March 2, 2020

Review: Magnificent Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: Destined

Magnificent Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: Destined Magnificent Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: Destined by Saladin Ahmed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a reboot of sorts, but it's a very soft one--G. Willow Wilson has apparently moved on to writing Wonder Woman, and she handpicked Saladin Ahmed to take her place. Thankfully, there is no rewriting of Kamala's origin story: we just continue with the characters and the torch is passed.

It soon became evident that Kamala is in good hands, however. This particular storyline wasn't so much "high school" or even Jersey City--most of it takes place on the planet Saffa, where Kamala has been scooped up by the natives as their foretold "Destined One." It's kind of a cool SF edge. Along the way, we get bits of alternate POVs, including Kamala's mother. The whole thing has more of a grown-up feel--Kamala is talking about college, she's trying to work out her relationship with Bruno, and she gets an unexpected, heartrending challenge: her father has been diagnosed with a rare terminal disease that even Tony Stark's labs can't cure, not yet. This was a welcome addition, to me. Kamala doesn't have to worry about aging out of her storyline like the Buffy actors, but you can't stay in high school forever, and I think it's time her story reflected that.

I also appreciated the art in this volume. It's bright and clean, and the panels are easy to follow. There's flashes of humor, although I don't think Kamala is quite as snarky as she's been in the past--again, shades of growing up. I hope the next volume spends some time with Kamala and her friends, as I think their changing relationships deserve a bit of focus.

Bottom line: this transition is pretty much seamless, and I'm looking forward to what Salamin Ahmed will do next.

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