Review: Ms. Marvel #21: “Mecca part 3 of 4”

Starting off in the middle of K.I.N.D’s attempted removal of all super-powered individuals from Jersey City, Mis. Marvel “Mecca part 3 of 4” puts the focus very clearly on what it means to be a part of a few up against a mostly faceless evil many. The not so hidden political allegory is extended in this issue to include the perspectives of both sides and each are presented very thoughtfully. The series as a whole provides an outlet for those stressed out by the current political climate and this particular issue seems to be targeted to those who really should be reading it.

Unfortunately, those that should be reading it probably won’t. This is my only major critique of the issue. G. Willow Wilson’s writing continues to be amazing. The issue is even more character driven than usual with a special emphasis on humanization. The mutants and Inhumans, like Mis. Marvel, essentially become refugees and take solace in a mosque. These are two things that many Americans simply have no understanding of and that intangibility can make it easy to dismiss. Wilson takes this opportunity to educate readers. When Mis Marvel needs a place to hide out from the battle, she retreats to a women’s Wudu room, which we are informed is a place where ritual ablutions are performed before prayer. These are real things that real people use. Additionally, when a masked villain finds her there, it is revealed that she knows him making him a known instead of an unknown. Wilson gives a voice for the people who might feel that the removal of difference is needed. He is, of course, a lost and angry white man who believes that he should have been a leader. A man who is tired of being told over and over again that he is “lucky” and “fortunate.” This revealing narrative prompts Mis. Marvel to make a rather big decision that I am curious to see the ramifications of in the conclusionary issue.

Marco Failla’s art is very solid throughout the issue. His facial expressions are especially on point and that is extremely important in an issue like this. Like the artists before him, the flowing line work when she uses her powers feels a little bit like those of Kirby’s Mister Fantastic. Similarly, Ian Herring’s colors provide a recognizable consistency. Both make the story the forefront.

In the end, there is a lot to love in this issue, but it would not be new reader friendly. First of all, the recap is a hard to read. The color matches the background far too closely and the letters needed to be farther apart with the font size being that small. And second, even though it is a smaller run, so much has happened to build to this point and that background information is important to the story as a whole. That said, I highly recommend picking up the whole run. The only way we are going to get through this is to work together like a family and Mis. Marvel provides a template for doing just that. 

(W) G. Willow Wilson (A) Marco Failla (CA) Valerio Schiti

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