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Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

Review: Ms. Marvel Vol 1 & 2

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal - G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why - Jacob Wyatt, G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona

The writing in these books is superb. Don't get the individual issues. Dive right into the collections.


Volume 1 New Normal introduces geeky, Muslim teenager Kamala Khan who has just discovered her powers. She makes mistakes, she does good, she breaks curfew. She rolls with whatever New Jersey's latest villain throws at her. And she is so excited about it! Oh, my is it adorable! It's also requires basically no foreknowledge of the vast and complicated Marvel canon developed over the last however many decades. 


Here's all you need to know: sometimes people develop super powers. She'll tell you everything else. Because, for serious, she loves this shit.


Volume 2 Generation Why gives her a giant dog and the full attention of the afore mentioned villain. It both completes the arc introduced in the previous volume and opens up the world for Khan's eventual inclusion in the New Avengers. This is less stand alone than Volume 1. It introduces some of the factions from the wider universe. But that introduction is courtesy of Wolverine - is there anyone who isn't at least a little familiar with Wolverine. Khan writes fan fic about him. Better, she tells him about it when they meet.


I haven't liked a character this much since Katherine Pryde. And, kids, even when I'm not outright ShadowcatBounding, I'm carrying pages from my old issues of Excalibur repurposed as wallets and clutches. I had a local artist make those.


If only the Ms. Marvel art was better. I'd be getting issues just to cut them up for accessories. But that's really the only downside to these books. I don't love the art. Actually, it's the color I don't like. Vol. 2 has a few pages of bonus content that are just the ink before color, and I think I'd prefer that. Actually, I'd prefer to see New Jersey in the brilliant hues and subtle shades it so clearly appears to Khan The drab, flat walls and dull, dreary colors are desperately at odds with the world as she sees it.


In a less well written book, the art would be a deal breaker for me. For Ms. Marvel - I can't wait to get my hands on Volume 3.