So it’s come to this: Fallen Friend: The Death of Ms. Marvel #1 is here. Flowing directly from the events of the ongoing Ms. Marvel title Amazing Spider-Man #26, this roundtable is heavy on SPOILERS. Join Cy Beltran, George Carmona 3rd, Avery Kaplan, and Rebecca Oliver Kaplan in unpacking the latest issue in this ongoing storyline.

What did you think of this week’s batch of fresh Marvel Comics? The Beat wants to hear from you! Give us a shout-out in the comment section.

Fallen Friend
Fallen Friend.

Fallen Friend: The Death of Ms. Marvel #1

Writers: G. Willow Wilson, Mark Waid & Saladin Ahmed
Artists: Takeshi Miyazawa, Humberto Ramos & Andrea Di Vito
Inker: Victor Olazaba (Ch. 2)
Colorists: Ian Herring & Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Main Cover: Kaare Andrews

What are your overall impressions of this issue?

Rebecca Oliver Kaplan: I didn’t like the last story at all. I will say more on that later.

George Carmona 3rd: It was a little mixed for me. I like some of the ways the heroes showed their respect.

Cy Beltran: I was honestly rather surprised by how thoughtful most of the sections were. It wasn’t at all what I expected. Not everything worked, but it was interesting to see the reaction from the community to Ms. Marvel’s death.

Fallen Friend

Rebecca Oliver: I really enjoyed the emphasis on Muslim culture. I looked up everything and learned a lot.

Avery Kaplan: I felt like the title was misleading. It should have been “Friends of the Fallen,” not “Fallen Friend.” It wasn’t really about Ms. Marvel at all. And furthermore, “Fallen Friend” makes me think of “Human friend” from All My Circuits. I feel like it de-emphasizes Kamala as a hero.

Rebecca Oliver: It should have been “Fallen Hero.” If it was Captain America or Spider-Man, that’s what it would have been. Again, I will say more on that later.

Cy: Yeah, I think they definitely missed a step with the title.
Avery: I guess I am confused about how to take all this because I am still under the impression that Ms. Marvel isn’t really dead. So, is this to be viewed as a Tom Sawyer-style look at a sort-of hypothetical memorial? I was hoping this issue would answer some of the questions I had in the wake of her death but instead, I just feel like I have even more.
George: Yeah, Marvel painted themselves into a corner, because there is no way Ms. Marvel is going to be in a movie and there not be a comic with her in it.
Rebecca Oliver: Well, that was a plot point.
Avery: But the title is indeed “The Death of Ms. Marvel!” And she’s all ghost-like there on the main cover.
Rebecca Oliver: I assume Marvel is saving the mystery of whether or not she is actually gone for a miniseries. However, I do agree that it could have been developed a little more in this issue. I felt confused as well. There were character reactions to that plot element, but no real exposition/explanation/anything else about it.
Cy: It was interesting how the plot revolved around the memories of her friends, rather than the assumed big fight I expected. I feel like we’re going to hear a lot more on July 26th at the Hellfire Gala in terms of plot…
Rebecca Oliver: OOOOHHH good point Cy. Or a San Diego Comic-Con 2023 reveal.
Cy: Right, there’s a very brief discussion of her death in the first story, but not a lot about the events for those who didn’t pick up Amazing Spider-Man #26. To that end though, it felt good to me that they acknowledged the collateral damage done to the community and not just Kamala’s death. It feels like those deaths are normally brushed over by the majority of stories in this vein (even if said deaths are ultimately not great to hear about), and that acknowledgment felt important. 

Did you have any strong feelings about any (or all) of the three chapters?

