Current Reviews

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Ms. Marvel #44

Posted: Monday, August 31, 2009
By: Shawn Hill

Brian Reed
Sana Takeda, Dave Sharpe (l)
Marvel Comics
"War of the Marvels: Weak Points and Strong"

Plot: It's Ms. Marvel vs. Ms. Marvel, only there's a third one who thinks her name is Catherine Donovan. The war with the Dark Avengers is only getting started.

Comments: I've enjoyed what's going on with Osborn's Avengers this week and here Carol's rage against the fake Avengers has only intensified, though in a kind of twisted way. Presumably, she's been split in two, with one half the super-powered warrior Norman and Karla have in chains and the other a seemingly powerless human who nevertheless feels compelled to come to New York and Avengers Tower.

The costumed Carol is fun to read, as her threats to Osborn have a madwoman's intensity. If she's Carol's Id, Carol is wicked P.O.'d at the Goblin, and will stop at nothing to destroy him. Also fun is the dialogue between Karla and Norman. Not only is she continuing to enjoy her role in Ms. Marvel's attire, but it's only made her naturally assertive nature more outgoing. She has no qualms about correcting Osborn when his plans, in contradiction to her suggestions, keep fouling up. While her portrayal in other titles is less steady, in this book Karla is Norman's co-leader (as she was in Thunderbolts for him, Zemo and sometimes even Graviton), and her decisions are acted upon.

We also get the rest of the team springing into action to terrorize poor Ms. Donovan this issue and all of it ably delivered by Takeda's clear storytelling. Though her figures are extremely idealized and cartoonish, they retain that manga-level of sexual maturity and bursts of violent destruction. The colors especially are sophisticated, with emphasis on all the reds, whites, and blues in the Dark Avengers costumes, even as they always seem to glowering in ambiguous shadows.

This book has far outpaced the run of Ms. Marvel's previous title and is still going strong moving into its 4th year under the same writer. Can we say that Carol has achieved her goal of becoming an A-lister at last? Perhaps not yet, but she's certainly a thorn in Osborn's side and is sure to be a major player in the downfall of his Dark Reign.



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