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Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal

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Marvel Comics presents the all-new Ms. Marvel, the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation! Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City - until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! As Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to handle? Kamala has no idea either. But she's comin' for you, New York! It's history in the making from acclaimed writer G. Willow Wilson (Air, Cairo) and beloved artist Adrian Alphona (Runaways)!


120 pages, Paperback

First published October 15, 2014

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About the author

G. Willow Wilson

497 books3,155 followers
Hugo, World Fantasy and American Book Award-winning author of novels and comics, including THE BIRD KING, INVISIBLE KINGDOM, and ALIF THE UNSEEN. Co-creator of Ms Marvel. Honorary doctor of letters, Rutgers University. I accidentally started a dutch baby baking cult during quarantine. Not very active on here right now, but often found on Twitter.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,500 reviews
Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 65 books233k followers
April 5, 2017
I'd been hearing good things about this book for ages, so I finally decided to pick it up.

I enjoyed it, and appreciated the fact that it wasn't just another same-old superhero origin story. But if I'm going to be completely honest here. (And I always try to be completely honest) I'll also say that it didn't really thrill me, either.

Part of the issue might be that I don't know *anything* about the original hero that the story is based on. That can make it a lot harder to get into a story.

But it's also fair to assume that this story didn't speak to me as strongly because the main character is a teenage Muslim, and a child of immigrants. I don't *think* that's the case. I dig a lot of books with female protagonists. But I'll happily admit that it's a possibility.

I'd happily read more of the series. But I'm not going to run out and order them. And even if this isn't my favorite comic ever, I'm really glad it exists. I have a bunch of comics I love. I'm a straight white guy. There's a ton of media tailor made to please me.

The fact that this comic speaks to a lot of other people's interests and experiences instead of mine? That doesn't hurt me at all. In fact, it delights me. I love it. Huzzah for that. Let's do it ten times. Let's do it forever.
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews176k followers
December 31, 2015
this was fantastic! i was a bit confused about how she got her powers, but maybe i just need to re-read it and it'll help me understand. other than that this was so great!
Profile Image for Sanaa.
413 reviews2,552 followers
March 17, 2015
[3.5 Stars] I'm conflicted about this graphic novel, and I think the reason for that is because I'm reading this from the perspective of a twenty-something Muslim Pakistani American. Don't get me wrong, I like how diverse this graphic novel is and having a Muslim super hero is super kickass, but there were certain things in the graphic novel that just made me feel a little strange. For example, I felt that many of the Muslim characters in this graphic novel were based off of stereotypes (controlling parents, the laughable devout Muslim, and the uncaring Muslim followers at the mosque), and at times it seemed the graphic novel was pointing out that her religion was the obstacle standing in her way. This naturally makes me feel uncomfortable. I don't think this was the intent of the graphic novel, and other people don't seem to be picking up on that so I'm probably just looking at this graphic novel too closely. I just think that being in the unique position I am in I am a little bit more critical about Muslim representation in the media.

The last thing I want to say is that I didn't think this graphic novel was as fun or exciting as others I have read. I think this is because I'm not really a fan of superhero graphic novels in general. They just are not for me. I also thought that the magical powers were a little bland, and the way she became a superhero was a little unexplained. I also don't quite understand the villain. That being said, I do like that this graphic novel sent the message that you don't need to be someone else, that being yourself is even more awesome.

Regardless, this one left me feeling conflicted.
Profile Image for Anne.
4,066 reviews69.5k followers
December 2, 2015
4.5 stars

So Kamala is a nerdy Jersey Girl who gets hit with Terrigan Mist, and suddenly finds herself able to shape-shift.
Because she's always felt like the odd one out, she uses this ability to morph herself into the image her hero, Carol Danvers. With a few, um...costume modifications.
What? She wanted to go with the Old School look, ok?


Don't worry, she'll figure out why Captain Marvel switched to a more practical costume soon enough.



