, Steeljack.


Lumberjanes #22

Well, it turns out Seafarin’ Karen is a werewolf. It doesn’t let her get to the selkies who stole her ship, though. And speaking of shapeshifters, the Bear Woman is leading Molly and Ripley into the alt-dinosaur dimension. Back home, Jo, April, and Mal have a plan to get them and Karen across the water and onto the boat — but even when a plan works, it can still fail.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Another really fun issue, with great art and character work. Lots of clever problem-solving, too, and a decent cliffhanger.


Ms. Marvel #3

Hope Yards Development is actually being run by HYDRA, and their nanites have added Bruno to the gentrified zombie hordes. Kamala isn’t able to rescue him, but remembering he’d recently told her that his girlfriend Mike had the “key to his heart,” she goes to see Mike and learns that she carries the passkey to the cloud account with all his research. They discover the antidote to the mind-control nanites, but can they save Jersey City from HYDRA before it’s too late?

Verdict: Thumbs up. As always, a wonderful comic. Excellent characterization and art, and the action is even better than usual, with Kamala showing a lot more skill with her powers than she has before.

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Hammer Time


The Mighty Thor #2

Loki is tested by his father to see if he’s a strong enough warrior to join Malekith’s Dark Council — he proves his worth by talking a bunch of frost giants into dying. That’s not the frost giant way, so Laufey is unhappy about it, of course. Meanwhile, the Thunder Guard serving the increasingly insane and tyrannical Odin are attacking Thor, and they’ve got her on the ropes ’til Heimdall calls a halt to the battle, sends Thor back to Alfheim, home of the light elves, and allows himself to be taken into custody. In Alfheim, the elves are being slaughtered by hordes of dark elves, backed by Roxxon technology. Can Thor help the situation when Loki is sent after her next?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Really, the most interesting part of this story is Loki’s continuing transition from semi-innocent Kid Loki to semi-innocent Teen Loki to not-very-innocent-at-all Slimy Jerk Loki.


Ms. Marvel #2

Kamala raids one of the offices of Hope Yards Development and discovers a strange purple goo being stored there. She takes some of it to Bruno for analysis, then has to play chaperone for her big brother — he’s not allowed to see the girl he likes without his sister there to keep them both honorable. Tyesha is both traditional and entirely cool, and they all discover that all the locals are sporting purple glowing eyes and all act bizarrely happy with what Hope Yards is doing. Bruno calls in to report that the purple goo has nanites in it, and Ms. Marvel goes after the development company. What’s going on here, and who’s really behind Hope Yards?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun story and art, as always, with great character interaction and dialogue. Excellent cliffhanger, too.

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Time Lord


Jughead #2

Riverdale High’s dastardly new principal is Mr. Stanger, and he wants everyone at Riverdale to be dull, boring cogs in the machine. Jughead already angered him last issue by finding the loophole in Stanger’s new anti-hamburgers policy. Now Stanger plans to send everyone in school to detention, but Jughead is really good at skating just on the right side of good behavior. However, Stanger’s new gym teacher, a humorless hardass named Coach Eng, institutes a rule that the worst athletes in his classes go to detention — and so Jughead goes to detention. Is there a way to stop Stenger and Coach Eng? It may require assistance from… the Time Police!

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a wonderfully clever comic by some top-notch pros, and a fun spin on the old “Jughead’s Time Police” comics. Plus there’s an excellent cliffhanger, too!


Ms. Marvel #1

Another number-one! MARRRRVELLL! (shakes fist at sky)

It’s a new day for Ms. Marvel! She’s in the Avengers! Holy cow! There’s nothing non-cool about this! Oh, and Bruno has a new girlfriend. Whoa, whoa, wait — what the heck happened?! Didn’t he just say he loved Kamala? Didn’t she have to turn him down for the sake of being a superhero? Um, well, yes, and that’s why Bruno has a girlfriend now. She calls herself Mike, and she seems perfectly cool, but Kamala can’t get over the fact that he’s dating now. And even worse — a lowlife developer is trying to gentrify Jersey City, and he’s using Ms. Marvel’s image to do it! And when she learns that the developer plans to pave over the entire city, and he’s willing to use high-tech weapons against normal citizens, Ms. Marvel is going to have some housecleaning to do in her hometown.

Verdict: Thumbs up. An excellent story, full of great human details and cool new supporting cast members. And it’s got awesome art by both of the series’ regular artists, Takeshi Miyazawa and Adrian Alphona. I’m assuming y’all all loved Ms. Marvel before, right? There’s no reason not to keep loving her now.


