Friday, February 5

Ms.Marvel and Spider-Man

Ms. Marvel is Marvel's best monthly title. It's surprisingly funny given the premise -- an Pakistani Muslim girl living in New Jersey discovers she's an Inhuman -- and it waves the standard of heroism better than just about every comic out there. I did not expect to fall so hard for it, but it won me over immediately.

I argue it's a better legacy comic than the new Spider-Man, but it has the benefit of greater stability. Even though he's been around longer, Miles lost his universe, and his new title just started this week. Ms. Marvel has been chugging away for two years now, and even the Secret Wars tie-in issues refused to dilute in its sincerity and resolve. Miles was too much in Peter Parker's shadow, inheriting so much of the original Ultimate Spider-Man's cast and angles. Kamala, with occasional team-ups with other Inhumans and Wolverine, was mostly on her own, equally inspired by her predecessor.

A number of new faces are wearing old names in Marvel these days. There's a new Thor, new Captain America, new Hulk, and these two youngsters. This kind of succession is usually short-lived, and the comics boomerang back to the originals. But Carol Danvers became Captain Marvel, itself a pre-established name, and Marvel is adamant that it's big enough for two Spider-Men. I'm in no hurry to see the new people walk away from the never-ending battle, and they have the benefit of strong creators and ardent fans. I certainly count myself among the latter.

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