Do we need another teen superhero?
So, basically, this story hinges on how much the reader likes Kamala.
And to be honest, I liked her quite a bit.
Wilson takes you on the first part of Kamala's teenage journey by showing how she starts off wanting to change herself (most obviously thorough her looks), and then realizing that she's not comfortable in someone else's skin.
Is that really a new concept?
Especially not when you're talking about mutant Inhuman superheroes.
Alright, then what's all this buzz about Ms. Marvel?
Is is all because Karmala's Muslim?
Hard to say, really. It's not like she's the first Muslim superhero. Simon Baz (he's a Green Lantern) is Muslim, and Dust is another Muslim female in Marvel's X-Men. Kamala is the first to get her own title, though.
If I'm super-duper honest, I'd have to say that the religious aspect of this one kind of freaked me out at first. All religions freak me out to one extent or another, and I generally don't enjoy being hit over the head with characters who demand any level of tolerance toward their belief systems.
Before you climb all over my thread and tell me I'm discriminatory, I'd like to say that I dislike all religion equally. I'm an Equal Opportunity hater.
However, the focus of the story isn't on her religion, but more on the way it feels to be an outsider for any reason. She's the perfect champion for anyone who has ever been misunderstood or picked on for being different.
Another surprise for me with this one was that I truly liked all of the characters in it. The parents, the lazy brother, the best friend who's obviously crazy about her, and, most of all, Kamala herself.
She's just too adorable for words, really.
I don't know if this one will continue to win my heart or not, but as long as it doesn't get preachy, I'm in for the long haul!

Profile Image for Baba.
3,621 reviews994 followers
November 1, 2022
Embiggen! The key momentous outcome of the Inhumanity event was Ms Marvel. A New Jersey based teenager from a conservative traditional family, who has never dated, but has an eclectic, but cool, group of friends - oh yeah, and she's American Pakistani and a Muslim! Astoundingly real and hugely innovative storytelling in the tradition of the Stan the Man himself, great work! This one is EMBIGGEN! Four Stars 8 out of 12 read easily.

2016 read
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,540 reviews9,969 followers
January 5, 2017
Okay, since there are a million reviews with pretty pictures from this GN (graphic novel) I'm going to keep it short as I usually do with my graphic novel reviews.

I didn't think I would like this book for reasons but then I did. One never knows!

Kamala is just a normal teenage girl with really strict parents and she's just trying to get through her life.


I think she's cute with her writing Marvel fanfic. I think I might want to look into this fanfic stuff!


I'm a little confused about how she turned into Ms. Marvel but I guess I will figure it out in later books or some friends will tell me.

Just a couple more pics and I'm done. I love that she can morph or stretch, whatever, into a huge long legged woman, she can get these gynormous hands that pick people up. Cool stuff like that, oh and she can shrink to ant man size. She calls all of this embiggen <---has to do with something her mom said when she was little, if I recall correctly.




I liked Kamala and Ms. Marvel! I will be reading more of her adventures.

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Natalie.
570 reviews3,197 followers
August 1, 2018
This review contains *spoilers*.

Ms. Marvel follows Kamala Khan, a Muslim girl from Jersey City who is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. When a strange mist descends and morphs Kamala into a shape-shifting superhuman... fitting in is the least of her problems.

Ms. Marvel also features religion, which, thank you. I love seeing positive portrayals of any religion. And the honest exploration of accepting and loving oneself made my heart sing.

This story is a definite win for me.

And there were so many moments that had me smiling the kind of smile one tries to suppress:

I'm always up for pop culture references.

YES for Harry Potter!!

Literally would've said the exact same thing as Kamala.

Also, the art was right up my alley:


Still thinking about this volume and its complex, powerful protagonist... so much yes! Cannot wait for what's next in store.

*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!*

Support creators you love. Buy a Coffee for nat (bookspoils) with http://Ko-fi.com/bookspoils
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.5k followers
July 10, 2022
6/15/21: Rereading for class on YA Graphic Novels and Comics with Kickass girls as main characters. This fits, featuring a Pakistani Muslim girl from Jersey City who becomes her actual favorite superhero.

