By: G. Willow Wilson (writer), Adrian Alphona (art), Ian Herring (color art)
The Story: “Strange things are afoot at the Circle Q.”
The Review: If there was any doubt that Ms. Marvel would feature a decompressed origin arc, in the vein of the original Ultimate Spider-Man, consider it put to rest. Three issues in it is abundantly clear that G. Willow Wilson is using each issue to build the complete Ms. Marvel, the complete Kamala Khan. The first issue dealt with Kamala’s normal, the second with her powers, and this month we get to learn about how Kamala, as distinct from Ms. Marvel, deals with hardship and uncertainty.
The puberty metaphors are out in force as Kamala tries to make sense of what’s happening to her. It’s hardly original – as a wise man once said, “Spider-Man is just the story of some kid who wakes up one morning with hair in new places and starts shooting white stick goo all over the city” – but, as ever, the series is defined by the sheer honesty it brings to the table. Scenes like her desperately combing the internet hit home for those of us who know, or even know someone who knows, the sensation of feeling isolated or unable to talk to friends and family.
Likewise, while his role has been somewhat ambiguous so far, one of the strongest moments for me comes near the end, when Kamala realizes that Bruno is the one person she has who could be there for her in such bizarre circumstances, if only they were on speaking terms. Indeed, Bruno is really one of the stars of this issue. While it could be a feint, Wilson is hinting strongly that Bruno will be part of Kamala’s support team, bringing a scientific knowledge and confidence to a heroine who specializes in power and knowing right from wrong. Even more so, the introduction of his highly dubious brother, Vick, provides a great deal of momentum for the story and only increases Bruno’s personal stake in things. I sincerely hope that Wilson will resist the urge to pair Kamala and Bruno up, because their friendship, with all its weird ups and downs, has a real and tactile power to it that’s very different from anything else on the stands right now.