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Book Review: Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #7 and #8

#7: Ms. Marvel Team-Up and #8: Ms. Adventures in Babysitting

PLOT: Dan Slott

SCRIPT: Christos Gage

PENCILS: Giuseppe Camuncou

INKS: Cam Smith

COLORS: Antonio Fabela

LETTERS: Chris Eliopoulos

“Man, that woman has some die-hard fans.” (Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #7 “Ms. Marvel Team-Up”)[1]

“I can’t believe we beat her by calling the principal.” (Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #8 “Ms. Adventures in Babysitting”)[2]

“Relax, kiddo, you’ll be fine.”

“As a super hero? Or the whole Inhuman thing?”

“As a teenager. You remind me of a web-headed whippersnapper who always wondered how he was doing. And he thinks you’re doing great.”

(Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #8 “Ms. Adventures in Babysitting”)[3]

Kamala Khan, better known as Ms. Marvel, is one of the newer superheroes, and so she’s been meeting and teaming up with some of her more well-known predecessors. In Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #6 “Healing Factor, Part One”[4] and #7 “Healing Factor, Part Two”,[5] she teamed up with Logan of the X-Men. It was only a matter of time before she teamed up with the superhero who she’s often compared to: Peter Parker, better known as Spider-Man. In Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #7 and #8, Kamala was a guest in Peter’s series, as one of the most famous former teenage superheroes (who’s now an adult).

To provide some context, each of these two issue contains two stories; the first story in each issue is the team-up between Peter and Kamala and the second story in each is part of Edge of Spider-Verse, the lead-up to the Spider-Verse event. The Edge of Spider-Verse stories were fun to read, but I don’t have much to say about them, as I’ve not been following the Amazing Spider-Man series. This review will focus on the team-up.

Minn-Erva/Dr. Minerva[6] is a villain who’s attacking a medical facility along with a group of henchmen in green uniforms. Her criminal activities lead to the team-up between Peter and Kamala, because a member of the Carol Corps posts about a villain who’s committing crimes in Carol Danvers’ old Ms. Marvel costume. Kamala decides to intervene and heads to New York City. Meanwhile, Peter Parker is trying to focus on his non-superhero priorities (such as running Parker Industries) on the advice of Anna Maria Marconi.[7] Cindy Moon/Silk[8] decides to head out on her own, separate from Peter, to make her own life. The villain’s actions cause the superheroes to meet up and do what superheroes do best, leading to a fun and sweet ending, which includes tricking the villain into leaving Earth and finding out that one of her henchmen wants to turn his life around.[9]

This story definitely knows who its audience is going to be. The creators seemed to appreciate that Kamala’s fans would be picking up these issues and included some fun references to the Carol Corps, the fans of Carol Danvers.[10] Kamala asks Peter questions about Carol Danvers, because she knows that the two of them know each other and once dated. Peter motivates Kamala to stay in the fight by encouraging her to help him with a team-up move that he has previously done with Carol Danvers. There’s a sweet conversation between the two of them at the end of the story, in which Peter tells Kamala he thinks she’s doing great.

The character Cindy, though I don’t know too much about her, is actually really fascinating in this issue, as she’s trying to build up a life for herself and finds that Natalie Long,[11] one of her colleagues at Fact Channel,[12] wants Silk to be for the Fact Channel what Spider-Man was to the Daily Bugle. As is the way of superhero stories, Natalie Long doesn’t know that the woman she’s talking to is actually the superhero she’s referring to. This story is not developed as much, but it’s a fun reference to an ongoing joke in the Spider-Man universe: the news outlet that doesn’t know that the superhero they’re covering is one their employees.

Another interesting character is Clayton Cole, who’s the henchman who has second thoughts when realizing what’s inside the cocoon that Dr. Minerva has stolen. It’s a sweet moment showing that even those who’ve gone astray can change their lives, and it’s very much in keeping with the positive theme about choosing one’s own destiny that’s been a staple of both Peter and Kamala’s stories.

Despite the fun elements, this story feels a bit like filler because, well, that’s kind of what it is. One of the best things about team-ups is that the characters are in some way affected or changed by meeting or working together with another character; it provides a chance for some character development. There was certainly a lot of character development for Kamala in her team-up with Logan. In this story, one feels that neither Peter nor Kamala are going to leave it changed or affected in a way that will affect their future story arcs. The Ms. Marvel series was (and is) in the middle of a different and unrelated story arc and the Spider-Verse event was about to happen in the Spider-books when this team-up happened.

This is the first story about Kamala Khan that I’ve found decent, but not that great. I don’t regret reading it but it also wasn’t as good as it had the potential to be. The characters don’t get space for a more well-developed story, because it feels very much like a little vignette that was squeezed into a set number of pages while the creators’ focus was on the big Spider-Verse event that was about to happen. Fans of the Amazing Spider-Man series will likely read these issues anyway, and fans of Ms. Marvel will likely read these issues for more stories about a new character who doesn’t have decades of back issues yet. I hope that Peter Parker and Kamala Khan meet again, perhaps along with some of the other Avengers. Here’s to hoping that meeting will be a more well-developed story.

[Originally Written: 21 December 2014]

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References

[1] Slott, Dan; Gage, Christos; Camuncoli, Guiseppe; Smith, Cam; Fabella, Antonio; et al. “Ms. Marvel Team-Up”. In: Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #7. Marvel, 8 October 2014.

[2] Slott, Dan; Gage, Christos; Camuncoli, Guiseppe; Smith, Cam; Fabella, Antonio; et al. “Ms. Adventures in Babysitting”. In: Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #8. Marvel, 22 October 2014.

[3] Slott, Dan; Gage, Christos; Camuncoli, Guiseppe; Smith, Cam; Fabella, Antonio; et al. “Ms. Adventures in Babysitting”. In: Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #8. Marvel, 22 October 2014.

[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] EAS. Book Review: Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #7 “Healing Factor, Part Two”. Homeworld Journal, 25 May 2016. https://homeworldjournal.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/book-review-ms-marvel-vol-3-7-healing-factor-part-two/

[6] “Minn-Erva (Earth-616)”. Marvel Database wiki. Retrieved on 21 December 2014 from http://marvel.wikia.com/Minn-Erva_(Earth-616).

[7] “Anna Maria Marconi (Earth-616)”. Marvel Database wiki. Retrieved on 21 December 2014 from http://marvel.wikia.com/Anna_Maria_Marconi_(Earth-616).

[8] “Cindy Moon (Earth-616)”. Marvel Database wiki. Retrieved on 21 December 2014 from http://marvel.wikia.com/Cindy_Moon_(Earth-616).

[9] “Clayton Cole (Earth-616)”. Marvel Database wiki. Retrieved on 21 December 2014 from http://marvel.wikia.com/Clayton_Cole_(Earth-616).

[10] “Carol Danvers (Earth-616)”. Marvel Database wiki. Retrieved on 21 December 2014 from http://marvel.wikia.com/Carol_Danvers_(Earth-616).

[11] “Natalie Long (Earth-616)”. Marvel Database wiki. Retrieved on 21 December 2014 from http://marvel.wikia.com/Natalie_Long_(Earth-616).

[12] “Fact Channel News (Earth-616)”. Marvel Database wiki. Retrieved on 21 December 2014 from http://marvel.wikia.com/Fact_Channel_News_(Earth-616).

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