graphic novel, comics

Review of Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel, before the fame aka Camilla Khan, was just a young girl trying to figure who she was. To be a brown Muslim Middle Eastern girl in an American society that idolizes the likes of heroes such as Captain Marvel with her blonde locks and peachy skin posed unique problems. Camilla too adored Carol Danvers and would be like her if she could. How though could Camilla ever become anything close to Captain Danvers?

One day, a large fog engulfs Khan’s hometown. Come to find out, this fog has given people throughout the city special abilities, Camilla being one of them. Camilla gains the ability to change her appearance and of course, she uses this power to imitate her one and only idol.  Camilla, appearing as Captain Marvel, indeed, saves some people to the confusion of the local townsfolk as to why Captain Marvel would be helping people in their little town.

Though there is a thrill in saving others and embodying her role model, Camilla wrestles with her self-identity. What does it mean that this brown Muslim girl wants to be a blond-haired, blue-eyed white woman so badly? How does she negotiate being an ethnic minority as well as find out who she is? Without spoiling anything, out of this internal conflict emerges the hero, Ms. Marvel.

Why I Chose this Book

I’m pretty sure I visited the site, noticed this title, and remembered people talking about it. This was before talks of Ms. Marvel appearing in the MCU, btw.


This story was funny and charming. This was an origin story about more than developing one’s powers, but understanding oneself. It’s really about self-identity, self-love, and learning to accept who you are.

I haven’t conveyed how funny this was. There are the obvious jokes, but the real treats are in the background. You have to pay attention to all the details. Take a look at the news on the tv screen. Look at the newspaper on the ground and the kids walking by. These little chuckles were a nice touch. I wonder who’s idea it was to add this kind of humor. Overall, Ms. Marvel Volume 1 was charming and funny. Worth the read.

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