Let’s grab a big yellow S and get ready for some cosmic rays as we blast into this month’s Superhero Sunday with Ms. Marvel.Please note that I will be covering the title “Ms Marvel: and how the main character changes through present day
Ms.Marvel was first thought of in 1968 as the female counterpart to Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell), and appeared in Marvel’s Superheroes #13. It wasn’t until 1977 that she really was a part of the Marvel universe as Carol Danvers.
Carol was Ms. Marvel until 1985 when Mike Carlin and Ron Wilson, creators on the Fantastic Four, decided that a new woman would pick up the name after being exposed to cosmic rays. Thus Sharon Venture became Ms. Marvel. Then in 2009 Dr. Karla Sofen, the super villain known as Moonstone became Ms. Marvel during the storyline “Dark Reign.”
Carol Danvers would occasionally pick the name backup, but that was until the mantle was adopted by a 13 year old inhuman in 2013. This new rendition of Ms Marvel was created by Sana Amanat, G. Willow Wilson, and Adrian Alphona
Who is a Ms. Marvel? What does it take? Well, it takes a strong willed independent female getting hit by cosmic rays or becoming an inhuman to be Ms.Marvel. Carol Danvers (the first and now the new Captain Marvel) was an officer in the Air Force who, on a mission, gets caught in an explosion with Captain Marvel (a Kree alien) and she is exposed to cosmic rays. These are the rays that gave the fantastic four their powers and what makes the Silver Surfer the “Silver Surfer.” Once exposed she is enhanced and can shoot rays, fly and exhibits super strength. With this power she fights along the Avengers, and battles many galactic enemies.
The next most important person to dawn the mantle is when Moonstone takes over the mantle and during Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign and she becomes the Ms.Marvel of the Dark Avengers lead by Norman. As Moonstone she gets power from a Kree gravity stone and is imbued with powers similar to that of most superheroes but most like Ms. Marvel. During this era Ms.Marvel gets her name tarnished and the mantle is left alone. Carol later assumes the mantle of Captain Marvel in honor of the death of Mar-vell.
Now jump to a young New Yorker girl who discovers she has been exposed to a terrigen mist, which awakens special cells in certain people that makes them inhuman (it's like realizing you're a mutant but different). When Kamala Khan, a teen who already looks up to many super heroes, becomes an inhuman with super powers, she decides she wants to be like her idol; thus she becomes the contemporary Ms.Marvel. But Kamala is different. She has super strength and can morph her body, but she cannot fly.
Why this Hero?
Ms.Marvel has always been a real “BA” and that's awesome. I will admit it wasn’t til Kelly Sue made her Captain Marvel that I fell in love with Carol Danvers. That being said, everything written during Civil War was amazing and encouraged me to like so many characters.
However, it is Kamala that takes the cake for me. Her story is like a hybrid of commentary on contemporary while also being a new version of the Spider-Man “fish out of water” story. She learns what it is to be a hero while being inspired by the Avengers, much like how readers of comics are inspired by morally strong characters. I must recommend Ms. Marvel with Kamala Khan to everyone.
Marvel Masterworks: Ms. Marvel Book 1
Ms.Marvel (Marvel Now) vol.1
- Dark Reign