REVIEW: ‘The Magnificent Ms. Marvel,’ Issue #17

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Magnificent Ms. Marvel #17

The “OUTLAWED” event continues to press on Ms. Marvel as she defends Jersey City with police state forces in her way. But in this issue, Kamala finds herself making an alliance surprising to her and the readers. The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #17 is written by Saladin Ahmed, with art by Minkyu Jung, colors by Ian Herring, and letters by VC’s Joe Caramanga.

As Kamala continues to evade capture by the C.R.A.D.L.E. forces, she and their leader, Commander Dugan, find themselves in a temporary alliance to save Jersey City citizens. It’s a significant turn for Kamala’s story in the OUTLAWED event to take now, especially as we’ve previously seen Dugan in a very antagonistic and oppressive role. But even with how this character has been hounding Kamala and her friends, Ahmed consistently writes with great nuance. Dugan is absolutely still on the wrong side, but Ahmed conveys his fundamental care for people, which gets him to work temporarily with the fugitive Ms. Marvel.

Mileage and reception to this storyline development will almost certainly vary. I don’t think by any means Ahmed is saying that resistors to government violence need to make peace with security forces, but rather that the cracks in resolve will show for a government stooge who does want to do good like Dugan. Kamala’s consistent and persistent dedication to helping people moves and inspires others to do the same, and that’s portrayed very effectively in this issue. It’s a temporary alliance to save people from a seemingly random villain, and it simultaneously moves the OUTLAWED forward while making some unforeseen moves.

The other unexpected twist happens in the last few pages of this issue, picking up from the twist in the previous issue, but in another unexpected way. All I can say without giving too much away is that the pressures of Kamala’s double-life continue to press down on her personal life, stressing her relationships with her family and friends. Ahmed has always written with poignancy and emotional stakes. I don’t know what the resolution will ultimately be for Kamala and her relationships, but it remains engaging to read.

The art by Jung and Herring is striking and colorful, with a great variety of shades used. The artwork of the main villain is particularly engrossing and bold, presenting an almost surreal challenge for Kamala and Dugan. As always with the Magnificent series, it continues to be great work.

The lettering by Caramanga is on point, with speech bubbles in smart and innovative places on the page. They’re always perfectly placed, allowing the reader to be engaged with the stunning artwork. This series has maintained a great balance between showing its art and speech on the page. As always, Caramanga continues to make the aesthetic of the words spoken engaging to read.

The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #17 is not exactly what I expected, but it’s an overall very good issue. As the penultimate issue of the Magnificent series, it may not be what people are anticipating, but it moves the story forward nonetheless. With action, great artworks, and engaging and sometimes emotional discussions, it’s a very engaging issue. It gets to the heart of what makes Ms. Marvel, Ms. Marvel. And even though the story takes some unexpected turns, it stays true to that heart.

You can read The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #17 on December 16, 2020, wherever comics are sold.


The Magnificent Ms. Marvel,' Issue #17
4.5

TL;DR

The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #17 is not exactly what I expected, but it’s an overall very good issue. As the penultimate issue of the Magnificent series, it may not be what people are anticipating, but it moves the story forward nonetheless. With action, great artworks, and engaging and sometimes emotional discussions, it’s a very engaging issue. It gets to the heart of what makes Ms. Marvel, Ms. Marvel. And even though the story takes some unexpected turns, it stays true to that heart.