This week, Kamala Khan is teaming up with the one and only Wolverine! This review discusses the entirety of Ms. Marvel & Wolverine #1, so scroll on past to the Rapid Rundown if you’re looking for some spoiler-lite discussion of this week’s Marvel Comics.
What did you think of this week’s batch of fresh Marvel Comics? The Beat wants to hear from you! Let us know, here in the comment section or over on social media @comicsbeat.
Ms. Marvel & Wolverine #1
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Zé Carlos
Color Artist: Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Main Cover: Sara Pichelli & Federico Blee
In this introductory issue for the team-up miniseries, Kamala Khan (Inhuman Edition) meets Wolverine! (Again.) The Marvel Comics perennial crossover champion is here to kick off a Ms. Marvel-headlined miniseries that utilizes yet another strange new structure.
First off, the crossover itself will most appeal to fans of the X-Men. It isn’t just Wolverine who is showcased in this issue, but many fan-favorite mutants. Furthermore, the whole interaction is presented through Kamala’s fangirl perspective. This is especially interesting because (as pointed out by her internal dialogue) Ms. Marvel is, at this point, an experienced Avenger herself.
With a swarm of robotic drones serving as a stand-in for an as-of-yet unrevealed antagonist, the focus of this issue is the X-Men and Kamala. This does afford the opportunity for one of my favorite things about Ms. Marvel comics: the innovative use of her polymorphic powers.
However, the focus on the superhero action means the narrative doesn’t have space for one of my other favorite parts of Ms. Marvel stories: the exploration of her life beyond super heroics (with the inclusion of some culinary adventures, of course).
It’s not unusual for a Marvel Comics team-up story to eschew these more “grounded” elements in favor of a more action-oriented plot. But when Ms. Marvel isn’t currently featured in her own ongoing title (or even her own solo miniseries), these aspects of the character are sorely missed!
Strange New Structure
Marvel Comics loves to structure (and number) its miniseries runs in strange new ways. I assume this is a strategy to court as many potential new readers as possible. If someone who isn’t accustomed to reading floppies is sufficiently interested in a character, they may head to their Local Comic Shop and buy an issue featuring said character, and they’re more likely to buy a #1.
Sometimes, these weird strategies work out well, as was the case with the Darkhold crossover, which featured five one-shots “bound” between two issues (Darkhold Alpha #1 & Darkhold Omega #1) that served as “covers” for the resulting unholy tome.
But at a certain point, too many #1s just gets confusing. Ms. Marvel & Wolverine #1 clearly ends on a cliffhanger, leading into Ms. Marvel & Moon Knight #1.
As a fan of both Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight, I’m especially excited for this next issue. But I would be equally excited for it if it were Ms. Marvel Team-Up #2, or just another entry in an ongoing Marvel Team-Up title… one with sequential numbering, please. And considering Ms. Marvel even co-headlined a six-issue Marvel Team-Up miniseries in 2019, the decision to pull all these #1s is even more perplexing.
Final verdict: This #1’s a STRONG BROWSE, but you can bet I’ll be back for Ms. Marvel & Moon Knight #1.
- Avengers and Moon Girl #1
Writer Mohale Mashigo follows June’s Spider-Man and Moon Girl team-up with Lunella Lafayette’s next team-up, Avengers and Moon Girl #1, with art by Dio Neves (1-20), Salva Espin (21-25), Bruno Oliveira (26-30), Rachelle Rosenberg, and Travis Lanham. Because Moon Girl misses having her bestie Fred Tatasciore (a.k.a. Big Red) around… but also because she is a super-genius superhero, Avengers and Moon Girl‘s focus is Carol and Lunella’s trip to the moon. And it’s Moon Girl’s first trip the moon (but their discovery is 1000% worth the cheesy pun; the quip about this comic being Lunella’s first trip to the moon is not the cheesy pun, read that for yourself). Along for most of the issue is DD’s clone Beasty, whose tiny head is used for more than one sight gag. And for the other adorable sidekick lovers out there, Beasty gets a ROAR RAWWWWR ROOOARRing good part, and it’s a heck of a wild ride (for Moon Girl at least). With three different artists contributing to Avengers and Moon Girl #1, Rosenberg’s use of jewel tones (like the coloring of the DD clones) as a visual throughline unifies the artists’ different styles throughout the book. So, I’ll say it twice: If you’re a fan of the previous Moon Girl comics or looking for a place to start before the Disney Channel series Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, I 1000% recommend reading Moon Girl’s latest for yourself. — ROK
- Amazing Spider-Man #7
- Out of everything I’ve been checking out at Marvel lately, Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr.’s Amazing Spider-Man may be the most consistently solid. If I’m in need of a nice, action-packed story with just a hint of that slow burn soap, I always turn to this series. While each issue is fairly decompressed, it’s not done to the point where some chapters feel like filler. This installment is no exception. We get even further clues as to what happened between Peter and MJ, an emotional confrontation between the Vulture and his granddaughter, and some surprisingly helpful advice from Norman Osborn. I’m absolutely fascinated by Norman’s attitude shift. I know we’ve seen his sins wiped away, but I’m so used to him being the ultimate Spidey villain (sorry Doc Ock) that I can’t buy into any of this without expecting him to break bad any second. JRJR, Scott Hanna, and Marcio Menyz do a stellar job creating this viceral fight between the Vulture and Spidey at the end of the book, where you can almost feel each blow hit Pete’s body (a feeling amplified by Joe Caramagna’s sharp letters). With this arc’s focus on the Vulture and the next one focusing on Hobgoblin, it feels like we’re getting a modern take on Roger Stern and JRJR’s classic 80s run on the title (one of my favorites!). —CB
Next week, Death to the Mutants #1 continues the sacrilicious A.X.E. crossover and a new Spider-UK is introduced in Edge of Spider-Verse #2.