Earlier this year I accidentally read the fourth Ms. Marvel graphic novel before the third, Ms.Marvel: Crushed. Instead of immediately going back and reading number three I went on to read other things. When I was ready to pick it up, I couldn’t find it, the house seemed to have eaten it. About two weeks ago it resurfaced and I decided to save it to complete my cannonball. Sosuke is not as thrilled as I am, since his nap was disturbed to take this photo.
Ms. Marvel: Crushed is everything I’ve come to expect from the Ms. Marvel comics. They are fun, exciting, and have a lot of depth. While the stakes are never as high as the Avengers face, Kamala is determined to protect the people she loves in the city she cares about. In this volume Kamala is fully confident in her abilities, and through training with other Inhumans, becoming more powerful. Finding balance between her teenage self and super hero side continues to be a delicate balance. Kamala’s family is unaware she is Ms. Marvel and expect for her to be a proper Pakistani Muslim girl at all times. While Kamala chafes at the restrictions, she very much wants to please her parents.
This volume opens with an entertaining story featuring Loki. Due to bungling a mission in Asgard, Loki is sent to earth as a demotion. He is charged with an investigation and to neutralize any threat he may discover. Being the god of mischief Loki can’t help himself but create turmoil once he arrives in Jersey City. Loki’s search takes him to the convenience store of Kamala’s best friend, Bruno. Overhearing Bruno mope about his feelings for Kamala, Loki decides to help him win Kamala’s affections. Further chaos is created when Loki attends a Valentine’s Day dance.
What follows is a much more somber story. Kamala has always known her parents would one day parade a stream of young, successful Pakistani men in front of her in the hopes of making an acceptable match. Her world is quickly upended when the son of a family friend, Kamran, is presented, and not only does he share her interests but he’s handsome too. While out with Kamran and her brother an Inhuman who believes in human inferiority starts wreaking havoc. Ms. Marvel quickly weighs in and easily, physically subdues her opponent, doing enough damage for an ambulance to be called. This is the first time that she has hurt someone in this way and it shakes her up.
Kamala’s attraction becomes even stronger when she learns that Kamran is also Inhuman. Kamran woos Kamala under false pretenses, enticing her to sneak out and share rides, actions her family would frown upon. Her fairytale quickly moves to horror when it is revealed he is trying to recruit Kamala to an organization of evil Inhumans. In a position far to familiar for many people, Kamran twists words and insists that Kamala put herself in this situation. This causes Kamala to question if it really is her fault and therefore what she deserves. While fighting her way free, Kamala comes to an important realization,
He’s going to hit me. He’s actually going to hit me. Suddenly, I feel calm. I don’t feel ashamed anymore, or guilty. I realize something important. He might look like a handsome prince, but he’s actually a total buttwipe. I gave him power over me — power over my identity. No more.
These comics were printed in 2015 but the story resonates particularly strongly now and tell an important message that young people need to hear.
The final story in the volume is a crossover from a S.H.I.E.L.D. comic where Kamala meets Agent Coulson and Jemma Simmons, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. In involves a fun mishap at her school when a fellow student loses control of black market villian and superhero tech.
This was a great book to complete my first cannonball on. Everyone from ages 7 to 42 in our house loves Ms. Marvel and we highly recommend her comics.