6/19/18 The nice thing about growing older and losing some memory (which, I recall, is one reason I began reviewing on Goodreads, to keep notes for myself) is that each year, (something like Groundhog's Day, the Bill Murray movie), you get to re-read a book and have it read as new! This isn't entirely true, but I really liked reading this, and had forgotten some of it, for sure. As last year, I read it for my class on YA GN/Comics with a focus on girls. I've been reading all the volumes again, and some are better than others, but this first volume is sharp and witty and insightful. This time, I appreciated the challenges this Pakistani Muslim 16-year-old girl has with making a costume (yeah, she makes it; you ever wonder who makes superhero costumes?) that is at least somewhat compatible with a modest Muslim girl in 2014, acknowledging the uncomfortable and embarrassing costumes most women in comics have historically worn.

Kamala Khan wants to be "part of something bigger," and she recognizes that she can justify this superhero thing because her Dad has told her, "people who help are blessed." Most of the first volume is about establishing the unfailingly interesting characters; the plot, such as it is, trying to intervene in a friend's brother's involvement with a local villain, eh. It's over all very entertaining, though, for sure. An important moment in the history of comics, for sure, a Muslim teen Avenger, a kind of teen spin-off of her favorite superhero, Captain Marvel.

6/14/17 Reread for class again, YA GN/Comics with a focus on girls. Everyone really liked it, but compared to Paper Girls, my college students liked the edgier Vaughn book. But high marks for both! We also read articles on girls and comics, too:



This one is of/about Marvel execs complaining about lower sales due to focus on girls and multi-cultures:


Get over it, boys. The world is leaving you behind, no matter how "pc" you think it is.

6/16/16; I just reread this for my YA GN summer 2016 class, and everyone liked it a lot in the class. When I first read it I gave it four stars, thought it was good, not great, and then reread it a few weeks later after I had read the next volume, and I liked it more. This third time I liked it even more, even though I'll admit not much really happens in the first volume, really. But what seems clear to me is that a new and special superhero is born with this comic, she's a teen, a Muslim teen, and it was written with teens in mind. A Marvel universe exploring the possibility of diversity, in a chaning world, and a world where women and girls actually count.

A side note: a Muslim woman in my class loved it, found that this team had done their research on the Muslim issues. She said she found it "refreshing," and found Kamala really relatable in many ways, maybe especially with respect to concerns about dress. Artist Alphonse with Kamala goes through the process of creating a new century superhero costume for her that is tasteful and respectful and still attractive. Seeing her go through that costume process alone is worth the price of the volume.

4/22/15 original review: Ms Marvel, Volume 1, is one of my favorite superhero comics of the year for sure, and one that is appropriate for teens, directed to them. This one has a (surprise!) Pakistani Muslim girl, Kamala Khan, living in Jersey City, NJ, a superhero fan/geek whose favorite superhero is the Carol Danvers Ms./Captain Marvel. She has religiously observant and protective parents, but in spite of that, their daughter suddenly one morning becomes Ms. Marvel. The process of her learning how to control her powers, her struggles with the right costume, her struggles with her parents and friends and meathead bully teen adversaries, her wanting to be both Muslim and also fit in (that I-wanna-be-a-blond-popular-girl theme in literature ala The Bluest Eye, American Born Chinese), all of this is great, interesting.

Most of the characters are interesting to me: Her parents seem real, there's a male friend who really wants to be her boyfriend, there's an idiot girl who is mean to her. . . The dialogue pretty much worked for me, was really fun. I was worried about the angle of having a Muslim superhero girl, all the PC cliches that could have ruined it, but didn't happen, I like it. Yes, we are ready for a Muslim superhero girl! Kamala is really well done, very likable. Oh, and the art, done by Adrian Alphonse who also did the artwork for The Runaways series with Brian Vaughn, is terrific. Colorful, engaging, imaginative.

In one of my classes (in the summer of 2015) we read the new She-Hulk and we really didn't like it, and we read a couple of the beginning issues of the new female Thor, and thought it might be promising (still have to read more into it), but the Kamala Kahn Ms. Marvel was fun and immediately readable, in part because it is for a younger audience, but also because Kamala is a completely original and interesting character. The comics world is screaming for the Marvel/DC (and others) Boys Club to make space for more women, and here is one that works. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,261 reviews8,754 followers
November 24, 2017
11/24/17 - ON SALE for $1.99:


Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

For all of you out there screaming, WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS! I got your diverse graphic novel right here.

