Ms. Marvel, Vol. 8: Mecca by G. Willow Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Now this is more like it.
When I read Ms. Marvel Volume 7, I thought it simply did not meet the series' usual standard of excellence. I missed Kamala's interactions with her family, and thought the villain and storyline was just weak. I stated that I hoped the next volume would pick things up again.
Apparently G. Willow Wilson (or the Marvel gods) was listening, because this volume did just that.
This storyline, in addition to checking back in with Kamala's family (her brother in particular, who is expecting a baby with his new wife), is also reacquainting us with a character from Civil War II, her "friend-in-law" Kareem, AKA the Red Dagger. (Kareem also seems to be setting up as a love interest for Kamala.) But the meat of the story is the serious examination of superheroes and discrimination--in this case, by the reappearance of two villains from previous volumes: Becky St. Jude, or "Lockdown," and Chuck Worthy from Hydra. They are attempting to round up all "unregistered super powers" in Jersey City, including Kamala's brother, and this confrontation leads to a really interesting aside involving Lockdown's henchman Discord, who proves to be a kid named Josh who Kamala has known from elementary school. He explains how lost he felt, and we see how Lockdown manipulated this to recruit him by giving him a "purpose." Because Josh has revealed himself to Kamala, she does the same--taking off her mask and letting him see who Ms. Marvel is. I'm sure this will have repercussions, further down the line.
The second storyline, involving Laal Khanjeer or Red Dagger, is a more straightforward mission of derring-do, stopping a runaway train. But even it poses interesting questions of "superhero" worship, and the new "hero" in town, and how Kamala begins to realize she must take care of herself so she can help the people in her city. All in all, this is a most welcome return to form, and I'm glad the series is back on track.
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