Home » Book Reviews » Book Review: Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #11 “Generation Why, Part Four”

Book Review: Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #11 “Generation Why, Part Four”

WRITER: G. Willow Wilson

ARTIST: Adrian Alphona

COLOR ARTIST: Ian Herring

LETTERER: Joe Caramagna

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

“It’s handy to have friends who are as weird as you are.” (Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #11)[1]

“The world comes at you fast. You gotta stay light on your feet. Know who your friends are. And never be afraid to ask for help. Nobody has the right to give up on a whole generation before it’s even had a chance to prove itself. We’re all in this together, and we gotta remember that.” (Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #11)[2]

In this, the last chapter of the “Generation Why” story arc, Kamala Khan and her crew of teenage allies (recruited to her cause in the previous issue)[3] face off against the Inventor in order to save the teenagers he has kidnapped and tricked into joining his cause. Readers find out with Kamala that her friend Nakia Bahadir is one of the teenagers who have been kidnapped by the Inventor, and Kamala must think of a clever strategy to fight against the Inventor’s robots. This issue was mostly a fight scene, but with lot of quiet moments as well.

I’ve been enjoying the way that the creators of Ms. Marvel handle the fight scenes. There’s an emphasis on coming up with a clever way to fight the villains, including teamwork and strategy, not just going in punching everybody. Kamala uses the strategy she learned previously, making herself smaller instead of making herself bigger, in order to fight the robot from the inside out.[4] As with the previous issue, there’s a nice message of people working together. Kamala and the other teens work together and also get assistance from the police and paramedics in the end. I love superhero stories in which it’s not all about the main character always saving the day and instead about people and their choices. Most important is people’s decisions to do the right thing. It’s more about helping people instead of about detailed and lengthy fight scenes. Personally, I do sometimes enjoy the longer fight scenes in other books, as long as the book also has an actual story with character development, but I also enjoy books like Ms. Marvel that focus moreso on other aspects.

This issue also continues to show the difficulties in the life of a superhero. There’s a heartbreaking moment when the paramedics are taking the captured teenagers to provide them the medical care they need. In a panel with a close up of Nakia unconscious on a stretcher, Kamala realizes, “I can’t go to the hospital with my best friend. She’ll recognize me. And that’s when it hits me. This isn’t just a costume anymore. This is a parallel life.”[5] Superheroes with secret identities always have this problem of having to live two lives, keeping secrets from the people closest to them. It’s a very touching moment that acknowledges this theme with a young character for whom this is a new experience.

One of the things I love about the Ms. Marvel series is how unabashed and thoughtful it is in its inclusion of positive messages for readers. There will be moments in the story that are obviously intended to have a positive message, especially for teenaged readers. This is done in a way that seems true and relatable, with Kamala’s internal monologue narration containing many observations that are similar to things that I remember thinking as well. The reason I love superhero stories is because of those positive messages, and so I appreciate that they are delivered in an effective way in a good story.

The ending of the story suggests that (of course) there will be more stories to come – because as any fan of stories about heroes vs. villains knows, evil never dies. There’s always another fight, another obstacle to overcome, and another chance to do the right thing. This book was a nice ending to this story arc and tied together various elements that were set up earlier in the story. As always, I would definitely recommend reading this series.

[Originally Written: 9 March 2015]

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References

[1] Wilson, G. Willow; Alphona, Adrian; Herring, Ian; et al. Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #11 “Generation Why, Part Four”. Marvel, 4 February 2015.

[2] Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #11.

[3] EAS. Book Review: Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #10 “Generation Why, Part Three”. Homeworld Journal, 30 May 2016. https://homeworldjournal.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/book-review-ms-marvel-vol-3-10-generation-why-part-three/

[4] EAS. Book Review: Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #5 “Urban Legend”. Homeworld Journal, 25 May 2016. https://homeworldjournal.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/book-review-ms-marvel-vol-3-5-urban-legend/

[5] Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 #11.

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