September 30, 2017

ms marvel 2

Ms. Marvel: Generation Why

G. Willow Wilson (author) and Adrian Alphona (artist)

Pub. 2015

136 pgs.

Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Summary / Review / TLDR / Recommended For / Issues / Themes / Grade


Summary

Being a superhero isn’t easy, as Kamala Khan is quickly learning. She’s starting to get used to her powers, even she isn’t entirely sure where they came from, and she’s loving her new secret life. That being said, she’s still up against a powerful criminal who wants her dead: The Inventor. Even worse, her family is becoming even more suspicious about her sneaking out and inability to satisfactorily explain where she’s been going. Is it even possible to find a balance between real life and being Ms. Marvel? And what about the kid she finds running one of the monsters?

One thing’s certain, though: she will never be bored!

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Review

This book picks up right where the first volume, No Normal, left off, which is a good thing—that one ended on a massive cliffhanger that left me disappointed. It was really the only thing that made book one bad.

Generation Why, though, is the conclusion of the “Inventor” story arc. While there’s still room to grow and questions to be answered (what’s an “inhuman” and is Kamala one? What’s up with her healing factor? Will her parents ever catch on? Will the media see beyond the domino mask?), the resolution is still satisfying and solid.

The art of the second book still retains the charm of the first, including the snarky little references scattered throughout the posters and boxes. The license plates are probably my favorite here. It’s easy to follow the action, too, even when the text moves from the bottom corner to the top, so people who aren’t quite a familiar with how graphic novels work shouldn’t get too frustrated.

I liked the philosophizing that occurs in the classroom scene. Wilson does an excellent job of tying it together with the resolution in a way that is meaningful without being too heavy-handed. Even though I’m slightly older than the characters Kamala is speaking to in that particular scene, it still resonated with me on both a personal and teacher-y level.

Though it did end up getting a very high score, it lost a few points here and there. I wasn’t really surprised by anything in the book, nor were the minor characters developed well. There are a few new minor characters introduced who need some more explaining. I have the same problem with Attalan—where is it? Why does it exist? What’s its purpose? I mean all of those in a broader sense. I mean, we’re told it’s in the Hudson River, but how did it get there?

See what I mean?

Despite still having these questions, I’d still highly recommend this book. Just make sure you get it along with No Normal; neither is complete by itself.

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TLDR

Buy it for your shelf! It’s awesome! And get No Normal, while you’re at it!

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Recommended for…

  • Fans of superheroes
  • People who aspire to be superheroes
  • People in general

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Issues

  • Blood: minor blood shone
  • Deceit: characters sneak around to fight crime
  • Lying: characters lie to protect others
  • Other Illegal Activity: kidnapping, brainwashing
  • Religion: Muslim main characters, including mosque attendance and mention of religious practices
  • Violence: kicking of butts, be they human, animal, or robot
  • Weapon Use: characters use weapons to attack other people/creatures

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Themes

  • Change vs. Tradition
  • Determination
  • Family
  • Friendships
  • Good vs. Evil
  • Heroism
  • Honesty
  • Identity
  • Justice
  • Responsibility
  • Right vs. Wrong
  • Survival

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Grade

Main Character 2
Subcast 1
Setting Development 2
Exploration of Conflict 2
Satisfying Resolution 2
Consideration of Themes 2
Didactic Tone 2
Suspension of Disbelief 2
Imagery and Description 2
Compelling Storytelling 2
Author’s Style 2
Rhythm and Pace of Book 2
Mechanics (spelling, grammar, punctuation) 2
Predictability 1
Reader Enjoyment 2
Total 28/30
93%

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