Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Ms Marvel: Vol Three: Crushed

I've enjoyed the trade adventures of Ms Marvel. This volume keeps that going up to a point.

It starts with a great crossover with Loki, when Loki was doing his good guy bit. One of the problems with the Marvel setting is that so many of the characters go through so many changes, it's hard to know which version of a character you're dealing with at a time.

But I'm vaguely familiar with this 'Loki agent of Asgard' bit and his interactions with Ms Marvel are top notch. It combines a bit of fun, humor, and action like a good comic should. Oh, and teen angst. Don't forget the teen angst!

It leads to Loki warding the school itself against future villains which is a nice touch and a nice little plot device that can be used in future issues.

Oh, and to top it off, it takes place during a Valentine's Dance. The author hit all the cylinders here.

But onto the new story which starts in New Attilan, as Marvel is trying to make the Inhumans into the next big thing, we start with Ms Marvel training with the Inhumans. It's nice to see an occasional bit of training. It provides some actual context to how the characters learn how to use their powers. It's also not the first time Ms Marvel has been seen in training as in her earlier appearances, after a sound beating, she trained to overcome her adversaries.

The author continues to bring in the family and makes the Khan's very relatable. A mother worried about her daughter out jogging alone for example? That's a pretty standard concern no?

The 'problem' I have with this portion? It's not the introduction of Kamran, a young lad that Kamala is instantly smitten with. It's not the fact that he too is an Inhuman. I'm okay with that. It's not the introduction of Kaboom, another new super villain.

Spoiler alert!

It's not even the fact that he's the bad guy. I'm okay with that too. Star-crossed lovers and all that jazz right?

It's Lineage. He's apparently the king of the Inhumans from out of nowhere. It's disjoining.

I've often praised comics like Ms Marvel (Runaways, Young Avengers, etc...) that are self-contained. That you can read and understand them without knowing what's going on in the rest of the Marvel setting. It allows them to skip most of the big crossovers and instead of having their own flow ruined by the big events, allows them the build up the characters of their own book.

The introduction of Lineage from off stage as the new Inhuman boss? With no information on it happening in the actual book? Poorly done.

Next up is a crossover with SHIELD. I'm not a regular SHIELD reader so I'm pretty out of the loop on the characters but it's more of how seeing another author handles Ms Marvel and it's done well.  It's nice seeing another artist take a crack at her too. More traditional with the brighter colors.

Outside of the Lineage introduction, it's a solid collection and cements Ms Marvel's place in the greater Marvel Universe even if that means her own title gets the occasional goofy bit of continuity thrown in.

If you're looking for super hero comics that aren't all grim and angsty and have depth and plot to them without delving into death and destruction, Ms Marvel is a good pick.