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

OMG, this book made me SO HAPPY. I’ll freely admit that I avoided reading it because I didn’t enjoy G Willow Wilson’s Alif The Unseen, and I wasn’t interested in being disappointed once more by well-meaning reviews who give questionable issues a pass because diversity. But Ms Marvel Vol I was so terrific that I immediately ran out and bought every one of the series’ digital trades because a) I wanted to own them, b) I wanted the creators to have some well-deserved profit, or at the very least signal to Marvel that this is the kind of work they should continue paying awesome creators like these for, and c) because the Kindle sale for trades and graphic novels is SO GOOD right now.

Anyway, Kamala Khan is your average conservatively-raised teenage girl who gets hit by Terrigan mist and becomes, for lack of a better term, a shapeshifter. At first, she wants to be like her hero, Captain Marvel, but as she becomes more comfortable with her powers and herself, she develops confidence in being someone unique. It’s the very awesome, super-powered beginning of a coming-of-age story that’s pretty hard not to find relateable. I love the depiction of her home life, normalizing her upbringing in the way that other ethnic minorities’ have been in other media (Puerto Ricans in West Side Story, Italians in Saturday Night Fever, just to name a few examples.) The slices of life never seem touristy or “exotic”, just different and a normal part of the great American melting pot. G Willow Wilson has done a terrific job writing this, and oh my God, the art! I loved Adrian Alphona’s work on Runaways, and he’s just gotten better and better (tho I do admit to being more fond of the more clearly/heavily inked art of Runaways.)

I’m so very much looking forward to reading the rest of the series. You should really check out the rest of the Amazon sale (search for “Marvel graphic novels”, which is a misnomer but whatever) and snag these on the cheap while you can.

Permanent link to this article:


  1. Vol. 5 is way up high on my Hugo ballot for exactly your reason “OMG, this book made me SO HAPPY.” I hadn’t read any previously, so I kinda had to reconstruct the story so far, but it was great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.