Meet Kamala Khan:


But I'm getting ahead of myself.

When Ms. Marvel begins, Kamala is the teenage Muslim version of Toula in MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING. She's lamenting the uncoolness of her heritage and daydreaming about being a blonde, kick-ass boot wearing superhero.


It's the weekend and (once again) she's forbidden from going to a party (b/c boys and alcohol), but she's had enough of her parents stifling rules, so she sneaks out and goes to said party anyway.

It's a disaster of mean girls and dumb jocks, but as she's leaving, a strange fog rises in the city . . . Kamala passes out, has a strange Bollywood/Avenger dream, and wakes up as a very blonde, very WASP Ms. Marvel.


Thus begins Kamala's journey of self-discovery, both the limitations of her new abilities and who she is as Pakistani teenager in America.


And I gotta say, I love her. Kamala is a Geek Girl of epic proportions. She's a girl that anyone who reads Ms. Marvel-type things could see themselves being friends with.


B/c G. Willow Wilson did more than highlight the differences between the minority and the majority. She presents Kamala's struggles in a way that relates to everyone, regardless of background. *stands* *ovates*

My only complaint is that it ended rather abruptly. Not in a cliff-hanger way, in a mid-sentence type way.

It was weird.


I've got four more volumes of Ms. Marvel waiting for me on my Kindle, so I'll soon be back with Kamala, seeing what hilarious versions of things like YouTube (MeTube) her world has to offer. #noharmnofoul

Highly recommended.

Jessica Signature
Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
November 1, 2015
I feel a little guilty for not loving this more because I thought Ms. Marvel was going to be everything I ever hoped and dreamed for in a super hero comic book. A Muslim, POC teen with strict, traditional parents, who fights against marginalization and the forces of evil?! Fuck yeah, sign me up! Though the artwork is beautiful, I just wasn't as captivated with the story as I thought I'd be. I do plan to continue the series because I firmly believe it's really important to support books like these. Plus, I'm thinking it'll get better for me as I dive deeper into the story.
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews6,978 followers
December 15, 2015
Kamala Khan is just an average high school kid struggling with the classic teenage dilemma of trying to both fit in and be herself at the same time, and her Muslim faith is one of those things that sets her apart. She dreams of being a superhero as confident and cool as the Avenger she idolizes, Captain Marvel a/k/a Carol Danvers. However, after developing superpowers because she’s exposed to the Terrigen Mist* Kamala quickly learns that her life has gotten way more complicated.

* Look it up yourself, nerds!

This title has had a lot of attention in large part due to having a lead character who is a female Muslim teenager, but if that’s all the characterization that Kamala had it wouldn’t be much of a comic. What does make it shine is the solid writing that makes you care about Kamala. She’s a good kid who genuinely wants to do the right thing and help people, but like a certain Marvel webspinner with responsibility issues Kamala learns that being a superhero is a lot harder than it looks and doesn’t solve any of the other problems in her life. In fact, it usually makes thing a lot more difficult.

I particularly enjoyed some of the funnier elements like Kamala trying to adopt the old Ms. Marvel costume as well as the name and finding out that walking around in thigh high boots and a skimpy swimsuit just isn’t very comfortable or practical.

This is a great title that reminds me a lot of the early days of Marvel.
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,635 followers
November 21, 2019
Kind of essential reading based on the way the Avengers movie series is headed, Ms Marvel is a new and interesting twist on the Captain Marvel character from Marvel comics. As far as I have been told, the character was originally male, but was later re-introduced as female in some variations as a partner, in others as a separate standalone franchise. In Ms Marvel, Kamala Khan, Pakistani immigrant in Jersey City, gets superpowers granted to her my Captain Marvel (blond female standalone version) and deals with overbearing parents, an overly religious brother, and typical high school growing pains while discovering and mastering her new abilities. In this series, she has an accomplice/potential boyfriend in Bruno who is working on super snot, a stretchy material ideal for shape-shifting Ms Marvel. I liked the inventiveness of the play as well as the artwork. Some of the side characters are a bit stereotypical, but the idea of a brown-skinned Pakistani girl as a budding superhero is a welcome change to the blond on blond superhero universe - definitely empowering for growing girls that don’t fit into outmoded socially valued categories. It was a bit frustrating to get the villain reveal just at the end of this first volume, but then it will motivate me to buy Vol 2!
January 17, 2022

