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Ms. Marvel #18

(Marvel Comics)

 

After ending his friendship with Ms. Marvel, Bruno Carrelli tries to start over on the other side of the world.

 

Creators: G. Willow Wilson, Francesco Gastón, Ian Herring

Genre: Superhero

Reader Appeal: Teen

Publishing Rating: T+

 

When I first embarked into the world of comics, I asked the local comic book guru for his recommendations. After going through a long list of questions, he suggested I read Ms. Marvel, probably because of my love of comics featuring a strong female lead. But somehow, within the five minutes between his recommendation and when I left the store, I forgot all about Ms. Marvel. But don’t fret--I have finally remembered to pick up an issue!

 

I have to be honest: this comic was not at all what I was excepting. Well, let me rephrase--the issue was not at all what I was excepting. The storyline barely involved Ms. Marvel. She was in three panels that were just a daydream and she had absolutely no dialogue! That being said, I was very pleased with this issue overall.

 

Bruno Carrelli, best friend of Kamala Khan (AKA Ms. Marvel), has started attending Wakanda, a prestigious science school. Unfortunately, his dream of attending the school has only become a reality in the aftermath of a moral disagreement with Ms. Marvel, who’s lately felt more like a love interest than a best friend. Bruno took matters into his own hands, ending their friendship, leaving him hurt both physically and emotionally. By accepting a scholarship to Wakanda, he’s starting a new chapter on the other side of the world, but he still can’t get Ms. Marvel off his mind.

  

I truly enjoyed this comic, most likely because as I’ve mentioned before I’m a sucker for high school drama. (Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know it’s embarrassing.) But there was something in the story that felt so familiar, but in this new and exciting way. I mean, who hasn’t been through a high school heartbreak? But there’s more than just a typical high school story. There’s infinitely more instances of breaking and entering, explosions, and police chases.

 

When the reader picks up an issue, there’s no doubt it’s a Marvel. The comic has standard comic book features: dialogue text, narration font, and panel layout. But overall the coloring is muted, creating a more realistic illustration style. Gastón has a knack for crafting detailed settings and paying attention to the little elements that make scenes pop off the page.

 

My only critique is that I wish I had more of Ms. Marvel. I was so excited to experience a strong female character and I come to find out I grab probably one of the few issues that she’s barely in! Thankfully, Marvel at least does do a great job of catching the reader up to speed to see how Bruno’s story aligns with Kamala.   

 

Parents--I think your teens will like this comic a lot. Your younger ones might find this less appealing because it’s so relationship heavy. If your middle schooler is interested in Ms. Marvel, I’d suggest reading the issues with them so you can talk about wading the murky waters of high school romance.

 

Let's Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this comic book:

 

• Would you rather endure physical or emotional pain? Why?

• If you had the opportunity to study anywhere in the world, what subject would you study and where?

• Bruno’s friend, Kwezie, breaks into a heavily secured research facility to help him. What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done to help a friend?

 

--LV

All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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