We're going to do something unique on a comics website this week.... talk about a comic! I know, hold your surprised looks and applause.
Since it's inception, I have been a subscriber to Marvel's "Marvel Unlimited" service. If you aren't aware, Marvel Unlimited grants you access via smart phone, IPad, etc. to EVERY Marvel comic book ever produced with the exception of a 6 month lag. It updates every week, so 6 months from now, it will have issues releasing this week, give or take a week or two.
Marvel Unlimited is fantastic for several reasons, whether it's the incredible low price per read (if you actually use it), or the ability to read huge key issues that you may never own, or wouldn't want to read the actual book for fear of damaging it, IF you owned them, this service is great.
While I have done my share of "key reading", what I use it most for is to binge read "hot" current series. Think Fraction & Aja's Hawkeye, Waid's Recent Daredevil Masterpiece, complete limited series like Infinity Gauntlet, Civil War, or Age Of Ultron; or what we're going to talk about this week, Kamala Khan's Ms. Marvel. This iteration of the character was created by Sana Amanat, Stephen Wacker, and G. Willow Wilson and made her first (cameo) appearance in Captain Marvel # 14 in September of 2013 (don't blink or you'll miss her).
Allow me to first say, that I'm SO well aware of the fact that I'm not breaking the news that Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel is awesome. Me writing about this now is the comics to movie equivalent of someone coming up to you tomorrow wanting to tell you how awesome Silver Linings Playbook was. But I prefer to binge, and since the last couple of issues of Kamala's initial title are just about to drop (on Marvel Unlimited), I figured it was time to see what all the fuss was/is about.
Although some of the issues have now been out for almost 2 years, I'm still not going to spoil the plot and go super in depth on the series. I just wanted to talk about what I think makes it great. Not only does it check all of the "classic" hero boxes like "comes from humble beginnings" or "has a hard time learning her powers". But it does a fantastic job with the hero/non-hero balance. Kamala Khan IS Peter Parker for today's young reader. And more importantly, for today's female reader.
I'm not going to even attempt to pretend like I know what it's like to be a sixteen year old girl, DUH. Especially not a 16 year old Muslim girl with strict parents living in America. But I can say that as a father of a 2 year old girl, with another girl on the way, Kamala Khan is a character that I'd feel thrilled to know my young girls were reading in a few years. She's confident, doesn't fit into ridiculous stereotypes that Hollywood or their peers tell young girls they should fit in, and she cares about her friends. All qualities I'd love my girls to pickup.
So although I don't know that being a great example to young girls is necessarily objective # 1 when creating a female super hero, it certainly doesn't hurt. And I think that in a world that was largely created and is still mostly populated by men, Kamala is a rock star. She doesn't fit into any of the "female comics character boxes' that we've grown accustomed to. She doesn't have her boobs hanging out everywhere, she isn't constantly searching for a boyfriend, or seducing her way out of problems, and she certainly doesn't rely on Batman or Superman to save the day, she'll just do it herself.
The book itself if very PG rated, yet it doesn't feel "kiddy". It's a great read for any type of fan, and speaking as someone that's until recently never read a word of Ms. Marvel, it's very easy to pick up and follow. I think you'd like this book, but I'm sure your middle school - high school daughter OR son would love it.
I haven't had to get into any hard core parenting yet as my daughter isn't even 2 years old. But this is one of those books that you can give your kid when they're older, when you're trying to teach them something, but they won't listen because you're they're parent, that they'll "get" from the comic. Hopefully that made sense, to put it into layman's terms, it's chock full of positive life lessons, that are sure to rub off on the reader.
This is absolutely a must own TPB for any parent out there wanting to get your kids into comics. The entire cast of characters in interesting. You get great cameo's from Wolverine, Lockjaw, Medusa, and Loki in the initial story arc, and the ideals and beliefs that Ms. Marvel fights for are a great example to any reader, young or old.
As far as investing value goes. This one is kind of a no-brainer. Whether it's the Captain Marvel # 14 (unnamed cameo), Captain Marvel # 17 2nd Print (1st Cover Ap.) (currently the most expensive of the Ms. Marvel "keys"), All New Marvel Point One (first full appearance), or Ms. Marvel # 1 (series beginning), all 4 books are solid bets to only grow in popularity and value. So grab them before they're too expensive.
So your homework this week is.... GO READ THIS COMIC! Odds are you may have already, but if not, check it out. You won't be disappointed.
Until next time, keep collecting!