I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc. And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.
When I was a kid I was not into comic books. I did not collect DC or Marvel super hero comics, I did not hang out at the local comic book store waiting for a new issue to arrive, I did not have a carefully prepared brown sleeve of comics waiting for me at the desk, ready for purchase. Obviously I saw these things happening around me, but by whom? Not by anyone with whom I could identify that's for sure. So, why would I become interested in something that was so obviously not meant for me?
Ms. Marvel is a comic book that is meant for girls like me, for people who do not fit that typical middle-class white male mold that comic publishers have been marketing to for years.
Back then when I did glance through the pages of X-Men or other comics I was amazed by the cheesiness of them, the small snippets of scenes I viewed often seemed like I be just as likely to see them occurring on the set of some daytime soap. There were these amazingly convoluted plot-lines interweaving the most ridiculously cheesy and overdone catches, amnesia, evil twins, mistaken identities, long lost relations that turned out to be unrelated minions of the main villain. All of it was way too much to take it for a first time reader and in my mind a very silly waste of time as well. I just couldn't find any meaning in what I saw, anything beyond, this guy is good, this guy is bad, they fight. The good guy wins, a big chested lady then strips.
I don't really remember when I started reading more super hero comics. I still don't read X-Men or Spiderman, but I've started getting closer and closer to that type of book. First it started with indie comics here and there. Next I read an X-Men series recommended by Felicia Day, all along I'd been watching the movies and getting interested in some of the stories and finding out more.
Ms. Marvel No Normal is what I would have liked to have found when I started exploring comic books way back when. A strong cast of diverse characters, who are real people and represent real people.
The comic explores some issues that have been in comics for a while. The racism and sexism mostly. I loved sections of this comic where our Heroine Kamala questions the status quo. She wonders why she must be cordoned off during a service at her Mosque, she won't allow her best friend Bruno to treat her like a fragile flower he needs to protect, but calls him on it saying, "But now I'm the stronger one, and I'm gonna protect you, and that totally freaks you out." Even more Bruno admits, "You're right." He's still not ready to let go of the idea that he can protect her and that he needs to do so.
I'm looking forward to what comes in the next issue. I'm not going so far as to pre-order from the local comic book shop, but I encourage other women and men who are regular comics readers to do so, I'm certain this series will not jump the shark for some time to come.
For those like me, new readers who don't exactly know who Captain Marvel/Ms. Marvel etc. are, this doesn't drop you right in the middle, no super hero knowledge necessary to have a good time here!