'The Magnificent Ms. Marvel' #1 Review: Kamala Khan's "Normal" Life Steals the Spotlight

Since her creation in 2014, every Kamala Khan-starring solo comic has been written by none other [...]

Since her creation in 2014, every Kamala Khan-starring solo comic has been written by none other than co-creator G. Willow Wilson. She has long been not just the perfect voice for this beloved teen hero, but the only one, a fact which practically no fan complained about. However, that all changes this week with the debut of Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1, written by Saladin Ahmed.

It's strange to see anyone else's name on the cover of a Ms. Marvel comic, but it's clear within the opening pages that Ahmed is a stellar fit for the character as he continues to flex the same muscles that have made his run with Miles Morales so enjoyable.

The new book begins with Kamala having been a hero for quite a while, as saving the day has become somewhat second nature. Beating up bad guys and rescuing dudes in distress is how she spends her time, and she's clearly very good at it. What she isn't so great at though is being a normal teenager. Kamala struggles to find time for her friends or connect with her traditional parents, so much so that these issues cause her more stress than the actual crime she is fighting. When these two worlds of hers collide, and the challenges become one, things get very interesting.

Ahmed channels his best Peter Parker impression for this book, just as he did with Miles, and it works beautifully. There's a strong effort throughout to concentrate the attention on Kamala's "normal" life, making the crime-fighting secondary, though there's no excitement lost. Dealing with hardships, trying to keep up with a budding romance, debating your parents on the merits of a lifestyle that doesn't necessarily line up with theirs: all of these plot points are things that we can instantly relate to and understand, and they're written in such a way that Kamala's life remains wholly intriguing.

ms marvel comic
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

While the seemingly mundane aspects of Kamala's story are brought to the forefront, this is still a comic, and the fantastical elements are still noticeable and exciting. There is a plot thread that begins in the opening pages and continues as a narration countering the events of Kamala's everyday struggles, teasing a much larger mystery than we can see on the surface. There's also Minkyu Jung's art to consider, which transitions seamlessly from a solemn family conversation to a stellar space wolf in just a couple of panels. The artwork never completely departs from our reality, but things are made interesting enough that you'll never search too hard for something wonderful to look at.

All said, this is a great debut for the first post-Willow Kamala Khan series. The names of Kamala and Wilson will forever be intertwined, but Ahmed proves in this book that he's got plenty of story to tell, keeping our attention with the greatest of ease.

Published by Marvel Comics

On March 13, 2019

Written by Saladin Ahmed

Pencils by Minkyu Jung

Ink by Juan Vlasco

Colors by Ian Herring

Letters by VC's Joe Caramagna