This week’s Marvel Rundown features Comics Beat’s own Cy Beltran, George Carmona 3rd, and Zack Quaintance in a roundtable discussion on Ms. Marvel – The New Mutant #1. This conversation includes plenty of SPOILERS for that book, so if you’d like to avoid that, click out now.

What did you think of this week’s batch of fresh Marvel Comics issues, True Believers? The Beat wants to hear from you! Give us a shout-out, here in the comment section or over on social media @comicsbeat, and let us know what you’re thinking.

Ms. MarvelMs. Marvel – The New Mutant #1

Writer: Iman Vellani & Sabir Pirzada
Artists: Carlos Gomez & Adam Gorham
Colorist: Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Designers: Tom Muller & Jay Bowen

GEORGE CARMONA 3RD: As I’m not the biggest Ms. Marvel comic fan, mostly her guest spots, time as an Avenger, and of course the Disney+ show, I enjoyed this jumping on point.  

CY BELTRAN: I actually had a great time with this! I’m glad to see the heavy focus on character dynamics and Kamala’s adjustment to the revelations of her mutant identity. There’s a great deal of scene setting that comes with this, as it’s definitely built more for Ms. Marvel fans than X-Men fans, but it doesn’t take away from the story. I noticed up top that the issue was edited by Lauren Amaro and Jordan D. White of the X-Office, but I was glad to see they kept this focused on Kamala’s world, rather than make it totally X-centric.

ZACK QUAINTANCE: This comic had a lot to do — integrate Ms. Marvel more with the X-Men, serve as a jumping on point for lapsed readers of her solo books, and also presumably welcome new readers who enjoyed the TV show — and I think as you both pointed out, it does it all pretty well. There’s no small amount of continuity to sort through here, and it manages to stay character-driven. I can personally attest to a lot of that, since I’ve read I think every solo Ms. Marvel comic and seen the show, but have fallen behind on X-Men. I was mostly fine here with the context it provides. 

GC3: After Fallen Friend, her inclusion into being a Mutant felt very forced and made me wonder if folks needed to know the complete X-Story. 

ZACK: If I’m being honest, I definitely moved through some of the X-Men stuff pretty quickly. The idea that Kamala now had new problems around being perceived as a mutant was something I could get interested in independent of it, but yeah, there were definitely times I just kind of shrugged at X-Continuity, hurrying back to the next scene with Kamala and her friends.

CY: As someone fully immersed in all of the X-drama going on, I think this did a good job staying away from the murky darkness of what’s been happening in those books. I agree that when the story focused on Kamala, the issue was at its strongest. There was an interview with co-writer/real life Ms. Marvel Iman Vellani where she talked about knowing far less about the X-Men than Ms. Marvel continuity, and that totally shows here – honestly, to the benefit of the issue.

GC3: With the exception of Young Cyclops on her Champion team, she’s always seemed like more of an Avenger. And I love that Ms. Marvel is being co-written by Ms. Marvel. She’s definitely got her voice down. 

ZACK: The voice of the character is great, one of the major strengths of the issue, and I think it bodes well for where the book is headed. Iman Vellani did such a great job portraying the character on the screen, and you can tell here again that she’s really thoroughly considered Kamala as a character.

CY: I 100% agree with both of you. The character voice, especially in the opening dream sequence, was so solid, and it feels like she’s really got a grasp on the rest of her cast as well. I’m hoping to see more of Bruno and her family as this goes forward.

GC3: That opening dream was very interesting and helpful in doing a bit of updating readers on her history, especially if you haven’t read a lot of Kamal. It was a fun and light-hearted start that turned dark with a great splash page. 

ZACK: Oh yeah, we should give some credit for that splash page. It’s pretty fantastic: with Kamala having a nightmare vision of herself tangled up in her own embiggened arm, as a theater of Avengers with her head on their bodies looks on. Conceptually, that’s great nightmare imagery. Art duties are split on this one, but I think that one was drawn by Adam Gorham (who drew the very excellent Blue Flame from Vault Comics too, btw) with colors by Erick Arciniega. Just great stuff.

