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cover artI read and very much enjoyed Ms Marvel, Volume One, No Normal earlier this year so I was really looking forward to volume two, Generation Why. And I wasn’t disappointed!

What I love about Kamala and the whole Ms Marvel thing is that she is not a white, blonde super-babe with curves and cleavage. And more than any other superhero comic, this one is real in a way they others often aren’t. Kamala struggles to figure out who she is and what kind of person she wants to be. She has to find a balance between being a good daughter, a good Muslim, a good student, a good friend and a superhero. She has a friend who knows about her abilities but she keeps it a secret from everyone else. And since she doesn’t want to put her friend in danger, she thinks she has to do the superhero stuff by herself.

In volume two Kamala learns an important lesson, that you need allies and most of all, sometimes you need help. Wolverine from X-Men shows up and there is some giggle worthy fan girl moments when Kamala tries not to squee but utterly fails. We also learn a little about the green mist that gave Kamala her abilities and I know just enough about the Marvel Universe (Agents of Shield! Avengers movies!) to have enjoyed a shiver of recognition.

Kamala is also being watched over, and even rescued, by the mysterious Medusa, ruler of New Attilan and Queen of the Inhumans. Medusa sends a gigantic teleporting dog named Lockjaw to keep an eye on Kamala and be her companion. Lockjaw is the best sidekick ever!

Along with her do-gooding, Kamala also offers up a healthy dose of inspiration and encouragement. In this story problem teens are being kidnapped and used as a power source for the evil villain’s killer robots. The “worthless” teens have all been convinced that being used as a power source will allow them to do something good instead of being parasites. Kamala of course sees things differently. She needs their help to defeat the villain and convinces them that they should not give up on themselves or their generation.

What is it with adults telling teens that their generation is no good? When I was your age, blah blah blah. They are only kids! How can anyone know what they will do when they are older? As a member of Gen X I recall hearing over and over how my generation was nothing but a bunch of cynical, do-nothing, slackers. Barack and Michelle Obama are in the gray area between generations but I’m claiming them for X. Same with Mark Zuckerberg. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are definitely Gen X. So is Angelina Jolie. No one would dream of calling any of them slackers.

Ok, veering back on course now.

Ms Marvel is a wonderful comic series and I wish comics were like this when I was a kid. I would have gobbled them up for sure. The nice thing is though that even not being a kid anymore, I can still enjoy them. And if you are looking to try an entertaining, well-written and empowering comic, you really can’t go wrong with Ms Marvel.