Recent reads: more comics

I have been tearing through comics lately, so here are some brief thoughts on a few that I most definitely recommend.

ms marvel vol3Ms Marvel vol 3: Crushed
by G Willow Wilson, Elmo Bondoc and Takeshi Miyazawa

The fun continues for the teenage superhero in Jersey City. Kamala uses her Ms Marvel costume to attend the school Valentine’s Day dance and bumps into Loki there, being his charming self. And after that mostly light-hearted interlude, Kamala has her first crush, which of course isn’t going to run smoothly. Her brother Aamir becomes a more rounded character than simply following the rules of society and railing at Kamala with their parents. As with the previous volumes, the comic explores real human issues around growing up and society at large through the distorting lens of superheroes and supervillains. I am thoroughly in love with this series and looking forward to what’s next for Kamala.

Published 2015 by Marvel.

Source: Foyles Bristol.

hawkeye vol3Hawkeye vol 3: LA Woman
by Matt Fraction and Annie Wu

I love Matt Fraction’s run on Hawkeye and one of the greatest things about it is the character of Girl Hawkeye, or Kate (and yes I am a little pleased that I share a name with an awesome non-super-but-very-capable heroine). This volume is entirely about Kate and her sabbatical away from Clint Barton and the drama of New York. Of course, she finds her own drama in LA, largely thanks to stylish baddie Madame Masque. She also makes some wonderful new friends, characters just the right kind of eccentric. The art is quite different from that of David Aja, who created the simple two-tone gorgeousness that initially attracted me to this series. But Wu’s art is gorgeous in its own way – more lavish, more detailed. This tale is a refreshing break from the increasingly serious Hawkeye story that forms volume 4.

Published 2014 by Marvel.

Source: Borrowed from Tim.

ex machina vol9Ex Machina vols 9 and 10
by Brian K Vaughan and Tony Harris

This is the end of the series, and superpowered New York Mayor Mitchell Hundred is approaching the end of his first term. As he decides whether or not to run again, the stories finally start to show some teeth as regards the political decisions that have to be made. Until now Mitch has kept his personal opinions about pretty much everything to himself, and what gets revealed is often surprising. There’s also some action and some outright horror, plus a very strange cameo appearance from Vaughan and Harris. Overall, I’m glad I read this series but it did flounder a bit in the middle and I wonder if a shorter run would have given it more punch. The story clings throughout to the events of 9/11 and I suspect that by the time these final storylines wrapped up in 2008 most readers would have preferred to leave 9/11 in the past, or at least memorialise it in a less problematic way.

Published 2008 and 2009 by DC Comics.

Source: Excelsior comic shop, Bristol.