Ms. Marvel tries to have one night with her friends to let them in on a big secret, but she can’t seem to get one night away from her double life!
MS. MARVEL #31
Authors: G. Willow Wilson, Saladin Ahmed, Rainbow Rowell
Artists: Nico Leon, Gustao Duarte, Bob Quinn, Elmo Bondoc
Colors: Ian Herring and Elmo Bondoc
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.
After a lot of confusion and tough decisions, Burno decides to stay and try to be friends with Kamala (maybe even more), and Red Dagger decides to return to Karachi. Leaving Ms. Marvel in a much better place than she has been in the past few months, things are finally starting to return to normal.
What You’ll Find Out:
Kamala has convinced her parents to let her have a traditional American Sleepover. While they don’t understand the custom, they know it’s important to Kamala and decide to let her have her fun. Mike, Zoe, and Nakia arrive to find Kamala has gone all out in setting up her room with mattresses for the big event. The girls tell Kamala to quickly get to the point and she confesses that she invited them so she could inform them about her first kiss. The conversation quickly turns to Mike and Burno’s former relationship when they are interrupted by a barking noise outside.
Kamala tells the girls to go downstairs where her mother should be making Samosas. She changes into her costume to go outside and find Lockjaw, who has chased a teleporting cat up a tree. Every time Ms. Marvel gets ahold of the cat, it quickly teleports away until Lockjaw finally tracks it down to an alien planet where a war has just ensued because of the intrusion of the small cat. Ms. Marvel breaks up the fight and has Lockjaw teleport her home. She realizes the cat and Inhuman dog are playing a game and decides to go inside to find her friends still cooking with her mother.
Once the Samosas are done, the doorbell rings. Excited, Kamala remembers that she ordered pizza for her and her friends. She answers the door, explaining the ungodly amount of pizza as for her friends for their sleepover. This angers the delivery girl, who appears to have powers. The delivery girl takes the pizza from Kamala, telling her she doesn’t deserve fun and pizza, and when Kamala returns to her room she notices slices of the pie being thrown at her window. Kamala changes again and heads into her backyard to calm down the Skunk Girl. Samantha (Skunk Girl) tells her she got her powers from the Terrigen Mists and she instantly became an outcast. A sympathetic Ms. Marvel says she will do everything to help her. This calms Samantha, who admits she doesn’t want to be a superhero, she just wants to be normal, and Kamala promises to do everything in her power to make that happen.
After returning inside, Kamala runs into her mother, who notices she is still wearing her Ms. Marvel tights and chastises her for going out to fight crime when she has been begging for this sleepover all week. Kamala distracts her friends while she goes to find her PJ bottoms when she gets a text from Spider-Man (Miles Morales), who needs her help on a mission in New York.
Kamala quickly changes and meets Spider-Man on the rooftop of the New York Water Bureau. He explains to Kamala he needs her help because of her ability to shrink because he believes Arnim Zola is going to hack and biologically attack the New York water supply. Kamala agrees to help, but the mission quickly goes south and she realizes that Spider-Man has not made an escape plan. Ms. Marvel asks Spider-Man what he was thinking, and he admits that he thinks he may have an Infinity Stone, telling Ms. Marvel he thinks she’s pretty and smart the two escape. Miles tells Kamala what he said was true, but Kamala believes Miles doesn’t have an actual Infinity Stone. Apologizing for blurting it out, Kamala forgives him and says she’s tired of secrets, and that it was good that it’s out in the open.
Kamala returns home with this new revelation and finds her friends playing cards and decides that it’s time to come clean. She admits to her friends that she is the hero Ms. Marvel, to which her friends reply with a plain and simple: “We know.” They admit they haven’t known for a while and that they were just waiting for Kamala to be ready to tell them about her double life. And tell her she’s really bad at keeping a secret identity. Kamala embraces her friends, knowing that they love her and accept both her lives.
What Just Happened?
The big 50th issues promised to celebrate the legacy of one of Marvel’s most recent and successful heroes. Bringing together all of what makes Ms. Marvel great, her wacky hijinx, her compassion for others, and her relationship with her friends and fellow heroes, the issue was a great success. It feels as though every Ms. Marvel issue in the last year has led up to this moment.
It becomes obvious fairly early on in the issue that Kamala is ready to tell her friends about her moonlighting secret, but there are too many distractions for her to do it properly. Looking for the right time, she is constantly interrupted by her hero life. This has become a major part of the Ms. Marvel comics. Normal life and superhero life intertwining in a way that harkens back to the old days of comic teenagers, such as Spider-Man, that makes Ms. Marvel loved by new readers and old.
The issue does answer a question that has lingered since the Secret Wars reboot. Kamala’s mother still remembers that her daughter is Ms. Marvel. The casual conversation has not come up in quite some time, but once Kamala is caught in her red tights, her mother can ignore the fact no longer. A thrown away conversation that answers a big question, it leads up to Kamala being ready to confess to her friends her identity.
The reveal that her friends have known her secret identity for quite some time is no surprise. Kamala does, after all, wear a very small mask to hide her face. But more than that, her friends were always on Ms. Marvel’s side, fighting for her when she wasn’t around. It would have to be obvious to them that Ms. Marvel and Kamala Khan disappeared at the same time when they made such an effort to do so.
Final Thoughts: Fifty full issues of Ms. Marvel come to a head here in this issue and it brings together everything that makes the Ms. Marvel comics so great! Kamala’s antics, compassion, love for her friends and family, and her super heroics are all on display in one big story that leads up to one big reveal. Will Ms. Marvel comics ever be the same?
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