I participate in a private Facebook group with Christ and Pop Culture Magazine subscribers. There was a discussion the other day about the quality of writing of a popular series. The important part of the discussion for this review is that good stories transcend a particular telling. Elements of good stories are often found in other stories. The major themes of life, finding and loosing love, purpose and meaning of life, etc. are almost always found in some form in any good story. Good stories can be told in an original manner, but are rarely completely original in theme.
Ms Marvel made new in 2014 when it first came out because the main character is a 16 year old Muslim immigrant living in New Jersey. She was a unique voice in the superhero world. I read and reviewed the first volume just over a year ago. But the rest of the series has not gone on sale until this week. I enjoy the occasional comic book, but I am cheap. Amazon/ComiXology is having a sale on Marvel comics through today. So Vol 1 is $4.50, Vol 2 is $5.50, Vol 3 is $8.00 and Vol 4 is $9.00.
Comics are something that I should read more carefully. I tend to fly through them too quickly because I want the story and then not go back and read them more slowly to really enjoy the art. But the art is one of the complaints that I have with this series. There has not been a consistent art team and so the art has varied and I have definitely liked some of it better than others.
The first volume was interesting because it was introducing a new character. The second volume I think lacked the punch of the first because it attempted to make a point. Ms Marvel was confronted with some of her peers that were willing to give up when faced with difficult problems. That could have been handled better but ended up being a complaint against her whole generation instead of a motivation for working hard to do what you can.
Volume three was a traditional geek love story. Part of what makes Ms Marvel fun is that she is a huge superhero fan. She knows all the back stories and all of the current events going on in the superhero world. That geek cred comes through the story mostly as humor. But in this third volume it also comes across through her awkwardness in relationships. She is a muslim immigrant from a strict family. There hasn’t really been a relationship history. But when old family friends move back to the area with their son, there is a love interest. I am not going to blow the thread, but it was predictable from nearly the start. I am all for telling the classic stories, but there has to be something worth telling.
The fourth volume finally is as good as the first. The art has come back up to par. And so has the story telling. We get to see why Ms Marvel does what she does. What is really important impacts the way she tries to save people. Ms Marvel is a local story. She is young, she is not fully mature as a superhero or a person. So I think it is good that she is still on the periphery of the big stories. When something big goes down in the Marvel world, it impacts Ms Marvel, but he job is still in Jersey City protecting those she knows.
Every time I read comics I wish I had read more of them as a kid but also I want to read more of them as an adult. I picked up the new single issue Black Panther and the Marvel Civil War collection that covers the events of the new movie as well. If anyone has some other suggestions for comics from the sale let me know.