Pros: Ms. Marvel is a charming, endearing, and sensible lead. The book ends with a fantastic message that tackles new issues for comics.
Cons: Some of the “nerdy” dialogue and video game references are pretty forced. The Wolverine crossover issue was not that good.
Overall: This is a superhero story that breaks the mold of modern superhero stories, not by doing something crazy and dramatic, but by returning to the simplistic and wholesomeness found in comics of the past. It tells the story of a kid with powers, who manages to take on problems much larger than they thought they could simply by being the best person they can be. The story, moral, and message are all outstanding and, though the story is hampered by some clunky dialogue and references, the work as a whole is both inspiring and enjoyable.
Much like the first volume in the series, Ms. Marvel Vol. 2: Generation Why is a huge success. It contains the same feel-good attitude that the first excelled in, causing it to share many of the first book’s positives. It differentiates itself by placing a larger focus on crime fighting, rather than Kamala’s family life. This works perfectly though as it allows the story to focus on the dramatic end to the Inventor arc, rather than being broken up and decompressed. This was honestly a perfect end to this story arc. Hopefully the next one will be just as good.
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As stated in our review of Vol. 1, Kamala Khan herself is definitely one of the greatest parts of this book. Her optimism and positivity permeated the book and came out in fantastic ways throughout. Her meeting with Wolverine is particularly revealing. Wolverine tells her that causing pain is simply a part of being a hero, yet Kamala refuses to accept that. In a comic scene where everyone needs to have a dark side, it is great to see a character who still just wants to always do what is right and moral for everyone.
On top of this, the book also manages to deliver a heartfelt final message that is both unique and impactful. This message is a variation of the standard “children are the future” message, but updated to modern times. It addresses the growing concern of pollution and climate change in a way that recognizes they can only truly be solved by the next generation of thinkers and activists, the same generation that many claim to be the laziest yet. Concern for the future turns into optimism as Kamala convinces wayward teens and the readers not to give up on this next generation because their potential can change the world in surprising ways. Variations of this message exist in other media but one this targeted and specific is somewhat new to comics, thus it is very refreshing to see.
One of this book’s only flaws is how much it tries to inject “nerdy” and “geeky” references wherever it can. Being a gamer is a part of Ms. Marvel’s character and her charm. However, one would be hard pressed to find any gamer in the real world who makes as many gaming references as Ms. Marvel does. It even extends to secondary characters, with the villain stating “it’s like Episode IV out here” instead of being concerned about his base being attacked. While some of these references every now and then is alright, the abundance found in this book make it seem like it is simply trying to pander to gamers as much as possible, no matter how forced it may be.
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Most of this issue is drawn by Adrian Alphona again. This art is good overall and, once again, works very well with the story being told here. For a longer discussion of Alphona’s art make sure to check the art section of our review of Vol. 1.
The Wolverine crossover issues start out this volume and are the only ones drawn by Jacob Wyatt. Visually, these issues are charming and fun as they contain a unique type of lightheartedness usually reserved to manga. However, when paired with the crazy antics and silly dialogue that are already a little too abundant, it starts to feel like too much. As discussed above, this book already tries a little too hard to be quirky and funny. Without the more realistic art grounding it, this quirkiness becomes far more obvious and affects the story even more than before.
This is the second volume in a brand new series starring a brand new hero in the Marvel Universe. Thus, to understand this story, readers only need to have read the previous volume, Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal (Review). Her adventures continue in Ms. Marvel Vol. 3: Crushed.
Wolverine mentions that he has lost his healing factor. This happens in Wolverine Vol. 1: Hunting Season.