The Ms. Marvel opening volume very deservedly won a Hugo Award last year for Best Graphic Story. Three follow up volumes published in 2015 show Ms. Marvel was no one-hit wonder. Volume 2 might be the weakest of those three, but that’s praising with faint damnation.
Adrian Alphona drew Volume 1. The art for Volume 2 was split between Alphona and Jacob Wyatt, who drew issues 6 and 7. Reading vols. 2-4 has made me realize how important Alphona’s art was to my enjoyment of Volume 1. Miyazawa’s and Bondoc’s art from Volume 3 is pretty good, though. I didn’t care for Wyatt’s art at all.
The focal point of the volume is her clash with the Inventor, set up in vol. 1. The volume concludes the arc—OR DOES IT? I understand the exigencies of comic demand openings be left for recursive storytelling, but I appreciate that we get a complete and relatively discrete arc. I really enjoyed the contraptions and giant alligators and ALLIGATORS WITH FRIGGIN LASER BEAMS of the Inventor. So I’ll overlook other attendant silliness straight out of the Matrix or Malthus. My only real complaint is that I didn’t get to see the Inventor shout “I AM NOT A BIRD” one more time. (The Generation Why joke, tied in with the Inventor’s nefarious plot, would work better if Kamala wasn’t probably more fairly classed with Generation Z.)
Welcome, but less effective, were the addition of a magical teleporting dog, Lockjaw, and a team-up with Wolverine. The latter, in particular, was a bit of a non-sequitur. I’ve always been a huge fan of Wolverine, but that sequence makes me think Marvel doesn’t have confidence in its new character more than anything else. Consequently, the second half of the volume, with Alphona’s art and without Wolverine to distract from the fight against the Inventor, works much better than the first.