It’s official. Two issues in, and this is my favorite Marvel comic I have ever read.
In this issue, the magic fog of whatever (well, Terrigan Mists, but magic fog is so much more descriptive), Kamala Khan discovers that she can shapeshift. And not just shapeshift in the change-your-appearance-from-one-conventional-thing-to another kind of way, but shapeshift her hands into huge things that can pull a girl out of the water quite… “handily” (and defying laws of physics with leverage and balance, but whatever).
And while this is a cool superpower to have, it’s actually the internal monologue that Kamala engages in while she transforms between beautiful superheroes that really makes this story come into its own.
What we know of Kamala is that she’s a girl trapped between two worlds, and misunderstood in both. She’s too American for the Pakistanis and too Pakistani for the Americans. She thinks that if she could just looked blonde and beautiful, she would be happier.
Usually in these sort of comic parables, the character indulges in looking like the person with privilege (in this case being blonde and buxom) for a few issues before learning how important being who they are really is. In the case of Kamala, she instantly realizes how uncomfortable she is being someone else, and spends most of her time trying to get back to the way she is supposed to look whilst saving fellow classmates from drowning.
But this isn’t resolved at all. By the time she returns home, and is admonished by her parents for sneaking out, and her mother blaming the father for corrupting his children by taking them to America, you realize that Kamala’s indentity problems are going to be an important thread to the story.
With her sense of humor and the depth of her character, I can’t tell you how excited I am to read issue 3. It cannot come fast enough.