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Man, it is such a shame that all these female superhero comics are coming out now instead of twenty years ago when I was a teen. Teen me would have loved these. But instead, the closest I ever got to an empowering superhero figure was magical girl manga. Not that there is anything wrong with magical girl manga. But I must say, there is something incredibly satisfying about having the gate to geek country swing open in welcome with decent rep. MS. MARVEL is an especially huge win because the heroine is the daughter of Pakistani immigrants, and a Muslim with brown skin. At one point, she even dons a superhero costume that consists of the hated "burkini" that her mother bought her. Love.

Kamala Khan gets her powers one mysterious foggy night after receiving a mysterious vision that appears to be the Avengers, only speaking in her parents' language. As if that weren't trippy enough, she suddenly gains the ability to stretch and shape-shift, and her dark hair turns blonde and golden and she gets a fab outfit.

There really isn't a lot of plot to this story, apart from the fact that Kamala experimenting with her powers (and her desire for freedom as a teen) leads to repeated groundings and punishments from her parents who, while strict, are actually quite warm-hearted and kind, and it's clear how much they want to love her and understand, even if they are at somewhat of an impasse.

Kamala also has a friend named Bruno who obviously has a crush on her, but his brother, Vick, is into some shady shit that ends up getting all three of them into trouble. The book ends right when the shady shit begins, so I suspect the reason a lot of my friends felt so ambivalent about the first book is because it's literally all origin story and world-building. As far as origin stories go, this one really isn't that unique, and Kamala's funny character was the only thing that kept me reading. Some comic books neatly incorporate the origin story into the plot but sadly, this one ended up feeling front-heavy, and very light on the actual plot and climax.

I'm not sure I'll read more into the series, but I did love Kamala and her family. Even if this book weren't a superhero novel, and was just about them and their interactions with one another, I'd probably still have read it and liked it.

3 to 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
943 reviews14k followers
July 16, 2017
Love the art, love how this follows an islamic girl/family, but I read this thinking that I would be okay since I've never read/seen any other Marvel material, but it references the Avengers and I just feel so lost and left behind... This story was interesting but not a lot happens, so hopefully the series will pick up!
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,185 followers
July 13, 2015
Well that was so so fun! I really enjoyed it a lot. I'm not used to reading comics/graphic novels so when it ends I'm always surprised - but I really enjoyed it!
I loved all the modern day phrases and references, and Kamala is a great character.
There was a bunch of stereotyping in the book (of Muslims, mostly) but I feel like most comics end up stereotyping groups in every story. Though that is sad, it's still great to have so much diversity.
Overall a really great, fun, enjoyable read. Already reserved the next one at my library!
Profile Image for Samantha.
441 reviews16.8k followers
April 3, 2015
This was a fun start to the reboot and I'm looking forward to upcoming volumes.

- Pakistani American Muslim heroine! Can we get a hell yes for diversity?
- plethora of side characters that I'm looking forward to getting developed more in the future (Bruno is adorable, btw)
- Loved the art and the colors used
- Coming of age and superhero story combined

- I found her powers and how she got them kind of confusing. I hope that is explained in the future
- as other have said, her family members are portrayed pretty stereotypically. Your level of sensitivity to this may vary. I'm hoping they are developed more in the future as well and stray away from the tropes

Overall, I really enjoyed this first volume and cannot wait for more.
Profile Image for Sesana.
5,344 reviews343 followers
December 10, 2014
Ms. Marvel has gotten a lot of buzz. A lot. People are always going to talk when one of the two big publishers puts out a comic starring a character who is not the standard white man. In this case, we have Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, a teenage girl who is Muslim and the daughter of Pakistani immigrants. More than enough to get me interested. What got my hopes up was that this book has been selling way, way above expectations. Ms. Marvel #1 has gone through at least half a dozen printings (very, very unusual in comics) and is a top selling digital title. Obviously, people are liking it, and talking about it, and getting others to read it.