Cy: The first and second chapters felt very strong, and built upon the very solid foundations of the runs that came before. I felt myself thrown back into Champions stories I haven’t read in a long long time with the second story, and there was a nice kind of nostalgia that came with being thrown back into those issues. It was very weird for Cyclops not to be here, but again, I have a very strong feeling he has plans for Kamala after a recent scene in X-Men. I’m not as familiar with Ahmed’s run on Ms. Marvel, so that didn’t carry as much weight to me… but then again, I haven’t finished Willow’s original run, and that first story still felt incredibly powerful (and honestly the most impactful), so maybe that final story just didn’t hit the mark for me.
Fallen Friend
Avery: That’s what I liked about the second story as well. As a fan of that Champions era, it reminded me of those issues… and made me wish there were a few more chapters, maybe about her friends from Secret Warriors, or… I don’t know. The Avengers team she was actually a part of? I also would have liked to see stories from her more recent creative teams. Beyond the Limit ruled, why not have a follow-up tale there?
Rebecca Oliver: The Champions story was also my favorite. I really enjoyed that run, and the memories that the team was recalling together were some of my favorite moments in those issues. In Wilson’s story, I spent most of the time Googling the words and references to the Quran that I don’t understand. I thought it was cool that the mosque looked like the one in the Ms. Marvel series, but I don’t know much about mosque design. However, I did not like the last story. I do not care if Captain America and Spider-Man validate her as a hero.
She doesn’t need the male validation to be one. It’s not even the Captain America that she worked with most closely. I remember seeing an obituary once of Kate Worley, who wrote Omaha Cat Dancer, one of the first big furry comics, and the title began with “Overlooked No More.” It’s like she had to die to get recognition. And that’s how I felt with this last story. Kamala dies, but good for her because she earned that male validation. “Overlooked No More.”
Avery: Ending the book with a 2-page mini-story that makes Kamala’s funeral about Spider-Man makes me wonder even more about the title “Fallen Friend.” It feels like doubling down on it.
Cy: I was shocked by how the issue just…. ended with that.
Avery: Yeah, I was half-expecting the hand coming out of the grave, or the coffin on the Genesis Planet, or whatever. Not Spider-Man resolving his awkward social situation.
Cy: The issue felt like it was going rather well and then took a random turn into the Spider-Man show, when, as we discussed in the last roundtable, he has barely interacted with her as a background character in HIS story. It felt so out of place with the rest of the issue (mostly) revolving around Kamala’s passing. It was an incomplete story with no end in sight.
Rebecca Oliver: I did look up the Quran phrase at the beginning, and its about doing good deeds. I thought that was a nice tribute.

Are there any Marvel funerals that stand out to you?

Rebecca Oliver: Did Wanda even get one? I can’t remember. Was she dead long enough?
Cy: I don’t think she was dead long enough to get one, and I think she was seen as a pariah at the time, right?
Rebecca Oliver: Yeah, the suicide is what made her a G-d. Now everyone loves her.
Cy: Warlock’s death in X-Tinction Agenda stands out because of how sad it was to see Rahne sprinkle his ashes on Doug Ramsey’s grave. Other than that, I can only remember Kraven laughing over Spider-Man’s grave being creepy in Kraven’s Last Hunt and that sad moment between Aunt May and a little girl at Ultimate Peter Parker’s funeral after his ultimate death.
George: Funny thing with the hero funerals, I don’t really remember them because we know they’re coming back. With the exception of the first Captain Marvel, that guy stays dead.
Rebecca Oliver: I really love an MCU funeral. In Captain America: Civil War, I still can’t get over Steve Rogers eyeing Sharon Carter while at Peggy’s funeral.
George: Oh he did more than eye.
Rebecca Oliver: It’s just so wrong. Then, he goes back in time for Peggy. It’s like #Scandoval. That’s for Heidi. I can’t think of any other funerals in Marvel Comics…
George: Tony’s funeral at the end of Endgame was solid with the panning over the crowd to see everyone in the grief circle.
Rebecca Oliver: I guess Jean Grey. The anti-semitic one.
George: Which time?
Rebecca Oliver: I cry every time.
Cy: Did Cap get a funeral after comics Civil War? I remember all the one-shots that came out but I can’t actually remember a funeral happening.
Rebecca Oliver: I know he’s had a funeral. I don’t know when though.
George: Odin had a good one during Walt Simonson‘s run. And Betty Rose had a great one. All the heroes were there and it was raining and Thor said not for this moment and made it stop.

Does this issue affect your opinions regarding the death of Ms. Marvel (as seen in ASM #26)?

Cy: My opinion absolutely has not changed, but I do think that the majority of this issue was well done and respectful to her death (no matter how much I disagree with it). I still think there was a lack of agency in terms of Kamala herself, but I was still shaken up a bit by the first two stories in the issue.

