Picking up after last issue’s closing plot twist, Kamala discovers the Inventor’s heinous plans in Ms. Marvel #10. So far this series has done a great job of packaging Kamala’s adventures in ways that appeal to today’s diverse readership, and this issue is no exception. Using a compelling contemporary framework to approach the overt silliness of giant mechs and talking birds, Wilson and Alphona successfully ground this arc’s super-science hijinks in something meaningful that many younger readers (this reviewer included) can certainly relate to.
As Kamala learns, the teens volunteered to become the human batteries for Inventor’s machines in order to seek alternative power sources for a rapidly expanding world. The teens believe they are little more than parasites, an “extra generation” using dwindling resources and contributing little in turn. In sacrificing themselves, they aim to leave a positive mark on the future that adults already blame them for ruining with smartphones and student loan debt. Noble intentions aside, the Inventor shows his true colors when he attacks Kamala and abducts Lockjaw. In turn Kamala rallies the other teenagers in a cowboy speech that even Captain America would be proud of, and leads the teens against the Inventor to set up for the arc’s conclusion.
While admittedly a little heavy-handed in its execution, the theme of youth standing up against a culture that devalues (and often demonizes) them is extremely relevant in today’s media. The pervasive narrative that the lazy, selfish millennials have led the contemporary western world to its doom is all but inescapable these days. To see young people so beaten down by their parents’ generation that they consider their own lives as disposal rings very true to most post-grads on the street, and for Kamala to take a stand against that narrative is uplifting. It also further solidifies her role as today’s every-woman hero, speaking to (and for) a widening audience of comic book readers from all walks of life.
Once again Wilson and Alphona bring their A-game. Wilson’s scripting is strong and Alphona’s pencils are as beautiful and energetic as ever, wonderfully complemented by Herring’s palettes. Another compelling, visually engaging issue from this stellar creative team.