Saturday, 15 July 2017

Ms Marvel Vol 6: Civil War II by G Willow Wilson

Ms Marvel Vol 6: Civil War II written by G Willow Wilson and illustrated by three different artists is the sixth volume of collected Ms Marvel comics and contains issues #7–12 with the numbering starting from 2015 (although the trade volume numbering didn't restart...). It is apparently part of the Civil War II event but, happily, makes perfect sense without having read any other comics from that event.

While CIVIL WAR II brews, the next generation of Avengers has bigger things to worry about - like a tri-state academic competition! As rival schools clash, Ms. Marvel's teammates Spider-Man and Nova are now her enemies! But when Kamala gets called to the real battle's front line, she faces a fight she can't embiggen her way out of. She's about to learn a valuable lesson: Never meet your idols! As war intensifies, tragedy strikes too close to home - and Ms. Marvel must choose between her heroes and her family. When friends become foes, Ms. Marvel struggles to put her life and Jersey City back together. Kamala will be forced to grow up fast and find her true place in the world. But will she be an international sensation...or a menace?

So first off, there's the requisite sigh for another bloody comic event ruining things. SIGH. But at least this more or less held together coherently. Except for maybe the first issue, which I think might have been a bridging one and seems, in retrospect, not very connected to the other five. The premise of the event is also not very original. It's basically minority report with Captain Marvel playing the role of wanting to stop future crime and enlisting Ms Marvel and some new randoms to help do it. There's even a psychic doing the predicting. On the bright side, the text seems at least somewhat aware of this fact, throwing in a reference to the Minority Report movie.

Around the Civil War II storyline there are two other stories being told: Ms Marvel/Kamala disagreeing with her friends (over the future crime stuff) and the story of Kamala's family migrating first from India to Pakistan and then to the US. Those two stories tie together the latter five issues in this volume and bring Kamala to dealing with the aftermath of the events of the main story. Although I did find the last part of the last issue was a bit rushed on that front. It will be interesting to see how that develops and whether it goes any further.

The real highlight in this volume, for me, was the background detail in a flashback of Kamala's grade two classroom. I was quite shocked to see children assembling a puzzle entitled "Napalm Sunrise" and reading books with titles such as "Poppa Bear is Wanted for Questioning", "Momma Bear Runs Afoul of Local Triad" and "Hobo Has No Toes". There was also boxes labelled as containing bees and (separately) teeth. And a poster about the cat of nine tails (yes, the whip). I'm not sure what to make of all that, really, but it certainly stood out.

Anyway, I'm not a fan of comic events, and this is no exception. However, this is also a continuation of Ms Marvel's story and I don't think it should be skipped out of hand if you've been enjoying Ms Marvel thus far. Therefore, I recommend it to fans of Ms Marvel. To people who haven't read Ms Marvel yet, I suggest starting from Volume 1: No Normal. This volume is certainly not a sensible place to start reading, at any rate.

4 / 5 stars

First published: 2016, Marvel
Series: Ms Marvel (Kamala Khan) vol 6 (counting from 2014) of ongoing series, containing issues #7–12 (counting from 2015).
Format read:b Trade paperback
Source: All Star Comics in Melbourne

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