Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Iman Vellani and Sabir Pirzada, art by Carlos Gómez and Adam Gorham, colors by Erick Arciniega and letters by Joe Caramagna. Reincarnated and part of the X-Men, Ms. Marvel sets off to college, which is also a covert operation to spy on Orchis.
The beginning of a new life and adventure, this issue establishes the start of a new era. Working with the X-Men, Ms Marvel has been placed in a college that is overseen by Orchis, the same group that committed the Mutant Massacre. There are a lot of new aspects to the issue. But what is welcoming is the fact that the history of Kamala Khan has not been erased. Her family, her powers and her history as a Champion, Avenger and friend are still part of her. Vellani, who also plays Ms. Marvel in the MCU, and Pirzada also include Bruno, Kamala’s best friend, as he goes with her to college. It’s a great blending of the old and new, although there is some hesitancy regarding how much of that history will stay as the series progresses, or whether it is merely to ease the transition.
The plot itself is exciting and filled with mysteries. The beginning of Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #1 is centred around a dream that questions Ms. Marvel’s place and belonging within the world. And it becomes clear that this perplexing dream has a deeper importance to the rest of the comic. The pacing can be slow, but the character is likeable enough that this extended issue is engaging all the way through. There is also the plot thread surrounding Orchis, Fall of X and the general feeling towards Mutants at this moment in time. Whilst the circumstances of these many issues are different, they aren’t a million miles away from what she has faced before. And the writers are able to tap into the infectious energy of previous series and inject it into this book as well, especially once the nervousness of the start has passed. The fight at the end features a very surprising guest enemy, one that sparks a larger mystery about what is happening at the college, and it kickstarts much more unease within Kamala’s mind.
Vellani and Pirzada write a fantastic Kamala Khan. That purity and genuine heart are something that really sets her aside from many comic protagonists. Even as she progresses through gradually more mature moments in her life, that youthful energy will hopefully stay intact. It’s fascinating to see her be so troubled by a dream, which is the first of many major changes that lead her to need to be cautious. Her narration is often more serious than the spoken dialogue as she tries to be disarmingly brave around other X-Men.
The cast in the book is small when it comes to counting other superheroes, but that is beneficial to Kamala. This is her own comic, and she is highly capable of spearheading the series without much intervention from other Mutants. This is proven during those moments with Bruno, which are intimate, fun and thoughtful. It should be mentioned that one of those X-Men cameos seemed like it could be replaced by anyone, as the voice didn’t seem overly natural to the character.
The art is excellent. The dream is a bizarre, twisted adventure that depicts dozens of superheroes that Ms. Marvel has encountered. But all of them are unnerving and creepy, with some sinister smiles on their faces. But being able to draw various Champions, Avengers and X-Men is impressive, especially when so much is down to alter their look as well. As a massive fan of Ms. Marvel’s original costume, it is taking time to get used to the new design to make her fit in with the X-Men. It isn’t a monumental shift, a lot of the key aspects are still there, but the simplicity of Jamie McKelvie’s concept has been depleted somewhat. The blending of normality and weirdness is brilliant as Ms. Marvel appears in a grand but still pedestrian college.
The colors excellently accompany the idea of trying to introduce a superhero element to Kamala’s college experience. The shades of her surroundings are fairly muted, including her own civilian clothing. But when her costume comes out, the yellow, red and blue are much more vibrant and expressive. The lettering is the regular font used for the X-Men.
Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #1 is a fresh start for the resurrected hero. College may be the perfect allegory for the idea of moving away and beginning a new part of Kamala’s life, even if it isn’t a real move. It’s important to move on from the death and revival of Kamala Kahan and all of the fallout, but it is her history that has helped shape who she is, and can never be avoided. Nothing is being ignored. All of her past still plays such a pivotal role in this comic, just with more mentions of mutants. This is Vellani’s first comic and both writers have written an excellent script that sits within so many storylines whilst telling its own.
Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #1
Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #1 is a fresh start for the resurrected hero. College may be the perfect allegory for the idea of moving away and beginning a new part of Kamala’s life, even if it isn’t a real move.