Kamala faces the ghosts of her past. Feeling that she can’t move forward without back, she confronts her feelings for her former best friend and her new love interest, The Red Dagger. Meanwhile, another recent villain appears to attempt to bring down Ms. Marvel once again.
MS MARVEL #30
Authors: G Willow Wilson
Artists: Nico Leon
Colors: Ian Herring
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
What You Need to Know:
By day, Kamala Khan is a normal high school student at Coles Academic High School. By night, she is the powerful Inhuman defender, Ms. Marvel! With her shapeshifting ability and a strong sense of justice, she defends her hometown of Jersey City from threats big and small. After a rough year dealing with virus-based villains, tough moral decisions relating to her mentor, Captain Marvel, and losing her best friend to a Wakandan exchange program, Ms. Marvel takes a break from the superhero game.
After her brief hiatus from her superhero role, Kamala is hitting the streets again to save her hometown. While out on Patrol, Kamala runs into Red Dagger, another superhero she had previously met on a journey to Pakistan. He tells Ms. Marvel how much he missed her and proceeds to kiss her, but the moment is quickly interrupted by the return of Bruno, her former best friend.
Bruno tells Kamala he has come back to figure out his feelings for her while simultaneously deciding if he will go back to Wakanda or not. Their brief, but meaningful conversation is interrupted by the new girl in school, Kaylee, who epitomizes the “mean girl” stereotype. Nakia, Zoe, and Mike run into Kamala and Bruno. Nakia and Zoe are happy to have Bruno back, but Mike has mixed feelings due to their previous break up and runs away crying. Zoe instantly develops a crush on the new girl and decides to pursue her, finding out she might not be what she appears. Bruno and Kamala slip away to develop new rules and boundaries for their friendship but, extremely emotional, Kamala begs Bruno to come back. He admits that he feels useless in Wakanda, but has too much history in Jersey City. After he tells Kamala he has no idea what he is going to do, Kamala runs away to consult her spiritual leader.
What You’ll Find Out:
Zoe quickly runs to Nakia, who is comforting an upset Mike, and informs them she believes the new girl may be a supervillain. They decide they need to do something but aren’t sure exactly what.
Later that night, Kamala is out on patrol when she runs into Red Dagger again. Red Dagger asks to have a mature conversation with Kamala, about their relationship and how much they want to reveal in terms of their identities. Realizing the enormity of the situation, Kamala quickly flees.
The next day at school Kamala overhears Zoe talking about Kaylee’s strength and quickly changes into costume and confronts Kaylee, discovering she is the reincarnation of the virus based villain, Doc.X, who is bent on showing the world Ms. Marvel is not as great as she appears and exposing her identity to the public.
Meanwhile, Mike and Bruno have a reconciling of their feelings about the breakup. They are interrupted by the villainous Kaylee, who invites them to the Spring Fling she is planning for the entire school. Realizing that any plan Kaylee may have will be going down at that time, Mike and Bruno decide to attend, bringing the rest of the gang in on the plan.
At the dance, Zoe exposes Kaylee as a villain, but the crowd doesn’t believe her until Ms. Marvel drops in and accidentally rips off the human disguise, revealing the cyborg, Doc.X. During the fight, Doc.X reveals he’s learned a few things from their last fight, but Red Dagger rushes to the rescue to help Ms Marvel defeat him. While Ms Marvel and Red Dagger fight in tandem, the two discuss the kiss. Kamala confesses she doesn’t feel she can move forward until she deals with some things from her past, and Red Dagger informs her he will be going back to Karachi to let her have her city back.
After Doc. X is defeated and short circuits the Cyborg body, Bruno informs Kamala he is going to stay. They decide to repair their friendship and start from there. Meanwhile, Zoe and Alanna decide that since it is a dance, and Zoe is in a beautiful dress, they should dance.
What Just Happened?
Ms Marvel has gone through a lot in the last few months on Marvel’s sliding scale. What’s important is how she deals with it. After trying to run from it, clearly confronting the issues has put her in a better place.
Her hiatus has given her a new outlook, and she is thrilled to be back to fighting crime for her city. No longer feeling the pain of being obsolete, she now needs to deal with her identity as Kamala Khan. Bruno’s return and the Red Dagger’s kiss happening simultaneously does throw her into her old habit of running from things, but she quickly realizes this is not how to deal with it. Her confrontation with Doc.X encourages her to fight her problems head-on, having the mature and deep conversations with both Bruno and Red Dagger that help put her into a better place by the end of the issue.
Taking the advice of her spiritual leader, she realizes that she is not alone in what she is feeling. At younger ages, it’s easy to believe you are the first person who has ever felt such things, or encountered such situations, but stepping back from the situation allows Kamala to realize she is not alone. She is, in fact, surrounded by people who can support her.
Ramping up to her 50th issue, the influence that Kamala has had on her community and her friends is clear. Her influence in the real world will surely be celebrated next month when we get the historic issue that has been years in the making. Not many new heroes get to the point Kamala will reach next month, but this is a testament to storylines like this one which explores the emotional reality of being young in a very grounded way.
Final Thoughts: A touching, emotionally charged story, the issue brings Kamala closer to where she started. While nothing will be the same as it always was, Kamala’s maturity will lead her into her spectacular 50th issue taking her back to her roots and what makes the character great.
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