Comics/Graphic Novels

Bruno, Flyboys, and Storytelling: MS. MARVEL #15

Jenn Northington

Director, Editorial Operations

Jenn Northington has worked in the publishing industry wearing various hats since 2004, including bookseller and events director, and is currently Director of Editorial Operations at Riot New Media Group. You can hear her on the SFF Yeah! podcast nerding out about sci-fi and fantasy. When she’s not working, she’s most likely gardening, running, or (obviously) reading. Find her on Tumblr at jennIRL and Instagram at iamjennIRL.

It’s no secret that most of us are in love with Ms. Marvel — and Issue 15 brought that love to a whole new level.  Swapna and I had such an epic chat about it that we felt it was worth its own post. Read on for spoilers, squee, and some serious considerations!

ms marvel 15Swapna: Reading Ms Marvel now


yassssss. i am going to type my feels about it right now so i can hit enter when you’re done




J: a) whoa rape metaphors
c) omg who else has in her family is Inhuman???? i want it to be her mom SO BADLY.

S: Agree on all points

I can’t even
oh plus d) Star Trek AND Star Wars in-jokes

the KHAAAANNNNN scene, and the “flyboy” reference, and everything

J: and i kind of wasn’t shipping Kamala and Bruno
i liked their friendship even tho obvs he has other feelings
but after this issue, i just
i feel like it’s impossible not to want that for them. ALTHOUGH if it leads to eventual heartbreak and no more friend-time that would be horrible. i want them to be together forever, in whatever way makes the most sense.

S: Yeah, I KNOW
I wasn’t super into them together
And like I love that even though Bruno loves her, the friendship is what is the most important

he knows it’s not likely to happen, and that she likes someone else, and it doesn’t even matter. because he is there for her, and she has his back, and i want to hug them and squish them and love them all the loves.

S: totally
I love them
Each issue I’m reminded how much I love this comic

J: yeah it’s doing an incredible job of building the story.
i feel a little bit bad for the people who are reading it in trade actually

S: Me too
This is a comic that’s meant to be read in issues

J: we did the first trade at my graphic novel book group and people were like “Well there’s not much story here”
and i felt like, OMG YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW. it does so much good development that it then gets to build on.

This comic makes me ARM FLAIL

J: and i used to be a person who exclusively read in trade, so i understand why you would! i never thought i would be this converted to issue-by-issue reading.

S: Yeah, I agree. And there are still a lot of comics I prefer to have a chunk of, rather than just reading issue by issue. This was the first comic I started reading in issues, and I don’t think I ever could or would want to go back to trades.

J: and contrast that to my experience reading Pretty Deadly, which i can ONLY read in trades. the story is too complex for me to read it in bite-sized chunks.

S: YES. And I’m waiting for ODY-C in trades, because I was just not getting into it in issues, but I think it’s really good.

J: oh, that’s interesting! i’m loving ODY-C in installments but i wonder how much of that has to do with my familiarity/love for the source material. i am such a classics nut.

it makes me both wonder about and feel bad for the writers, because you can’t know how people are going to approach your work. there are so many different ways people absorb the stories, so many different timelines. i guess you can’t think about it too much or you’d drive yourself crazy?

S: Yeah! But I feel like some stories just work better in issues, for example G. Willow Wilson and Brian K. Vaughn are just MASTERS at making those 20-some pages work so well for a story.

J: right, and Wilson’s use of pop-culture references along with her A++ plotting is such a great recipe for success. we got Star Wars AND Star Trek in here, for crying out loud! and i am sure some other stuff that i missed — this rereads so well, too.

i have one last thing i’m wondering, which is a concern i keep having — will people discard or reject the messaging (like the earlier commentary on the friendzone, the rape metaphor, etc.) because it’s so blatant? i think maybe this is just a silly thing to be concerned about, since generally when i see tweets about Ms. Marvel they are often photos of exactly those panels, but i keep coming back to it.

S: I don’t think so–at least I hope not. I think because it’s told in such an entertaining and sympathetic way, that the messaging feels natural, even if it is blatant. It’s like the moment in a movie theater, where the hero says something that’s really obvious but it’s exactly what you want to hear at that moment, and everyone cheers. That’s how I feel about this comic, over and over again.

So, what did all of you think of Ms. Marvel #15?


Follow us on Instagram for more comics fun.