Showing posts with label Adrian Alphona. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adrian Alphona. Show all posts

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Ms Marvel Last Days by G Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona

Rating: WORTHY!

This volume exemplifies one of the things I complain about with graphic novels. It's a good story, but I got it home from the library only to discover that I'd already read it as part of a different volume. Frustrating? Yes! This is why I refuse to buy these things because you never know when you're going to wind up with one you already read as part of a compendium, or under a different cover. What's with this insane obsession with variant covers? Spend more time on improving the art in the panels, and the hell with the wastefully time-consuming extra covers! The story is also incomplete - in this volume and in the compendium. There is no conclusion. Instead of it diverging into a short story about Spider-Man, I'd rather have had the original story concluded.

The story begins with a planet appearing in the sky above Earth. This has been done in Doctor Who and other stories, and none of it makes sense. A planet that close to Earth, even in another dimension, if it's appearing through some sort of dimensional rupture, will exert a massive gravitational pull on Earth, just as earth will on it, and life on both planets would be destroyed. That this never happens in these stories is testimony only to the poor science education the writers have. It makes the story completely unrealistic.

That gripe aside, I really liked the rest of the story because it pretty much abandoned the lie-destroying planet motif and got down to more personal business, and Ms Marvel entertained, as she typically does in these issues. I've read only one volume in this series which has disappointed me, and although some of Ms Marvel's behavior, particularly towards her would-be boyfriend, is inexcusible, G Willow Wilson tells a good story and Adrian Alphonsa illustrates it perfectly.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ms Marvel Vol 1: No Normal by G Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona

Rating: WORTHY!

Admirably written by the talented G Willow Wilson, and nicely and amusingly illustrated by Adrian Alphona, the Ms. Marvel book is actually the first in the series - finally! I can't believe graphic novel writers make it so hard to figure out which collected volume is the first you should read. Is it such a problem to put a big "#1" of the front cover? LOL! It's a good story though, so I want to read more in this series. I think I've now read the first three (but who can say?!), and really liked one and three; two, not so much. Finally I got to learn how Kamala Khan got her super power - and it was by the oddball method of becoming enveloped in an unexplained fog which wafted through the city!

Working on an idea for a super hero novel (not graphic, just text!) myself, I've started thinking about the existing ones a little bit more closely. Becoming empowered by a fog struck me as decidedly odd, because everyone in the city (this is set in Jersey City; Marvel seems obsessed with the east coast for some reason) was likewise exposed, yet only Kamala seems to have developed any super powers from it. Why? This goes not only unexplained, but unexplored. I found it sad that she wasn't curious about why she alone was blessed or cursed. Thinking about other heroes, only one immediately comes to mind - although I'm sure there are more - who developed his power in a way parallel to Kamala, and The Hulk really goes unexplained too, so this is nothing new.

I mean, how did Bruce Banner change, and no one else exposed to gamma rays did? Maybe it's because no one had the exposure he did, yet we're all exposed to gamma rays from space - fortunately not to a high degree. The fact remained that it was he who survived and developed his...condition. Spider-man is a similar case, but though many are bitten by spiders, none that I know of have been bitten by a radioactive spider! Superman doesn't count because he isn't special - anyone from Krypton would have his powers if they came to Earth, as his story shows. Batman and Iron Man are self-made, so they're responsible for their "power". Thor is just like Superman in many regards, so nothing to be learned there. Wonder Woman is also in that category. Green Lantern got his power because he was chosen and imbued with it, just as was Captain America, although in a different manner. Again, anyone in theory could have had their power. So we're back to Kamala being special in an undefined way which few other heroes are. Unless of course she was chosen somehow, but we're left with these unanswered questions, which make her very intriguing to me.

Moving on from the receipt of the power, we immediately get to the story of how she recognized it and learned to live and work with it, which I thought was really well done in this book. It felt real, and natural and organic, and it made for a fun and engaging story, especially since it's tied, in many ways, to her Muslim upbringing, her distance from her traditional parents - and from her school-friends, and her desire to be "normal" yet be able to use her gift to help others. I loved this story and recommend it as a great start to the series. I was unimpressed by volume two, especially the artwork. Volume three was a much more impressive and very amusing volume. I review both of those separately elsewhere on my blog.