Lumberjanes #20

Well, April has pretty much ruined the Mermaid Battle of the Bands. Now everyone is fighting, and sea serpents are attacking, and absolutely no one is rocking. And April has screwed up her friends’ plans for the Bandicoot Bacchanal, too. Can the Lumberjanes use the Power of Friendship to save the concert, get Harlow’s band back together, and make sure everyone has a great Bandicoot Bacchanal?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I still never got into the rock-and-roll mermaids — seemed just a little weird, even for this series — but it wraps up well, with a lot of clever plotting, great character work, and fun moments.

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Blood and Glitter


I Hate Fairyland #1

Skottie Young’s first creator-owned comic is about a little girl named Gertrude who gets whisked away to Fairyland. To get back home, she just needs to find a key to the door back home — but luck is not with her. A quest that should’ve taken only a day or two ends up taking 27 years. And while she still looks like she’s just a little kid, she’s actually almost 40 years old, she’s furious, she’s sick and tired of Fairyland, and she’s armed with an array of fantastically violent weapons. She’s still looking for the key — but she also takes time to blow the moon’s brains out, murder a bunch of stars, rob casinos, throttle a giant caterpillar, eat way too many mushroom guards, and make daring escapes — but can she survive an attack by a barbarian assassin?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It may look a lot like your typical Skottie Young all-ages comic, and it may have no swear words (just Fairyland-swears like “hugger fluffer”) — but this is definitely not for kids. There’s blood and violence and hurt feelings everywhere, and it’s pretty dang wonderful so far. Let’s hope they can keep up the violentastic wonderments.


Ms. Marvel #19

The world is ending, and Kamala Khan has just discovered that her mother has known she was really Ms. Marvel almost from the very beginning of her superheroic career. Plus she finally realizes that her pal Bruno is in love with her, and she doesn’t know how to react to that knowledge. She makes up with her friend Nakia and has a meeting-of-the-minds with the school’s alpha bitch. And everything closes out with an incredible dance party.

Verdict: Thumbs up. We know this isn’t really a final issue — it’ll definitely be back with a new #1 soon — but it feels like a really strong final issue anyway. It’s great to get some excellent moments with almost everyone in Kamala’s supporting cast. And as always, you gotta pay close attention to the backgrounds, because some of the best things are hidden back there.


Starfire #5

Kory discovers an unexpected talent for mind-reading, and as a result, we get a little of the backstory of Soren, the apparent psychic who killed everyone on a cruise liner a few issues back — he’s a former doctor with the power to heal cancer, at the cost of strengthening the cancer he was suffering from himself. Kory also has a job interview at a local aquarium and manages to get the job when she’s able to learn dolphin language to communicate with a depressed porpoise. But Soren has dire plans for everyone, and there are forces from outer space that are bringing trouble to Earth, too.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Aside from the extremely pretty art, a lot of the fun of this series is watching Kory misinterpret human metaphors, and some of this issue’s misinterpretations are the best yet.

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Toys in the Attic


Giant-Size Little Marvel: A vs. X #4

The Avengers and the X-Men are working hard to impress the new twins in town, Zachary and Zoe, so they can get them to join their clubs — but things are complicated now, as the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Inhumans join the competition. This means there’s going to be a huge fight, with lots of Marvel characters rendered in Skottie Young’s cartoonish style, right? And who do the twins finally pick?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s wonderfully funny, and the double splash page, featuring several dozen characters, including Spider-Gwen, Ms. Marvel, Brother Voodoo, Cloak and Dagger, Shatterstar, and many more, definitely makes it worth the cover price.


Starfire #4

A creature called a chida monster from deep below the earth is wreaking havoc in Key West. Starfire has met up with Atlee — better known to fans of Palmiotti and Conner’s old “Power Girl” series as Terra. Atlee has a plan for dealing with the chida — throwing him over the ocean, have Kori blast him as he grows larger and larger, and let his weight drive him back underground. And what’s left after that? Brace yourself for… conversations.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Okay, it’s a lot of talking compared to action, but I didn’t mind the talking all that much.


Ms. Marvel #18

Kamala Khan’s big brother Aamir has been exposed to the Terrigen mists by her former crush Kamran — but wait, Captain Marvel is here and knows what Terrigen mists look like, and this ain’t them. Besides, Aamir is showing signs of superpowers, and he hasn’t even entered the Inhuman cocoon — so he doesn’t seem to be an Inhuman at all. So why is he demonstrating the ability to form protective force shields? Kamala and Captain Marvel return Aamir to the school, and Carol reveals to Kamala that the world is probably about to end. Will Kamala’s last night be marred by the usual strife that keeps blowing up around them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I loved the heck out of this entire issue, but I think where this comic really sings is the fantastic family relationships we see here. Yeah, there’s lots of stress and irritation — let’s face it, Aamir may be a good guy, but he’s also a grade-A dick — but ultimately, there’s lots of affection and love. And I’m really looking forward to the next issue now, just so we can resolve that cliffhanger.