CY: The nightmare imagery and the rundown of the crazy number of teams/groups she’s been a part of was so well done, and did a tremendous job of reminding readers (and me) of how much she’s been a part of in such a short amount of time (it hasn’t even been a decade!). Gorham had his work cut out for him, but he does all of these teams justice.

GC3: So here’s my one nitpick, as far as her look in the dreamscape she looked more like a teenager than in the main story. It seemed like she was way older than a high school student and in a way more sexualized. The artwork is solid, and Gómez knows how to tell a visual story and action. 

CY: Yeah, I was a bit confused about the choice to go with Carlos Gómez here. I like his style tons, especially on the recent X-Terminators and Rogue & Gambit, but this feels like a strange project for him to be a part of. He’s got a far more adult style than feels appropriate for the kind of stories we’re used to seeing Kamala in. It honestly made me think they’d aged Kamala up to be a college student off panel, but thankfully the script cleared it up a few pages later.

ZACK: I actually did think I’d missed something and that she was older now. 

GC3: That’s what happens when you become an X-Man. 

CY: Ok, I’m glad I’m not the only one, I was pretty lost for a bit.

ZACK: Superhero aging does seem to work in a way that you age mostly normally until you’re out of high school and college, and then stay like 23 – 29 forever.

CY: Not a bad deal tbh.

GC3: Again I blame it on those resurrection protocols.

ZACK: Speaking of which, I did have one thought…which is that if the Krakoa resurrection was in part to reconcile her comics character with the character on the show, presumably for new readers — do we think getting her mixed up in Krakoan business is new-reader friendly? 

CY: To the extent that they’re easing her character into all of this, yes. If readers want to jump into the rest of the Fall of X? Not sure. We know she’s a member of the main X-book now, and that’s definitely not gonna be easy for new readers to jump into, but I think keeping her off in this corner now is the best way to go. The fact that Rasputin IV is in this issue is a whole can of worms that I’m not sure any new reader is going to have an easy time figuring out (though, for the record, I love Rasputin IV).

GC3: Nope, by it’s very existence, X-Books are a complicated soap opera, she’s here to be that PoV guide for new fans to the X-Men. Kitty did it in the 80’s, Jubilee in the 90’s and now Kamal gets to hold our hands as we explore this post Krakoa era. 

CY: I like that, and I’m hoping that as Kamala is eased in, new readers feel that as well.

ZACK: I do like that a lot, the POV character for X-Men, and Kamala is so likable, it’s an easy role. That does put me in the mind of a good closing question for our chat, I think: what are some of our hopes for Ms. Marvel now moving forward, both in terms of this title as well as for the character writ large?

CY: Well, for one, I’d really like to see Kamala get an ongoing again, though I’m sadly sure that’s sales dependent. Vellani and co-writer Sabir Pirzada do a solid job of developing this cast and pushing them forward, without erasing anything that came before. It would be great to see them be able to continue this momentum and recenter-ing of Kamala after the… interesting… circumstances that got us to this point. Having her able to join the X-Men (not in a time of war) and explore her new identity further would be fantastic as well.

ZACK: Interesting is a good word. It feels to me a bit like a flight that had some rough circumstances getting out of the gate and a bumpy takeoff, but might be in for a nice ride when it hits a cruising altitude. 

GC3: This book does a lot in positioning her as a utility character in the Marvel Univers, working with the X-Men to save Mutants, being a pillar in the young heroes’ community, and having some type of connection to the Inhumans. Pirzada and Vellani seem like they have a firm grasp on who Kamal is as a person and superhero. 

CY: This is a BUY from me. It’s a great jumping on point for fans of Kamala in live-action and readers who’ve never given her a chance. Maybe X-Men fans will finally branch out into the rest of Marvel from here (though I have my doubts).

GC3: Agree, a solid first issue, BUY for me as well. 

ZACK: A BUY from me as well, as the resident needs-to-catch-up-with-X-Men guy.

Catch up on past entries in The Beat’s Marvel Rundown archive.


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