And guess what? It really is very, very good. In some ways, Kamala reminds me of a young Peter Parker, at least the Ultimate version that I loved so much. She's a genuinely good person who wants to do the right thing (hence the superheroics once she gets powers) who is kind of dorky and very relateable. I love her. She's funny and earnest she just sounds so much like a real teenager. Really, she had me from her stolen sniffs of "infidel meat"- bacon. And nobody who writes Avengers fanfic that funny can be bad.

And hey, great supporting cast. I'm especially fond of Kamala's friend Nakia, and of Bruno, the neighborhood boy who has a transparently obvious (and really cute) crush on her. But I also liked her family. Her parents are strict, but also very loving, something that fictional teenagers don't often get. Even the mean girl is almost delightfully awful. She's backhanded mean, the kind that's nice to your face while waiting for an opportunity to unleash.

Kamala being a Muslim is something that gets significant play, but I never felt like it was being beaten to death. She wants to fit in and be like the other kids she knows, which is not compatible with the way she was raised. Her parents are protective, but not insanely so (there's nothing wrong with freaking out when you find out your teenage daughter has made a habit of sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night). Yes, both these things specifically come from having a Muslim family, but her family could have just as easily been Christian, or Hindu. Or hippies. And yes, Nakia does wear a hijab, by her own personal choice, but it's literally brought up once and then pushed to the side, even as the art is consistent in showing her covered. (It may be relevant that Wilson is herself a Muslim woman who covers her hair.) What I'm saying is that, while Kamala's religion does shape certain details of the book, it isn't about that. It's about a basically normal girl who just happens to be a Muslim, and a geek, and a superhero.

I'd been hoping for quite a lot from this book. Happily, I got a book that's very well-written, with great characters and dialog and really good art. I'm more than happy to be jumping on the Ms. Marvel bandwagon.
Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,174 reviews8,405 followers
August 29, 2015
For a first volume, this is pretty well put together. If you're a fan of Agents of SHIELD, you will enjoy some of the connections made in this series. If not, there might be a bit of confusion about how exactly Kamala gains her powers and what exactly is going on. However, I found the storyline to be easy to follow and pretty straight forward, which is refreshing. Sometimes I feel like comic books can be needlessly confusing in order to feign complexity, but this one sticks to one girl's story and it's interesting enough to sustain itself.

As for the themes, I found them to be a but unoriginal. The idea of self-discovery and being a part of something bigger aren't exactly unique to superhero stories. However, Kamala's Muslim heritage was interesting, and how it focused a bit on gender expectations was refreshing. I am still a bit iffy on how I feel her parents were portrayed. I can't decide if they were stereotypical or fitting for the storyline.

I will continue to check out this series from the library because it's light and fun, and Kamala is a really great character to follow.
Profile Image for Chad.
8,153 reviews909 followers
June 11, 2022
This was fun. It has all the makings of a modern day Spider-Man with a Muslim twist. Kamala's receives her powers when she's overcome by the terrigen mists while walking home after sneaking out to a party. She wakes up with her "embiggen" powers, basically she can stretch and morph her shape. (Her powers and origin have been completely changed for the Disney+ show as Disney wants you to forget about the Inhumans now that they have the X-Men back again.) I really like how Wilson focuses on Kamala's family life. As a white guy growing up in a small town in the Midwest, it's not a culture I've been exposed to very much. Kamala is super likable and relatable.

I do have a love / hate relationship with Adrian Alphona's art. It's very detailed. But then at times he draws characters as if they are standing in front of a fun house mirror with distended limbs and necks and other characters with gigantic bulbous heads that look like blob fish.
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,678 reviews5,257 followers
April 1, 2016
charming. G Willow Wilson and editor Sana Amanat make respect for diversity look so easy and natural. this groundbreaking series featuring comicdom's first Muslim female lead has a lot of points it wants to score regarding difference and it wants to do it in a way that is both respectful and fun. it succeeds. a winning game!

