Collects issues 1-5 of Ms. Marvel vol 2 and Giant-Size Ms. Marvel.

Writer: Brian Reed
Artists: Roberto de la Torre

The new Ms Marvel series starts right after House of M alternate universe story where our heroine Carol Danvers was the most popular hero in New York, a genuine celebrity who could do no wrong. Unfortunately for her, she still remembers that reality because in the here and now she’s not that perfect. She’s undoubtedly a hero but she’s also a recovering alcoholic and she has a tendency to rush into things without thinking. She was also permanently harmed by Rogue who absorbed her original powers along with her memories and personality.

She’s a long time Avenger and adventurer, so her brashness is a bit odd, like the writers don’t know what to really make of her. On the other hand, she used to be a pilot and they aren’t known for their contemplative personalities.

It’s also quite a challenge to introduce a long-time hero to the audience but the first issue does this just fine. (Of course, I met Carol when she was Binary, so I’m not really in the right position to judge new reader’s reaction.) A young man with the power to make words come into reality starts to read Carol’s book about her adventures in space. Unfortunately, his pictures start to impact the world around him and he conjures Carol’s old enemy to life again. The boy turns out to be an A.I.M project and we will see him again.

Next Carol fights the Brood for two issues. The Brood are being hunted by a being called the Cru who is also after some Cavorite Crystals which are powerful enough to destroy the world. Carol is injured quite badly in the fight but pursues Cru by herself. Carol proves here her continuing rashness because she loses the fight against Cru and a whole town is destroyed, killing thousands of people. This isn’t really an auspicious start for our heroine!

Then Traveler from House of M makes an appearance. He’s a sorcerer who can travel between universes and through time, and he’s fixated on Carol. (He wasn’t in the House of M miniseries, though. Maybe in the House of M: Avengers? I’ll have to look those up.) He seems evil enough but in these issues at least, he wasn’t terribly memorable. He’s babbling nonsense in the first issue and Carol contacts Dr. Strange for help. However, Traveler manages to incapacitate the good doctor who just has enough time to ask Carol for help. Unfortunately, I don’t think Traveler is very good at the time travel stuff. This plot line wasn’t satisfying to me at all. The fifth issue ends with a cliffhanger leading to Civil War.

A continuous plot point in the series is media. Carol has hired a publicist and is trying to lift her image in the media. This means interviews and appearances in TV-shows. Marvel heroes have always had quite a mixed relationship with the (in-world) media. X-Men are usually hated just because they’re mutants but sometimes they even get good press (usually a Christmas issue). The Avengers are usually adored and even get parades in their honor but sometimes they’re accused of being mutant lovers or murderers. No wonder Carol wants to be in control. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t interest me terribly.

Unfortunately, I don’t have Giant-Sized Ms Marvel and it’s not in Marvel Unlimited, either.

These stories are a bit rough start for Carol; she makes mistakes and in unsure of herself in way that feels a bit odd for a long-time hero but at the same time makes her more human. On the other hand, we see that she isn’t perfect and that she’s aspiring to do better.

Carol isn’t my favorite hero ever but she’s very interesting and I think she has a lot of potential. I loved her powers when she was Binary but now they’re more generic. (Oh, Marvel? Are you looking for a female hero for a movie or series of movies? Right here! Need spy stuff: Carol Danvers before she got her powers. Need space opera: Binary and the Starjammers. Straight superhero stuff: Ms Marvel/Warbird of the Avengers.)

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