Thursday, January 28, 2016
Ms. Marvel: No Normal is an entertaining, well-crafted audio adaptation of the first five issues of Marvel's new Ms. Marvel comic book, which features a Muslim-American teenager who gains superpowers after being exposed to a strange mist and- possibly- some strange alien beings.
This two-CD audio is done as a full-cast dramatization, and it's all very polished and involving, with top-notch acting and sound effects. It also helps that the friendly, perky Kamala Khan is an endearing, likable main character, making us care what happens to her in the wake of attaining her strange powers, which includes an ability to shape shift into practically anything.
The lack of a narrator, to quickly tell us what's happening, is a minor quibble here, as we have to rely solely on the dialogue and sound effects to picture exactly what's going on. But, while it may sometimes take a few extra seconds to piece together exactly what we're hearing, I wouldn't say things ever get outright confusing.
And while this entertaining, fun story is not political at all, I have to think that the likable, "normal American kid" vibe of young Muslim Kamala Khan, and the likable, non-threatening nature of her family, are entirely intentional. Good for Marvel for going against the grain of today's knee-jerk reactionaries.
I usually listen to audiobooks that simply feature a narrator reading a novel, but sometimes these full-cast productions with music and sound effects can be a nice change of pace. I enjoyed Ms Marvel: No Normal enough that I just might seek out the comic book series, written by G. Willow Wilson and drawn by Adrian Alphona, to experience the work in its original form.