Title: Ms. Marvel, Volume 1: No Normal
Authors: G. Willow Wilson (Writer) & Adrian Alphona (Artist)
Published: October 30, 2014
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Publisher Website: link
Kamala Khan is a typical teenager–well, as much as there can be any such thing as a “typical teenager”. But when she finds herself coming into some awesome (and also a bit frightening) new powers, her entire world is about to change. She quickly learns, however, that the phrase–taken right from the Marvel universe in which she lives–“With great power comes great responsibility” is profoundly true. Can she handle the moniker of Ms. Marvel and everything that comes with it? Is Kamala ready to lead a double life? And what of the dangers that are inevitable when one becomes a superhero? All questions for which no typical teenager has ready answers.
I picked this up as part of my reading for Hugo voting this year since it was nominated (and subsequently won the award). I don’t generally read many graphic novels, which is somewhat surprising considering that I was a major comics fan and collector during my teen years. I think it’s just a matter of keeping up with it all and that I keep myself busy enough with the novels and short stories that are on my list. But I do always enjoy reading the graphic stories that are nominated for the Hugos, as that ensures I get in at least a few each year.
It is no surprise to me why this was nominated and selected for the Hugo. Not only is the artwork phenomenal, but it is an excellent origin story and was one that I found very engaging. Although Marvel may downplay and erase the roles of women superheros in their films, I’m glad to see that at least their not being left of the page of their print works. Now if only we could get something like this translated to screen. I’d watch a Ms. Marvel cartoon or movie–and I think there are many others in the same boat.
But really, if you’re like me and don’t read many graphic novels but you’re going to read one this year: this should be it. You won’t be disappointed.