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Friends to the End


Ms. Marvel #17

The end of the world is happening, and Kamala Khan has finally gotten to meet her idol, Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel. After the two Marvels bond for a bit, Kamala recruits Carol to help her find her brother, Aamir, who’s been kidnapped by the rogue Inhumans, including Kamala’s former crush, Kamran, so they can activate his Inhuman powers and try to turn him into a supervillain. Will they be able to make it across town, do some good for the people in Jersey City, fight the occasional supervillain, and figure out where Aamir is being held before it’s too late?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantastic writing, characterization, and art. It’s great seeing the little moments where Kamala can help her fellow citizens — as well as the moments where there’s little she can do. As always, the great joy of Adrian Alphona’s art is checking the fun bits hidden in the background.


Giant-Size Little Marvel: A vs. X #3

The Little X-Men and Little Avengers are still working hard to impress newcomers Zachary and Zoe to get them to join their teams. The X-Men give them their own (temporary) mutant powers and let ’em run wild in the Danger Room, while the Avengers take ’em to Asgard, let them jump on spider-web trampolines, and let them play with some of Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor. The ensuing explosion introduces them to Galactus, Thanos, and the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Skottie Young’s cartooning is endlessly awesome. Almost every panel is grand fun to look at.

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Apocalypse How


Ms. Marvel #16

Kamala Khan is still heartbroken that her crush, Kamran, turned out to be a supervillain — she’s busy drowning her sorrows with pushcart hot dogs — when she learns that the world is about to end. She responds to reports of panic in NYC and discovers a whole ‘nother Earth about to crash into ours. She starts working on getting her friends and family to safety — and meets up with Kamran again, who informs her that the renegade Inhumans have abducted her brother Aamir. They’re going to expose him to the Terrigen Mists, too, to awaken his Inhuman powers and see if he’ll serve them. And on top of all that, Kamala finally gets to meet her idol…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Tons of great moments, great writing, great art. It actually feels like a crisis situation — everyone is pulling together and helping each other out. And hey, Adrian Alphona is doing the art, which means you need to start paying attention to all the little details to find the secret gags and in-jokes.


Harley Quinn and Power Girl #1

So this entire miniseries takes place between a few panels in the regular Harley Quinn comic. Harley and Power Girl end up going through an interdimensional/time portal and then reappearing moments later with new costume changes. So what happened while they were in another dimension? Let’s find out!

Once Harley and PeeGee find themselves teleported to another galaxy, they run into a quasi-Yoda pervert who has his pet hydra attack them. Once they’ve got that settled, with a combination of superstrength and conveniently-placed high-caliber weaponry, they find an abandoned but oddly familiar robot head. Hey, it’s the giant head spaceship of Vartox of Valeron! But where is Vartox? He’s being held captive by the Darkseidesque supervillain Oreth Odeox, and when the big giant head takes our heroines to the now-conquered Valeron, they’re attacked by Odeox’s forces, but they meet up with a new ally — Groovicus Mellow, Chief Science Cat to Lord Vartox.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I never really thought I’d read a comic with the New 52’s uncool version of Harley — but when it also stars Power Girl, and it’s written by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Amanda Conner, the creators behind the very best version of Power Girl, well, I allow myself to be convinced. Conner doesn’t provide the art — that’s by Stephane Roux. The art isn’t as gloriously expressive as Conner’s, but it ain’t at all bad. All in all, it looks like this is going to be something I’ll keep reading.


Sensation Comics #11

Just a single story in this issue. Josh Elder and Jamal Igle bring us the tale of Wonder Woman traveling to the nation of Itari, which has been locked in years of war. She hopes her status as an ambassador will help the intractible enemies in the small nation learn to embrace peace. But Ares definitely doesn’t want to let peace break out, so he raises an army of the lizard-like Praetorians. Can Diana defeat the God of War and help end the hostilities in Itari?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice story, along with some excellent art by Jamal Igle. I do wish we could’ve seen Etta Candy, though — she gets namedropped early on, but it seems like the kind of story where she would’ve been a lot of fun.

