Goodreads: Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3: Crushed
Series: Ms. Mavel (MARVEL NOW!) #3
Published: June 2015
Kamala Khan may be a superhero, but she’s still not allowed to go to the school dance. Instead her parents are waiting for the perfect man so they can arrange a marriage. But when Loki crashes the Valentine’s Day festivities, Kamala reasons that no one said Ms. Marvel can’t appear, at least long enough to save the day and the romance!
Ms. Marvel has done an excellent job of presenting a fresh, new heroine who both represents diversity and a commitment to speaking to the concerns of millenials. The third volume of her story continues in that vein, illustrating the struggles Kamala Khan faces as a Muslim American teenager and a superhero still struggling to find her way, all wrapped up with some action-packed adventures.
I will admit that I felt the first story to be weaker than the rest of the volume. In it, Ms. Marvel faces off against the trickster god Loki and manages to save the day with very little effort. Meanwhile, the personal aspect of the story falls flat. Kamala wants to attend the school dance, but her parents will not permit in. Meanwhile, best friend Bruno pines after Kamala without her knowledge. It could have been a heart-wrenching story, I suppose, but maybe one has to be a teen or relate more to them in order to feel all the agony of missing a school function (my high school’s dances were nothing to write home about). As for Bruno–I felt bad for him, but it’s early on and his and Kamala’s friendship has just been established. Why complicate it now with romance?
The story picks up after that, introducing a crush for Kamala while touching on issues of consent, victimization, and victim-blaming. And by the end, the action is really solid–it doesn’t hurt that Phil Coulson and Jemma Simmons both make guest appearances. If anything, I would have wanted more interactions with Kamala’s family to come into play, but I’m sure the story will continue to explore that aspect of Kamala’s life in the future. In the meantime, I’ll just be mourning the lack of Ms. Marvel in my life.