MS. MARVEL #18 | Writer: G. Willow Wilson | Penciler: Francesco Gastón | Colorist: Ian Herring | Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna | Price: $3.99 | Release Date: 5/10/17
Coming out of the “DPS” arc, Ms. Marvel #18 steps us directly into a standalone story with Bruno in Wakanda. In fact, we only see Kamala at the very beginning of this issue and that’s it! Is this a reason to skip this issue? Not by a long shot! As much as we love Kamala herself, it’s been bittersweet at times to not have Bruno around helping her with her costume, and running the technical side of her superhero-ing. The cover eludes to this as well.
If we remember back in the earlier issues of this volume, due to some unfortunate events that left him with some serious body damage, Bruno cut himself off from Kamala and accepted an advanced education program in Wakanda. This is our first time getting a really good glimpse of how life is for him there. Being a huge Black Panther fan and loving Wakanda so much, it was delightful to see how well G. Willow Wilson portrays the greatest country in the world, in her story.
We find that, as gifted a mind as Bruno has, he is still one of the lesser students in a class full of ultra-intelligent Wakandan students lead by a teacher with a Ph.D. in Spatial Geometry and Master’s level knowledge in several other areas. The class of Wakandan students is beautiful! I love seeing this kind of diverse portrayal on the pages of my favorite comics. I know, it’s Wakanda, and what else could you expect? But it’s still a joy to see it nonetheless.
I love how the story sets up a fun adventure with Bruno and his highly intelligent, and seemingly mischievous dormmate, Kwezi. At first, Kwezi just seems like a reckless, bad influence, but when the story unfolds you can see that he has the best interest of his out of country friend at heart. T’Challa’s appearance here was nice as well. He words were harsh, but from a place of love at the same time. It’s fun seeing how Wilson, and Gaston portray Wakanda from their perspective.
This of course brings me to the art. The artists on Ms. Marvel’s solo title are perfect for them. There’s a rotation between Takeshi and Francesco, and with Ian Herring on the colors, they are linked in a harmony that has me praying that no one else ever takes their place on this book. I absolutely love it. The cover, as mentioned earlier, also accurately portrays the distance between Kamala and Bruno, as we focus on the later this issue. More great work from Nelson Blake II and Rachelle Rosenberg.
Ms. Marvel never fails to bring me joy, and it is currently one of the favorites on my pull list. This one shot, story for Bruno hopefully will lead to him and Kamala eventually speaking to each other again, but we won’t know until the next issue. Pick this one up and add it to your collection, and please, go to your local comic shop and list Ms. Marvel as a regular pull. You won’t be disappointed, and between multi-part arcs, you should be able to dive right in!