Comic Review: Miss Marvel #7 Has Dying Wolverine Teach Kamala Some Hard Hero Lessons
When Kamala Khan became the new Miss Marvel in her debut issue last February, a lot of ink was spilled about positive representation in mainstream comics. If nothing else, having a young Muslim girl be the center of a superhero comic could only improve upon the diversity of the medium. Since then, writer G. Willow Wilson has proven conclusively Kamala has much, much else going for her.
We're a full year on from Kamala's first ever comic appearance in Captain Marvel #14 last August, and she's grown into a hero to be reckoned with. Issue #7 wraps up her two-issue team-up with a dying Wolverine, and Wilson is smart enough to not let our new Miss Marvel's relationship with ole Sniktbub be a retread of previous young girls Logan has teamed up with (Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, etc).
To be quite honest, it's a different Wolverine Kamala meets from the one those characters were mentored by. Robbed of his healing factor and faced with a young partner who is full of life, energy and (likely most insultingly to our favorite Canadian) a healing factor, Logan's "superiority" comes only from his experience in the superhero game. Where Kamala is a fresh-faced newb, Logan's seen (and killed) it all.
In perhaps the most poignant exchange of the issue and what I would call one of the defining mission statements of Kamala as a hero so far, she asks Wolverine: "[Is] it possible to help people without hurting other people?". Wolverine says it's possible, but she'll probably have to take some hits herself if she wants to go that route: "The pain's gotta go somewhere." Kamala's reply ("I don't want to believe that") is one of those things that reminds you why you read superhero comics in the first place.
But all those other things you read superhero comics for? Oh baby, they're there. From the funny banter between the two heroes to the dynamic action scenes to the last panel's reveal that'll no doubt get any Marvel zombie anxious to pick up next month's ish, Wilson and her delightful art team just go all out on what makes superhero comics a delight.
My favorite bit of art was the big splash page on page 13 showing Kamala and Logan climbing up out of the sewers while having a talk about why Kamala wears a mask as Miss Marvel. By framing the climb/walk as one big cross-section of that particular bit of New Jersey sewage system populated by a bunch of time-displaced Kamalas and Logans, artist Jake Wyatt imbues what could have been a boring bunch of walk-n-talk panels into a visual feast, sure to have fans scanning the entire page to see what little details every room hides.
Wyatt also does a good job of going full Plastic Man with Kamala's shape-shifting powers, with her expressions going from panic-stricken to chibi to whatever else from panel to panel. There's joy in just seeing Kamala react to whatever crazy situation her fangirl self finds herself in. Good job, chaps!
The Inventor isn't exactly a Dr. Doom level villain at the moment, but I like how weird he is and I'm moderately curious about his plans. Also of note: I like what he symbolizes. If he really is Thomas Edison somehow alive in 2014 in a cockatiel man's body (!), the poster boy of white male entitlement and undeserved credit, he should be a wonderful foil to Kamala, the girl who asks if there isn't another way - a way that doesn't hurt people. Whenever I talked to my friends about this book, I said it was what the debut of Spider-Man must have felt like to a whole bunch of young boys back in ancient Mad Men times, and I'm only half kidding here.
I could go on about how wonderful this comic is but I feel like you all get the gist right about now, huh?
Miss Marvel #7 is available on Comixology or at your friendly neighborhood comic shop right now.