REVIEW: ‘The Magnificent Ms. Marvel,’ Issue #16

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 Magnificent Ms Marvel #16

As Kamala continues to grapple with the “OUTLAWED” event that sees her Ms. Marvel persona and other teenage superheroes hounded by the government, she joins forces once again with fellow teen hero Amulet to take down an evil “Ghul” that is on the loose in the city. The Magnificent Ms Marvel #16 is written by Saladin Ahmed, with art by Minkyu Jung, colors by Ian Herring, and letters by VC’s Joe Caramanga.

Kamala is dealing with a lot. Her parents are overprotective of her after the event that resulted in “Kamala’s Law,” her superhero ego is still being hunted by C.R.A.D.L.E., and she’s fighting with at least one of her friends after her traumatic ordeal. Everything came to a head to flip her world upside down. Ahmed continues to do Kamala tremendous justice in this arc, conveying the array of her melancholy, pensiveness, and resolve. And in comes a joyful distraction in the form of one Fadi Fadlalah, AKA “Amulet.”

Introduced in The Magnificent Ms Marvel #13 in March of 2020, and created by Ahmed and Sara Alfageeh, Amulet is Marvel’s first-ever Lebanese-American and Arab-American hero. With powers from his Nazar (a symbol ubiquitous in the Middle East) amulet, he is able to combat mystical forces of evil. Ms. Marvel and Amulet have a great dynamic, having become fast friends a few issues ago. This particular issue gives readers more details about Amulet, his family, and his powers, making it a potential background origin story for Amulet’s own series. Having read and been intrigued by the details revealed, and how they tie into Arab mythology and culture, I fervently hope such a series is in the works.

But Kamala, of course, remains the star of the show. Ahmed does a good job of conveying Kamala’s irritation and frustration at what the government is trying to do to teenage heroes, including her and Fadi. But as always, she resolves to help as best she can even when the world seems dead set against her. It’s hard to see this teen hero have to deal with so much, but that’s part of why Kamala remains so relatable, and readers will continue to resonate with her. Ahmed does a great job of achieving that through his writing.

The socio-political aspects remain as present as ever. While the story isn’t literally that Kamala and Fadi are targeted because they are brown, Muslim, and Arab (in the case of Fadi), the analogy and implications are there, especially when an Arab character questions C.R.A.D.L.E agents if they have an actual warrant to search the premises. Again, Ahmed is reminding us as readers to be wary and question these government tactics in the pursuit of “security,” especially when they target these kids who are just trying to do good. This storyline continues to be poignant and relevant.

The art by Jung and Herring continues to be fantastic. Every detail in the art is strong and pairs nicely with the dialogue written. Jung is a master at both the action-packed and quieter moments while the coloring by Herring is rich and continues to pop. In particular, Herring does very well with the variety of skin tones among the characters, something comics as a whole still need to improve on.

The lettering by Caramanga continues to be excellent. Once again, every speech bubble is in its rightful place, with one innovative set of speech bubbles on the first page. As a result, The Magnificent Ms Marvel comics continue to be a sharply engaging read.

The Magnificent Ms Marvel #16 is an excellent issue that gives Kamala a much-needed distraction from her current situation while getting readers to know Amulet better. Even with such a wide-ranging event going on, Ahmed is able to expand Kamala’s (and the Marvel Universe’s) world in fun and engaging ways. There’s so much more to explore with these amazing teen heroes even with the great ground covered already.

You can read The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #16 on November 11, 2020, wherever comics are sold.


The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #16
4.5

TL;DR

The Magnificent Ms Marvel #16 is an excellent issue that gives Kamala a much-needed distraction from her current situation while getting readers to know Amulet better. Even with such a wide-ranging event going on, Ahmed is able to expand Kamala’s (and the Marvel Universe’s) world in fun and engaging ways.