Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal: 07/27/17
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson is the start of the Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel arc. Kamala is a New Jersey Muslim teen who is an Avengers fan girl but would never expect to be given powers.
Before jumping into this review, I should say that I'm not a regular reader of Marvel comics. I'm not a fan of the movies (although I have seen the first of the Iron Man movies). The last Marvel plot I was following was Spider-man in the weekly newspaper when I was in high school.
But Kamala Khan is making a splash — and transcending the usual fanbase. When Ms. Marvel shows up at a school book fair, one takes the hint and buys the albums. I just wish Marvel would spend a little extra and print the albums on nicer paper. Their albums feel like cheep crap compared to other publishing houses.
That said — Kamala Khan is an engaging, relatable character. She's trying to find the right balance between her family, her faith, her friends, school, and herself.
As with so many teen plots, everything is put into motion when she takes a chance and sneaks out at night to attend a party. Sure, her maybe boyfriend will be there — but mostly it's about pushing boundaries against the curfew.
Now here's a point where I can't relate to Kamala or her parents. I am currently a parent of a teen and will soon be the parent of two teens. Like Kamala's family, my oldest is a boy and my youngest is a girl. Unlike her family, though, I don't need to enforce a curfew. The reality of the situation here is that if there is a party, the parents drive the kids to the party and they phone when it's over for pick up. There's no need to worry about who will be there and what will happen there because we all know each other and each other's kids. The chance of the party being dangerous or the journey too or from being so, is nil.
But whatever. It's a trope. It's a plot device to get Kamala away from home when she shouldn't be. It's a chance to introduce a mysterious event — one that affects everyone and one that for whatever reason, leaves Kamala with powers.
The remainder of this first volume is Kamala now trying to learn how to use her powers, and how not to use them. It's also time for her to find her true secret identity, because her new abilities include the ability to change her appearance. She can be the blond bombshell she thinks a superhero should be. Or she can be herself. She can be a superhero who dresses sensibly.