Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Ms. Marvel #32

By Nathan Madison
Oct 25, 2008 - 16:15

     Ms. Marvel issue 32 begins an arc that, for the time being, removes itself from the storm of the Secret Invasion, and takes the reader back several years to a time prior to Carol acquiring her powers, a time when she was Major Carol "Cheeseburger" Danvers in the United States Air Force. Secret Agent Danvers, Part 1: Ascension begins with a cocky Tony Stark touring an airbase in Uzbekistan, praising the technological and maneuverability prowess of his newest product, a jet fighter

being produced for the United States. Upon questioning the Air Force's logic in giving the controls of his prototype to a man with the call sign "Cheeseburger", Stark is corrected by Cheeseburger herself, Carol Danvers. Carol is given a simple test flight mission into Afghani territory, but is shot down not too long after crossing the border; severely injured in her crash landing, Carol blacks out just as Taliban militants can be seen entering her line of sight. She awakens, and is introduced to the leader of her captors, who repeatedly tortures and humiliates her during his inquiries as to Major Danvers’ knowledge of something called Ascension, a subject of which she has no knowledge of. After several days, Carol manages to escape her confines, and finds herself in the middle of an Afghani city, with absolutely no idea where to turn for safety and a return to American territory.

     In reading this issue, I'm still amazed by this series' similarities to DC Comic's current Green Lantern ongoing series. Both characters are former Air Force personnel, a fact that factors heavily in their stories and interactions with their supporting casts; both, around the same time, have stepped out of current continuities recently in order to tell a Year One-sort of story (although in Ms. Danvers' case, this is more of a "Year Zero", than Green Lantern's just recently wrapped-up Secret Origin); and finally, both characters started their current series around the same time, after years of retirement (or death, in Hal's case) and have since become best-selling titles for their respective companies. Also in similarity to Green Lantern, Ms. Marvel has been a consistently good read, and this issue is no exception. Brian Reed has been with the series since its inception, and it shows; he knows how to write the character consistently and intelligently. From her jokes to her strength in facing her torturers in this issue, Reed is able to show that this is the same Ms. Marvel we have been reading about throughout the previous 31 issues. Reed also adds to Ms Marvel's history, giving the reader insight into events and situations that perhaps helped define the character as she is now, super powers or not. The tenacity and courage shown by the pre-powers Ms. Danvers is still there in her later, costume persona of Ms. Marvel, and this continuity of character is a real strength of the title.

     The art in Ms. Marvel has always been top-notch, and Paulo Siqueira's pencils continue this tradition in every scene he illustrates, from casual conversations to action sequences, to even the gruesome torture scenes in this particular issue (of which there are several). Speaking of the gore, some may be turned off by the violence, as it is slightly more bloody or gruesome than your standard super-hero slug-fest; however, this is not a super-hero slug-fest, but rather a violent story, taking place at a violent place and time, and, as such, there is really no other way to tell such a narrative.

     The strength of this issue, as well as the creative team as a whole that produced it, is the fact that a story can be told about a super-heroine, before she actually gained any superhuman powers or abilities, and it still looks, feels and reads like the same character; that is how one knows that the crew behind the issue knows what they are doing. Even stripping away everything "super" about the character, the character herself is still there and completely recognizable.

Rating: 9 /10

Last Updated: Feb 28, 2018 - 0:16

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