I love that it wants to have it all without sliding into sloppy generalizations or annoying binaries. the need for tolerance is emphasized but critical appraisals go in all directions, towards condescending or oblivious non-Muslims but also towards modern day practitioners of Islam. and towards our heroine, the endearing Kamala Khan. her transformative powers cleverly parallel the feelings that any teen could have about not feeling comfortable in their own skin, taking on the physical identity of pop culture icons, and not knowing what form they will eventually take themselves.

those quirky powers come alive in Adrian Alphona's wonderfully quirky art - full of playfulness with size and shape, with the occasional, surprising anime flourish.

I'm not sure if I will be continuing with this likable series, but the first volume left such a sweet and spicy taste that I will always look upon it fondly.
Profile Image for Liz Janet.
579 reviews384 followers
October 14, 2019
We have all probably heard of Carol Danvers as Ms. Marvel, but now we have Kamala Khan, a New Jersey Pakistani American, who assumes the identity and takes on her role. I was very glad to see a Muslim character as a protagonist, because even though we have had “M” and “Dust”, they are not considered main characters in the way Kamala is. And it does seem to be a good series, I did win the Hugo for Best Graphic Story, however I had a few issues.
I felt as if the series, even though it has been stated that it is not imposing on faith, still makes Islam the main issue within her plot line, for the first few issues. Sana Amanat stated “It's about what happens when you struggle with the labels imposed on you, and how that forms your sense of self.” And even though I see where she is coming from, it seemed to rely more on stereotypes (unlike Dust) to carry on the characters. The devout brother, strict parents, disinterest of children/teens to go to the mosque; Kamala seem to be the only one to have any depth.

The art was good, the same style as most superhero comics. I particularly liked that the Muslim characters didn’t look the same.

I did appreciate the addition of Muslim/Non-Muslim friendships, as well as stylish hijabis.

Profile Image for Nicky.
4,138 reviews1,016 followers
November 8, 2014
I'm going to pretend I haven't seen/read the comments and reviews that basically boil down to "a Muslim American can't be a superhero, and because this story is about a Muslim American teen, it's not really a superhero book". Despite the fact that in many ways, this is Spider-man: family issues, school issues, identity issues, except it happens to be a female character who also happens to be a person of colour and a Muslim. There is nothing in the set of issues here that wouldn't be right at home wearing a different mask in Spider-man. He spends just as much time building up to getting the costume, just as much time or more actually becoming a superhero.

I did find that this TPB stopped just where I wanted things to really begin for Kamala. It's a little too short, not giving me enough to really hold onto. I like Kamala, I like her family, I like the quirks of the art and what we've seen so far -- I just haven't seen enough yet to know how much I'm going to like it. This TPB is really just an origin story, and we have yet to see Kamala meet the wider world.

It's great as an origin story, but I'm not hooked yet.

And before you ask, Spidey took me a while too.
Profile Image for Belle.
529 reviews517 followers
July 28, 2017
3.5 stars

I’m a little ashamed to admit, for somebody who claims to be a bookworm and proud nerd, this is the first comic I have ever read. I’ve been meaning to read a marvel comic for years but I’ve never gotten around to picking one up. I love the format of words and letting my mind create it’s own images, so I wasn’t sure if I would fall easily into a comic.

But was I wrong. The art style in this comic was beautiful, with vivid colours that perfectly fit the narrative.

This story follows Kamala Khan, a sixteen-year-old Pakistani Muslim from Jersey City. Kamala is struggling with her identify and trying to live up to the expectations her family has for her, this is a book about discovery and the only thing Kamala is sure about is her love and obsession with the Avengers.

Kamala is sure that her life would be different if she was anything like Ms. Marvel, if she possessed the same appearance and superhuman strength, she would finally be confident and sure of herself.

And when a mysterious mist blankets Jersey City and gives Kamala the ability to transform into Ms. Marvel, she finally has what she always wanted, but like Ms. Marvel warned—

"It is not going to turn out the way you think."

My favourite part of this comic, hands down, was the perfect balance of serious matter and humour. This whole story was about self-growth and self-love, discovering who you are and finding a way to be confident and proud in that. It intertwined religion, friendship, family and just being a teenager, with humour and action.

