REVIEW: Generations: Captain Marvel & Ms. Marvel #1

If you like take-charge women, time paradoxes, hero cameos and kicking alien butt, then Generations is just the book for you. We know Kamala Khan as Miss Marvel, a polymorph with aspirations to be more like Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel and badass extraordinaire. But when she’s thrown back in time during one of her battles, the young warrior finds herself as an intern for Carol, the then Miss Marvel, at the Daily Bugle. With her relationship with Carol in tatters during present times, Kamala finds herself determined to help her alternate reality boss with her dream of creating a successful women’s magazine, and when trouble arrives in the form of an extraterrestrial threat, she offers more than just editing advice.

With the magazine, and possibly the planet, in danger, will Kamala be able to aid her friend? Will Carol Danvers accept a second Miss Marvel appearing out of nowhere? And how will Kamala get home? The answers lie within, and you’d be crazy not to go digging for them.

Paolo Villanelli and Ian Herring make an amazing art team: Villanelli’s clean, bold lines are aesthetically pleasing, and I was happy to see that even with all of the movement that takes place in the story, the characters felt fluid. I didn’t get a vibe of them being posed or stiff, everything gave the appearance of natural movement and a nonchalance to their attitudes that many artists have trouble portraying clearly. With expressive features and body language that speaks for itself, Villanelli illustrated the Marvels perfectly, in my opinion. Herring used two differing color sets, and the stark contrast blew my mind. While Kamala falls into the time warp, her bright and bold colors of the modern-day give way to washed out and duller versions of the same colors, making it seem like the slip into the past was created by placing sepia-tinted glasses over the readers eyes. It made it obvious, instantly, that a major change in setting had happened.

And G. Willow Wilson used executed narrative to brings us up to speed. Scritching the reader to the stop with a record strike, Wilson delivers a fast paced story that skips no beats, and doesn’t waste time on extra details. With humor and heart mixed into her script, the characters came to life and were relatable, likable and affable. Even J.J. Jameson had an air of humanity to him that made him seem a little bit more real, and a little less like a charging bull. But I think my favorite thing about this story is the diversity and controversy of it. Kamala Khan, much like the talented woman who wrote Generations, is a Muslim female in a world dominated by white male characters. I’m very in love with the accepting tone of Miss Marvel being Muslim, and when paired with Generation’s Carol Danvers, who is attempting to bring equality of the sexes about with her magazine, the religious and feminist acceptance is empowering. I also liked the fact that the most direct threat to Danver’s women’s magazine isn’t society in this case, but another female. Maybe it’s a stretch, but I took it as commentary about women being in the way of equality sometimes as well.

It was such a relief to see a character that brought in something new to the table, without letting it become the elephant in the room. Kamala’s faith just simply is. There’s no flaunting of it, and no hiding of it, in her character design. She is even the one who offers up the idea of promoting feminism in a new light to Carol at a staff meeting: just because you’re a woman, it does not mean you have to give up make up, or give up your career. You can have both. You can BE both beautiful and successful. You can be anything, and still be a Miss Marvel. I can’t go in to too much, for fear of giving it all away, but this is a story that I think is going to be beneficial to a lot of young women as it progresses, and I cannot wait to see it grow.

Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Paolo Villanelli
Cover by Nelson Blake II

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