Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I read this third collected volume of Ms. Marvel back-to-back with the second. I liked this one well enough, but it definitely suffered by comparison with Generation Why. Still, in any ongoing storyline, you've got to have highs and lows, peaks and valleys, and quieter moments. I appreciate it when the writer makes those quieter moments an opportunity for reflection and greater characterization, which G. Willow Wilson did with this volume.
Not that there aren't some exciting elements to this. The first installment springs the trickster Loki from Asgardia on Kamala's school (specifically the Valentine's Day dance) to look for agents of the Inventor, the foe Kamala defeated in the previous volume; and the final installment throws in Jemma Simmons and Paul Coulson from S.H.I.E.L.D (about which I know nothing). In between, though, is the meat of this volume: a story about Kamala's family, Pakistani culture, her best friend Bruno who is in love with her, and her own infatuation with a boy she last saw at the age of five who "picked his nose" and who turns out to be Inhuman, just like her.
(He also--spoiler!--turns out to be a lying, manipulating bastard.)
This sort of teenage love storyline may feel like a step back, but it's not all that unrealistic, given that our main character is all of sixteen years old and still in high school. What's important is that Kamala learns and grows from the experience, which she does. I appreciated her characterization here, and I think this sets her up well for succeeding volumes.
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