Last weekend was the February meet-up of Cornwall Graphic Novel Group, a community reading group that meets in Falmouth each month. You can find our more details on our next meeting on the Cornwall Graphic Novel Group website and Facebook page. This month’s meeting was about Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel. Due to reasons that we’l be explained later, we didn’t get to discuss the original character.

Kelly Sue DeConnick

Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick was tasked with bringing Captain Marvel into the Marvel NOW comics event that’s now been running for almost two years. One of the main things we discussed during this meeting was how she had managed to update the character from design through to attitude. See, Ms. Marvel has now become Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel issue 9 img 1I had never read a Captain Marvel comic before preparing for this meet-up and yet DeConnick managed over 17 issues to ground you in the basics of the Captain Marvel mythos and re-introduce the character of Carol Danvers. From her love of machine powered flight and skills as a pilot to her desire to be the best she can be and help people small or big: the character in the current comics is someone you could look up to. And her redesign (the top image is her old Ms. Marvel style) isn’t over the top and some of the art styles used through the issues has been awesome. Many at the meeting had fallen in love with the art of Filipe Andrade, which really shines in issue 9.

The new Ms. Marvel

February also saw the first issue of the new Ms. Marvel comic. It is also the first time that a main character with their own comic is also a Muslim in the Marvel universe. G. Willow Wilson is the writer here, herself a Muslim, and has so far conjured up a character who is believable and someone readers can sympathise with, if not empathise.

Ms Marvel issue 1 img 1Kamala Khan, to the group, seemed like an even greater breath of fresh air than the new Captain Marvel. Mostly because the representation of Muslim women in western media seems even more constrained than the representation of women in western media. Here we all found a detailed character who is the kind of teenager a lot of girls and women who like comics can identify with (fan fic projects, parents who dictate what you can and can’t do). I’m looking forward to reading more of this series.

And one more thing

If you’re ordering physical copies of TPBs or comics online to help you read up for a comic reading group meet? Make sure you triple check the expected delivery date of the books. My copy of Essential Captain Marvel: Volume One, which was of the original character, turned up after I had to leave for the meet-up. I’d ordered it at the end of January and it was within the delivery window.

The date for the next CGNG meet has yet to be decided, but it will be our birthday meet. So if you want to celebrate our third birthday, please keep an eye on the CGNG website or Facebook page for when and where it will be in March.