George: I got around to reading it and I can see why I fell off of Spider-Man. But to see her go out like that with the bait and switch was so meh.
Rebecca Oliver: My opinion of that issue has already gotten worse over time. I still like Romita’s art. Romita’s art is fabulous. Romita’s art is great. Romita’s art is excellent. Ummm, is that enough??
Cy: John Romita Jr., artist for the people.
Avery: The whole thing just continues to be one confusing creative decision after another. Maybe it’s all leading somewhere, but I was hoping this issue would help make where that might be clear… and unless they’re withholding the last few pages of Fallen Friend from us, those hopes did not come to fruition.
[UPDATE (7/12/23): Nailed it.]
Cy: I had the exact same thought, are we missing something? The issue ends with so much momentum and goes absolutely nowhere. Either we’re missing something or this is going to be concluded and we’re going to be surprised* where.
*(surprised as in I still think Hellfire Gala or SDCC like ROK said)
George: My biggest question/problem is the world knows that Ms. Marvel died, how did they explain Kamala being dead?
Rebecca Oliver: UGH it will be a Spider-Man team-up.
George: But didn’t it seem like most of the folks there were unaware of secret identity?
Rebecca Oliver: I was confused by that part, but I am not up to date on everything. I thought her friends knew, but they were acting like they just found out.
George: Yeah they should clear that up before they bring her back in November for Marvels.
Avery: It might be easier to keep track of this stuff if she had a freaking ongoing with a recap page!
Cy: As far as I could tell, the general public assumed that she was a civilian casualty in the attack, I don’t think anyone who didn’t already know found out in this issue or after her death.
Rebecca Oliver: Although those miniseries were good. I don’t understand why she doesn’t have an ongoing though. I thought she was one of the most popular characters. 

Any final thoughts on Fallen Friend you’d like to share?

George: Loved the way Logan and Peter showed up as people to pay their respects. In addition, the artwork throughout was great, I really loved Miyazawa’s rendering, beautiful.

Cy: Overall, the majority of this issue worked really well for me. It felt like a uniquely respectful tribute to an enormously popular character, both in real life and the fictional community Kamala was a part of. The first two stories were solid and moving, while the last felt out of sync with the rest of the issue, both for its decentering of Kamala and the strange Spider-Man epilogue. The comic felt incomplete because of this, but the earlier two stories captured the spirit of two long-concluded runs in a way that felt enriching to long-time fans and impactful for those just coming into this world.

Rebecca Oliver: It was better than I expected. However, the last story was a mistake and ruined the experience for me. In Wilson’s story, Logan (and Carol Danvers for that matter) arrived and his first instinct was to join the prayer. In contrast, the last story was about Tony and Stephen’s grieving and Peter and Steve’s realization that Ms. Marvel was a true hero.

I feel like you can still incorporate these legacy characters in a way that doesn’t feel sexist, like Wilson did.

George: You’re right I forgot about Carol coming in with her head covered. And I see what you’re saying about Peter’s comments, but for me, it was the way he chose to remember her and speak with her parents.

Rebecca Oliver: Well, and that has extra meaning for Peter.

George: The Tony and Strange conversation was just dumb, Stevie literally just came back from the dead.

Rebecca Oliver: SERIOUSLY.

Cy: That completely pulled me out of the issue, to be honest.

Next week brings Blade #1, Moon Knight: City of the Dead #1, and Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones #5! Catch up on past entries in The Beat’s Marvel Rundown archive.


  1. “ was shocked by how the issue just…. ended with that.”

    It didn’t. There was one more page after “The End”

  2. A new comic book shop opened up in my small northern California town and suddenly I’m buying floppies again, just in time for this event.

    And boy howdy did it stink. For someone has stayed up with Spiderman pretty well, before falling off in the original post-Slott years, i had no clue what was going on. Golden Goblin? Norman is alive again and this time a good guy? Why can’t we just have new characters. I don’t remember the villain, his name, powers anything. Utterly forgettable. And the rest of the ASM issue was whatever.

    I picked up Fallen Friend to really just not miss out and had i known what i know now I would have skipped it.

    I loved the Champions and connected with that. Captain Marvel made me tear up and then she’s gone the whole rest of the issue. Captain America gets to make a big speech, but not Kamala’s HERO?!? What what what?!?!

    Even the background characters changed from story to story. There was no continuity there and it all just feels rushed. It feels capitalistic and feels like a corporate mandate put on at the last minute, rather than actual good story telling.

    But more Champions please! Gosh, i love Nova so much! Champions was my first real introduction to Kamla and it was a lot of fun. I loved Mark Waid’s Impulse and he still knows how to write fun All Ages characters.

    Lots of great thoughts from y’all. Thanks for these. ❤️

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