This week, the five-issue series Ms. Marvel: Beyond the Limit comes to a conclusion, but will Kamala get the classic Bollywood happy ending? The main exam contains a handful full of secrets, so scroll down to the Rapid Rundown if you’re looking for spoiler-lite mini-exams.
What did you think of this week’s new issues of Marvel Comics? Let The Beat know, here in the comments section or on social media @comicsbeat.
Ms. Marvel: Beyond the Limit #5
Writer: Samira Ahmad
Artist: Andres Genolet
Artist after the credits: Ze Carlos
Color artist: Triona Farrell
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover artist: Marshal Ahmed
In the last chapter of Ms. Marvel: Beyond the Limit, Kamala and her antagonist Qarin face off in a showdown over their shared power pool. With clever twists, brilliant characters and really funny dialogue (“Churrostan”), Beyond the limit was an unexpected pleasure. Issue five brings the main conflict together in a satisfying enough way while also promising further explanation in a sequel series (which I assume is an alternative to an ongoing series, probably based on the idea that marketing arcs to five issues that are then collected into a graphic novel-style TPB collections is easier than having new readers jump to issue 546 – whatever, just give me more Kamala).
Although it was revealed in a previous issue, I enjoyed the twist on the multiverse concept that defines so much of Marvel storytelling both on the page and on screen these days. Although parallel universes have long been a key part of the foundation of the Marvel Comics Universe, the recent critical and financial success of Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse means that teams among several “variants” of an individual character are all the rage.
Beyond the limit is well aware of this and, over its five issues, it plays with your expectations accordingly. It turns out that the doppelgänger Kamala is looking for is actually a distinct, shape-shifting character, Qarin, and what we thought was a universe that closely resembled a Bollywood musical actually turned out to be an illusion created by the same.
I had swallowed those red herring hooks, lines and sinkers, given how plausible they had seemed as a rig for the series, and so was pleased to see my expectations subverted. Even though “Shapeshifter Steals Hero’s Face” is almost as reliable as a Marvel Comics narrative device like “Multiversal Variant Team” has become, it’s all about levity in presentation…and it strikes a neat echo. of Kamala’s super heroic. origins.
Another aspect of Beyond the limit What I particularly liked was the inclusion of food in the story. I’m always a sucker for food in the comics, but it’s especially delicious when used for storytelling purposes in superhero books – another example is Deadpool’s need to consume foods high in calories after a battle to facilitate his healing factor.
In Beyond the limit, Kamala must destroy meal after meal as she and the antagonist, Qarin, share the same energy pool for their abilities. However, aside from serving an expositional function – demonstrating a source of conflict between Kamala and Qarin – it’s also hugely amusing when Kamala remarks in the middle of the confrontation that she feels like she “could murder ten gyros right now”.
Another story element that I enjoyed was the role played by Kamala’s secondary characters, especially Nadia Van Dyne, who was particularly prominent in the final chapter of the story. And the appearance of the Wasp is based on elements introduced in The Unstoppable Wasp: GIRL Agent and Championsmaking it a particularly welcome addition to the narrative.
Beyond the limit was a fun and interesting story that went to unexpected places, while still giving Kamala plenty of time to shine (and make lots of fun food jokes). With a solid antagonist and secondary characters, Beyond the limit is a recipe for comic superhero success.
Verdict: TO BUY.
- Amazing Spider-Man #1
- In the decade since I started reading ASM, I read six different “new beginnings” for Peter Parker. And although they are all similar in style, this is the one that might interest me the most. It’s not just that this issue ignores Spidey’s recent trend of having three to four saves to set up spinoffs. Zeb Wells writes a very classic Spider-Man, down on his luck, who can’t face a world that has passed him by. Everyone he loves goes on with their lives and Pete doesn’t seem to realize it. Of course, there are tastes of the past here: John Romita Jr. and Scott Hanna kill him on the line art and the oft-forgotten Digger’s return (last seen in 2003 and also drawn by JRJR and Hanna!) can’t be ignored. But the book seems to be moving forward for the first time in a while, even if that movement has a slow pace in this issue. Even JRJR’s art looks smoother and cooler with the colors of Marcio Menyz. I am not saying that this problem is a pitfall. But it’s one of the strongest introductions to Spidey I’ve seen in a long time, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where things go. —BC
- Hulk: Grand Design – Madness #1
- This week, the Grand Design franchise continues with the second part of Jim Ruggit is Hulk: Grand Design, spanning 40 years of the Bruce Banner character’s 60-year history. In Rugg’s retelling of the Hulk Saga, the focus is on Banner’s struggle to come to terms with his debilitating condition. Throughout the character’s long history, Banner and Hulk have been separated and recombined many times. Whenever Bruce Banner is exposed to gamma (or non-combined Hulk) radiation, the character is left incomplete, unable to stay alive, unable to function in society, and near death… But it always leads to villains monster fights — after all, the Hulk is part Frankenstein and part desperate parent trying to save child under car – and a few wicked laughs – the memoir of Betty Ross, fictional hulk is named after The Incredible Hulk #441 with a creative team including Medina Angel, Robin Riggs, Glynis Olivierand electric pencil. Artistically, Rugg leans on the “Design” part of grand design, masterfully playing with color, composition, and style to match each era of Marvel Comics. Even the jerseyshore Hulk from the late 90s and early 00s. Although Rugg’s art style changes to match each era, a change signified by updates in Marvel Comics Pontoon logo, it unifies the look of Hulk: Grand Design – Madness thanks to its commitment to play with design and bold colors against a backdrop of muted grays and yellows. —ROK
Next week: Giant Size X-Men: Thunderbird #1!