Jun 2, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 464: Ms. Marvel Special: Storyteller, January 2009


Just have another look, quickly, at Ms. Marvel up there. She's definitely...umm....three dimensional, isn't she?

Before I actually read this comic, I was really put off by the cover. I picked the comic up as part of a quarter bin scour, mainly because, though she's not my favourite hero, I've always enjoyed Ms. Marvel's adventures (though more so when she's part of a team than as a solo hero). And considering that she's become one of the most important, and equitably-treated, heroes in the Marvel Universe of late, I was quite shocked to see the shelf (apologies for the crassness) jutting from her chest on this cover.


For the most part, the interior art does not reflect this over-abundance of breast, and it is only well into the comic that we even see Carol in the get-up she's in. And she's put in that get-up by a pubescent boy who can control reality. Her reaction? "The Hell?! He's playing dress-up with me now?!" It becomes evident that there is a not-so-subtle critique of female superhero costumes, and female superheroes more generally, going on in this comic. Note that costume design up there again - the bustier is constructed of belts - it's a constricting, confining costume regardless of its revealing nature (which is also constricting and confining). This is not to say that Carol's usual, at this time, swimsuit costume is that much better, but the way her physique is handled by Camuncoli, at least in this comic, is never exploitative.

Okay, maybe I'm being too optimistic there. It's not as exploitative. Thank goodness someone came along and gave Carol the kind of action suit she really ought to have in the recent revamps of the character.

Storywise, I was a bit lost here, having ceased following the Ms. Marvel series before the events that this comic picks up on. But there's enough there to make it a satisfying, and somewhat affecting, read. Marvel has a long history of utilizing superpowers to explore the trials and tribulations of growing up, and this is another entry in that tradition. Oh, and there's pirate versions of many of your favourite Marvel characters, which is really pretty cool.


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