Title: Ms. Marvel, Vol. 8: Mecca
Author: G. Willow Wilson
Illustrators: Marco Failla and Diego Olortegui
Type: Graphic Novel (borrowed from the library)
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Summary: Kamala Khan (aka Ms. Marvel) is back at it again! While trying to navigate high school, friendships, and family matters, Kamala also must save a city that does not want her help. Things only become more complicated when the past comes back to haunt Kamala, and to harm the people she is closest to. Kamala already feels alone without Bruno nearby (or wanting to talk to her), and now it seems that all of Jersey City wants her gone. Her hero’s journey continues as Kamala must question what she thinks she knows, save her city, and share in the heroics with a new superhero in town.
Review: Kamala is the kind of superhero I wish I had as a kid and teenager. Wilson has created such a relatable, lovable, and flawed character with Kamala! Kamala is the daughter of immigrants, Muslim, a bit of a nerd, academically gifted, and so, so much more! Her passion and determination to keep everyone around her safe is absolutely amazing, and what I find to be even more amazing is that Wilson does not shy from tackling many difficult subjects. Religion, family, racism, bullying, friendship, identity….are just a few of the themes addressed in the Ms. Marvel series, and Wilson addresses them in a way that is honest and thoughtful.
Mecca was especially clever in how it discussed the treatment of those who are seen as “different”. I will not say much out of fear of spoilers, but I will say that the execution was flawless. The rest of the story focused heavily on Kamala as herself and Ms. Marvel. While previous issues of the graphic novel have heavily focused on Kamala’s friends and family, this one heavily focused on her internal and external struggles, which was very thought-provoking to read.
The illustrations were brilliant. Fail and Olortegui brought Wilson’s writing to life with a great deal of expression and color. I found myself staring at each panel, taking in every little detail that seemed to be placed with a great deal of care.
Speaking of art, the page of Ms. Marvel tangled with Laal Khanjeer (Red Dagger) was too adorable! I’m gawking at it as I type. I absolutely need this as a print because it is just too perfect. Am I shipping Ms. Marvel and Laal Khanjeer? Maybe a lil… It is entirely possible that this is pushing my other Ms. Marvel ship aside….
BUT… this volume was so much more than a possible new ship. We see Kamala tired and suddenly unsure of herself. So much as happened and continues to happen that we find our hero at a point of mental exhaustion. Kamala admits this and also decides that she needs to take some time for herself and to look out for her own well-being. To me, this proves that Kamala is not just Jersey City’s hero…. but also her own hero.
Goodness, I cannot wait for the next installment!
Have you read Ms. Marvel? If you haven’t I 1000% suggest you do! I’ve read quite a few graphic novels in my time, but G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel continues to be my all time favorite. It’s absolutely marvelous.