I expected this to be a feel good, light story but so many parts resonated with me and were things that kept me up at night thinking. I especially loved the way that religion was written into the story, with the scenes at the mosque and the conversations between Kamala and her father.

I can't wait to read the continuation of this comic, I felt like this was more of a character and basis comic and the real action will come in the following ones.
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
2,086 reviews5,081 followers
April 26, 2022
Update 2022: Yall I love this series so it always surprises me when I go back and realize how weak this first volume is. Unless, you have an extensive knowledge of some things in the Marvel universe it’s pretty unclear how Kamala even gets her powers and that can read as being pretty disjointed for a new reader. Don’t get me wrong, I know how great this series gets in later volumes, but this is a weaker start. I still enjoyed the artwork and the overall story though. When I first read it, I remember loving how there was a challenging of what a super hero should look like especially as a woman. Those feelings still came back in this reread!

3.5 Stars. This was pretty good. I like the addition of the Pakistani culture. I think what I appreciated most is that Kamala realized she didn't have to be the stereotypical image to be a super hero and safe those individuals she cared about. Some parts of it did drag but I'm really excited to see where the next volume goes.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,866 followers
January 8, 2023
Creating a female Muslim teenage superhero

Time for more graphic novel emancipation
That´s the point besides great writing and drawing, also bringing the series much more attention than an average coming of age spiderman clone. What appeals so weirdly to me is that there isn´t just the logical criticism by faith, but also the much stranger one by conservative Westerners who don´t want girls and women in their comics or as presidents or CEOs in real life. As archaic as this seems, misogyny is still an incredibly strong force in Europe and the US, perfectly hidden under political correctness and policies enabling it. But primarily

The protagonist is struggling with her family
A too loving mother, a more distant father, and a far too holy brother are added to her already complicated life, leaving her multitasking like no man ever could. And I don´t want to be misandric, it´s just what I´ve read, seen, and feel myself, males suck at multitasking and combining job, family life, and thereby occurring stress without becoming insane or substance abusers. I guess that this series will

Keep evolving towards touching more complex topics haters like to rant about
And that´s what graphic novels should do, point the finger at the really big, unnamed, hidden problems in our modern society and show how it could be done instead, without superpowers of course. At the moment. And no matter how much literally book burning in theocracies and book banning in failing democracies takes place, as soon as sociocultural evolution is unleashed, it can´t be stopped. Just another war against stupidity, ignorance, and conservativism that will be won by time and enlightenment.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Norah Una Sumner.
853 reviews453 followers
January 16, 2016

I see that everyone who gave this Volume less than 4 stars is saying how they really liked the art work but didn't like the story...Well,moi, on the contrary, liked the story better than the art work. The art was a bit too goofy and sometimes even a bit weird for my taste. The story was interesting but I couldn't connect with the main character and her actions were too childish and careless. The scene where she destroys the locker room (she breaks everything in it) and gets a simple detention? How the actual hell did anyone think that's normal? Maybe I'll get attached to these characters as the story develops but, currently, I'm not in the mood to read the next Vol.

Profile Image for Olivia-Savannah.
792 reviews493 followers
February 26, 2019
I don't think this comic deserved as much of the hype that it got?

On the one hand, I was so here for the Muslim representation! I love that we have a superhero who is Muslim. I love that some the joys and struggles of being a Muslim teen when it comes to friends, family and coming of age are included in here. We've got an ignorant person being ignorant and we get to see how that is handled and also the feeling of responsibility when it comes to being a hero. I liked the themes of identity and all that.

But the artwork was disappointing to me. I didn't really like that style at all, and I was underwhelmed. I also thought that the storyline was just okay. Nothing too special which is what I'd been expecting from the sheer amount of hype that this comic has.

It was a nice beginning to the series, but not too wowing.
Profile Image for * A Reader Obsessed *.
2,222 reviews454 followers
June 19, 2021
3.5 Stars

A YA comic aptly showing that the grass isn’t necessarily greener, and definitely be careful of what you wish for.

Young Kamala is often stifled by her family’s strict rules but when her wish to help others is granted by the infamous Captain Marvel, of course being a superhero isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Good themes and good message for all teens and points for showing female strength with plenty of growing pains!
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