Home » Book Reviews » Book Review: Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #7 “Healing Factor, Part Two”

Book Review: Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #7 “Healing Factor, Part Two”

WRITER: G. Willow Wilson

ARTIST: Jacoby Wyatt

COLOR ARTIST: Ian Herring

LETTERER: Joe Caramagna

EDITORS: Devin Lewis, Sana Amanat, Nick Lowe, Axel Alonso

“I don’t like hurting stuff. Even giant sewer alligators. I mean … is it possible to help people without hurting other people? Or, you know … reptiles?”

“No, it ain’t. It all circles around. The hurt I mean. Sometimes you can avoid hurting other people, but it usually means you get hurt pretty bad instead. The pain’s gotta go somewhere.”

“I don’t want to believe that.

“You’re young.”

(Kamala Khan and Logan/Wolverine, Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #7)[1]

“The only power worth snot is the power to get up after you fall down. Everything else—the fancier, flashier powers—that’s just extra.”

(Logan/Wolverine, Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #7)[2]

“It took me a while to figure out that Ms. Marvel could be me. That I didn’t have to be someone else in order to wear the lightning bolt.”

(Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #7)[3]

Issue #7 “Healing Factor, Part Two” continues Kamala Khan’s team-up with Logan/Wolverine from the X-Men. At the end of issue #6, the two of them were faced with a bionic megagator, even bigger than the one they’d already defeated.[4] With Logan injured and without his healing factor, Kamala has to take the lead in battling the Inventor’s creations and finding a way back out of the sewers. Most of this issue is dedicated to continuing Kamala and Logan’s student-teacher interaction. I really enjoyed the conversations between Kamala and Logan as they travel through the sewers under Jersey City. Despite the brevity of their team-up, they have some meaningful and funny conversations that I think will likely have an impact on Kamala.

One of the several moments that stood out was the passage quoted at the beginning of this review, in which Kamala asks Logan if it’s possible to help people without hurting someone else. Logan’s answer seems very in character for him. Kamala’s response is something that a lot of us readers can probably relate to; we love superheroes because they often have stories in which good triumphs over evil and the heroes can figure out a way to solve the problem while still being moral. The idea of a world where that’s always possible is very appealing. Like many superheroes faced with moral dilemmas, she’s thinking seriously about what being a superhero entails. This exchange also stood out to me because of her religious and racial background. Kamala’s question to Logan challenges the stereotype about Muslims being violent, showing that people of all demographics have a conscience and think about what would be the right thing to do in a difficult situation. Additionally, perhaps because of various discussions regarding racial profiling around the time this issue was released, the different demographics of the two characters having this conversation really struck me. In society, there’s often a double standard when determining if a person’s use of violence was unjustified or justified in a certain situation; people use different standards (sometimes consciously and sometimes subconsciously) when determining the situations in which it’s considered appropriate to use peaceful means and the situations in which it’s acceptable (if regrettable) to use violence in order to fight for a cause or defend oneself, people use different standards based on the demographics (including factors such as race, religion, gender, and so on) of the person whose actions are under discussion. This double standard often labels the violent actions of people in the majority as justified, even if other peaceful means could have been taken, while labeling violent actions of people in the minority as unjustified, even in cases when they were defending themselves. (Sometimes, people even attempt to justify violence against people in the minority who were peacefully protesting in favor of equal rights, while not favoring violence against protestors who were using violence or threats at events where most protestors were of a majority demographic.) We also see people of all demographics being more willing to forgive immoral actions by people in their own group than by people in another. Yet, here we have two characters of different races, religions, genders, and ages having a conversation about the topic. The fact that Logan gave her the same advice he’d likely give to any new superhero, regardless of their race or religion (or whether they were a mutant), was meaningful.

After defeating the megagator, Kamala and Logan continue their journey through the maze of sewers under Jersey City and continue their conversation. There are lots of humorous and serious moments, with Logan giving Kamala advice and Kamala clearly enjoying talking to one of her favorite superheroes. Towards the end of the issue, Kamala and Logan locate Julie, who Logan had been looking for. Julie’s hooked up to machines and her body seems to be providing a power source for the Inventor’s inventions. This part of the story isn’t really well-developed. It’s reminiscent of various science fiction stories, but there’s not really an explanation of why the Inventor is using people as a power source and how that’s connected to the kids at the abandoned house in Greenville. This seems to be foreshadowing Kamala’s future adventures, so we will hopefully find out more in later issues.

Kamala and Logan go their separate ways, Logan taking Julie with him. At the very end of the issue, there’s a conversation between Steve Rogers/Captain America and Medusa (Queen of the Inhumans). Logan had surmised that Kamala must be an Inhuman based on her description of how she acquired her powers, and he informed Rogers of this. Rogers tells Medusa that Logan’s impression of Kamala was that she wants to find her own way. Medusa decides to send someone to be her companion. The last page of the issue sets up the next story arc, introducing us to a character Kamala will soon meet.

The writing was really enjoyable to read in this issue; Kamala and Logan are two of my favorite superheroes, and reading their conversations was lots of fun. Logan’s been written by many authors over the years, and I really like the way that Wilson writes him here; he’s a character who’s clearly had a long life filled with fighting and who sees himself as part of the older generation that should try to impart some advice to the youngsters. That he’s acutely aware of the loss of his healing factor but won’t let that stop him also comes across. Kamala’s enthusiasm for being a superhero and her bravery really come through. She’s really able to shine, even despite a team-up with a more well-known character. Regarding the artwork, I mentioned in my previous review that I was having trouble getting used to Jacoby Wyatt’s style, but I think this second issue helped me get comfortable with it. Though the white eyes and a couple of other things still weren’t to my taste, there are some great pages and panels. There’s a particularly fun full-page image of Kamala and Logan making their way through the sewers while having a conversation that staircases diagonally up the page.

I’m glad about the decision to include a team-up between Kamala Khan and Logan. It’s a story of one of the most beloved and ever-present characters teaming up with a new teenage superhero who’s just getting started — passing the torch to the next generation, if you will. For Kamala, it’s an important part of her character development and her learning how to be a superhero. It’s a way to transition from her discovery of her powers to her inclusion in the wider fictional universe of which she is a part. That the team-up happens so close to Logan’s upcoming death[5] adds more emotional impact to the idea of teaching the next generation. I know The Powers That Be will eventually (hopefully) resurrect him at some point, but the team-up is a nice choice so close to his most recent final chapter. Logan’s become a ubiquitous character, included in numerous titles and team-ups with almost every superhero in the Marvel universe at some point or another. Some of the best stories about him are the ones in which we see his heart and his concern for students; over the years, he’s been a mentor to several young characters in various comics titles and adaptations. It’s nice to see him in that role one more time. It’s a good team-up story with some meaning.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed “Healing Factor”. Though I find two issues to be a short arc, it’s a really fun story with two awesome characters. Even better was the fact that the team-up included some relevant and interesting character development that will lead to future storylines for our heroine.

[Originally Written: 26 September 2014]

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References

[1] Wilson, G. Willow; Wyatt, Jacob; Herring, Ian; et al. Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #7 “Healing Factor, Part Two”. Marvel, 20 August 2014.

[2] Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #7.

[3] Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #7.

[4] EAS. Book Review: Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #6 “Healing Factor, Part One”. Homeworld Journal, 25 May 2016. https://homeworldjournal.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/book-review-ms-marvel-vol-3-6-healing-factor-part-one/

[5] “The Death of Wolverine Vol 1”. Marvel Database wiki. Retrieved on 26 September 2014 from http://marvel.wikia.com/Death_of_Wolverine_Vol_1.

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