Saturday, March 22, 2014

What I Bought 3/14/2014 - Part 4

I just found out I didn't have a 'Ms. Marvel' label. How the heck did that happen? I must have used 'Warbird' back when I was buying the Brian Reed written series.

Captain Marvel #1, by Kelly Sue DeConnick (writer), David Lopez (art), Lee Loughridge (color art), Joe Caramagna (letterer) - It's a simple cover, but I like her grin as she pulls the glove on. Not sure if I like it better than that Power Girl cover Amanda Conner did where she's rolling up her sleeve, but it's close.

Carol's dating James Rhodes now. I can't say I saw that coming, but they're both pilots, military background, so at least they have some shared interests. Might be on hiatus, though, because they found an incoming space pod with an alien girl from a species whose homeworld was destroyed during Infinity. This has convinced Stark the Avengers ought to have someone out in space, and it's gonna be Carol. She's qualified, and she's missing something she can maybe find out there. So she's gonna head out to space, and six weeks later, she and the alien girl (named Tic) will be looking for something and trying to avoid Spartax secret police, whatever the hell those are. Star-Lord's half Spartoi, is that the same species?

It's kind of plot light, but DeConnick seems to have most of the pieces set up and ready to go, and she clued in new readers about Carol's status in terms of where she's living, her relationships and friendships, obliquely mentioned the loss of memories (Carol tells Kit she doesn't remember what she wanted to be growing up). Being honest, I love David Lopez' art and this book would have to be terribly written (which it is not, at all) for me not to enjoy it. One thing I notice is Lopez is inking himself. Typically, he (I think) father, Al, handles that. As it stands, and some of this is Loughridge's colors (the shade of orange/yellow he uses in the opening scene and for Carol's energy blasts in particular), but Lopez' work here resembles Francisco Francavilla's. Not heavily, but there's a bit of it in his greater use of shadows to delineate faces, and less sharp, fine lines. Which is not a complaint, just something it took me a minute to recognize and adjust to.

Ms. Marvel #1, by G. Willow Wilson (writer), Adrian Alphona (art), Ian Herring (color art), Joe Caramanga (letterer) - Does the wristband/bracelet she's wearing mean something. It sort of looks like it forms letters, but I can't make it out.

Kamala Khan's a teenage girl living in Jersey City. She's Pakistani, and Muslim, which means she's different from most of the other people her age in town. This is something she's made all too aware of by her classmates, who regard her as some sort of curiosity. Kamala's not unhappy with her life, so much as I think she's curious about all the stuff everyone else can do she isn't allowed to. Which leads to her defying her father and sneaking out to a party, which doesn't go well at all. She got fed up with loud, stupid, drunk teenagers even faster than I do, which is impressive. She gets caught up in what I'm assuming is Terrigen Mist, has a strange dream where Carol Danvers, Captain America, and Iron Man ask her who she really wants to be, and when she wakes up, she has to break out of some odd sphere and she looks like Carol in her Ms. Marvel outfit. The black one she's worn for most of her career. Oh, and when I say looks like, I mean Kamala looks like Carol Danvers, which is certainly a surprise to her.

I really liked this. It's funny in place, not hysterical, but little things that make me smile. The fact the entire group of teenagers were exposed to the Terrigen provides a possible opportunity for Kamala to have some arch-foes all her own. And I like how Wilson portrays her family and Kiki's (that's Kamala's best friend). The fact Kiki, sorry Nakia, she doesn't like her nickname, wears a head scarf because she wants to, but her father believes it's a phase. Or how Kamala's dad is less concerned with how devout her older brother is, and more with the fact he doesn't have a job. His desire for Kamala not to go to a party feels like it comes less from some strict religious position, and more from a father being concerned about his teenage daughter. The religious aspect might be there, but it's just a part of the larger picture, and it manifests in ways that are probably engrained on a subconscious level. How many things do I do in my everyday life I regard as perfectly normal that are a result of my culture that would seem strange to other people? I thought that was presented very well.

This may qualify as heresy, but I was not always a fan of Alphona's work on Runaways. Facial expressions and body language were good, but action was a little dicey. I like the art her quite a bit more. The style seems a little more simplified, anatomy more exaggerated, not quite cartoony, but highly expressive. The first panel on page 3, the way Zoe is leaning in, with this air of intense interest in what Nakia's saying, but ti really just serves to place her more into their space (and the center of the panel). Meanwhile, Nakia's stiff as a board, and barely seems to even acknowledge Zoe. I could absolutely see her staring straight ahead speaking to this annoying girl off to her side without directly making eye contact. And Kamala's just barely peeking around Nakia's shoulder, and is sort of covering her face with her hand/scratching her eyebrow. I can't decide which it is actually. I could see the former, if she was sort of embarrassed by Zoe's 'Wow, cultures are so interesting.' line, but the latter would be a nice touch, because it's the sort of gesture people make while engaged in conversation. It's a natural moment, like people shifting their weight to one leg or whatever. We'll see what happens once fists start flying, but for now, I'm upbeat.

All right, two encouraging first issues! That's what I'm talking about. Er, what I talked about. Whatever. By the time you read this, I'll be at Capecon, so sniff you jerks later.


Anonymous said...

Definitely read issue #2 of Ms. Marvel as well.

CalvinPitt said...

It's on my pull list, so I fully intend to. Right now I'd say I'm riding with Ms. Marvel for as long as Wilson and Alphona are working on it.

SallyP said...

I haven't picked up Ms. Marvel yet...but I sure plan to.