Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ms Marvel by G Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

I'm sure you've already heard about Ms Marvel. If not, it's a fantastic comics series starring a 16-year-old Muslim superhero whose parents immigrated to New Jersey from Pakistan. Kamala Khan is one of the best characters in comics these days. She has to sneak out her window at night in order to save people. She gets nagging text messages from her mother while battling bad guys. She repurposes a bathing suit from Auntie's Modest Swimwear as her Ms Marvel outfit.

These comics are funny and smart. As proof, I'm going to note just a few of the side jokes that can be found outside of the main action in the first bound paperback volume - Ms Marvel: No Normal - by writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Adrian Alphona.

  • Mr Khan reads a newspaper  with the headline: "Tax on Color Orange Approved."
  • Kamala eats "GM-O's Tasty Cereal" for breakfast in Issue 3 - the same product that was advertised in the paper her father read in Issue 1. The side of the box says: "Listen to your gut not the lawsuits."
  • A bookstore window shows a new release: "The Ur-Do's and Ur-don'ts of Chillin in Pakistan."
  • Magazines at the Circle Q corner store include: Asian Wedding Leftovers; The Joy of Cooking Rare Animals; Superhero Paparazzi; and Dropkick Enthusiast.
  • There's a cleaver stuck in a parking meter.
  • News report: "High school cannibalism experiment proves disastrous."
  • A bystander exclaims (with shades of Lumberjanes), "Holy Sriracha!" 
photo credit: Street Cred - Advertising for the People

There are so many more. And that's on top of the great plotting and character development. I love Ms Marvel so much!

Readalikes: Starling (Sage Stossel); and The Adventures of Superhero Girl (Faith Erin Hicks).

Note added Jan 28 2015: Ms Marvel fights bigotry in real life on San Francisco transit vehicles. See feministing and Street Cred.

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