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Gorilla My Dreams


Astro City #23

Meet Sticks. He’s from a secret civilization of intelligent gorillas hidden in Antarctica. This is his first time in the big city, and he’s got his heart set on being a drummer in a rock band. Gorilla Mountain isn’t a very cool place — they’re obsessed with the purity of their culture, and the only job is serving in the military. Some of the younger gorillas have managed to pick up radio signals and discovered music. After getting busted several times for playing his own homemade drum kit, Sticks managed to fake a jet-pack malfunction and made his way to Astro City. But there’s this funny thing about being a talking, military-trained gorilla in Astro City — everyone either wants to kidnap you to turn you into a drone in their criminal organization, or they want to induct you into their superteam. Can’t a gorilla rock out with his pals without everyone wanting him to be a super-soldier?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Absolutely colossal fun. Sticks is a fantastic character — the type of guy who could easily carry his own graphic novel, not just a two-issue storyarc. But if there’s one thing “Astro City” does exceptionally well, it’s giving us amazing characters we wish we could see way more often.


Ms. Marvel #15

Well, the charade is over — Kamran may be cute and lovable and an Inhuman like Kamala, but he’s also allied himself with a bunch of supervillain Inhumans instead of the good guys. She manages to signal Bruno with her cell phone, and he tears off to try to get to New Attilan. Meanwhile, Kamala is doing everything she can to escape from the bad guys and periodically drop a little smackdown on them. Can she escape from Kamran and the other villains?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A wonderful issue — a little fighting, a little running, a little betrayal, a lot of standing-up-for-yourself, and a nice dose of minor cliffhanger toward the end. Does Kamala know another Inhuman?


Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #8

So apparently, the multiverse is being destroyed. I know, that’s usually DC’s deal, but this time, Marvel is doing it. Essentially, everytime two alternate earth’s collide, both of those universes wink out of existence. (This is all leading into the new “Secret Wars” crossovers.)

At the beginning of the issue, Steve Rogers reveals to the Mighty Avengers that Earth-616 has just 178 days left before it’s destroyed. And beyond a little exposition about the Illuminati, the rest of the issue is a slow countdown as the world comes to terms with the looming end of everything, and the Mighty Avengers help Rogers work to defeat the Illuminati’s plans and figure out a better solution.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice demonstration of the tension of knowing that the end of the world is months or weeks away. We already know this is the next-to-the-last issue of this series — I hope they get a good send-off. And I hope we get to see all of these characters a bit more often and a bit more prominently.

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The First Day of Camp


Lumberjanes #13

In this issue, we travel back in time to see how our heroines met each other on the first day of camp. We see Jo and her adorably doting (and probably very wealthy) dads; Ripley and her gigantic family of mostly identical siblings — and Ripley’s gorgeous long hair that gets gum-filled and then cut down to the short style we’re familiar with; Mal, showing up with a cab; April with her take-charge attitude and weary father; and Molly, who goes on a grand but short adventure, narrowly avoids certain doom, and acquires her raccoon hat.

Verdict: Thumbs up. So very much fun. It’s great to see how kickass all these girls were even before they met each other and started going on insane adventures together.


Sensation Comics #9

Our first story in this issue is written by Lauren Beukes and illustrated by fan-favorite artist Mike Maihack, as Wonder Woman must battle Circe, Medusa, and Cheetah — but what dire, mind-shattering secret lurks behind the scenes? The second tale is written by Cecil Castellucci, with illustrations by Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, and Jordie Bellaire, as Lois Lane interviews Wonder Woman for the Daily Planet. Diana initially dismisses Lois as a shallow, disinterested scandal-monger, while Lois thinks of Diana as just a short puff-piece feature. But when a giant robot attacks, both spring into action to prevent chaos.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s like every issue of this series is better than the last. These aren’t just fantastic Wonder Woman stories — they’re just plain fantastic stories, period.


Ms. Marvel #14

Kamala Khan has a boyfriend! Her childhood friend Kamran grew up so dishy, and he’s an Inhuman, too, just like her! Kamran takes her on a whirlwind romance — he even sneaks her out of her house at night! So scandalous. But true love never turns out the way it should, does it. All this, plus Aamir and Bruno have a serious talk — Aamir knows Bruno loves Kamala, and he tries to lay down some hard truths about how utterly unlikely that romance is.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a great story — one moment sweet and romantic, the next tense and claustrophobic. And the conversation between Aamir and Bruno is excellent — Aamir may be holding the opinions we don’t want to accept, but he makes his case well and doesn’t play the villain. He’s a big brother worried about his sister, and even if we think his concern is directed the wrong way, we still have to respect him. It’s fantastic characterization.

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