I’m going to pretend I haven’t seen/read the comments and reviews that basically boil down to “a Muslim American can’t be a superhero, and because this story is about a Muslim American teen, it’s not really a superhero book”. Despite the fact that in many ways, this is Spider-man: family issues, school issues, identity issues, except it happens to be a female character who also happens to be a person of colour and a Muslim. There is nothing in the set of issues here that wouldn’t be right at home wearing a different mask in Spider-man. He spends just as much time building up to getting the costume, just as much time or more actually becoming a superhero.
I did find that this TPB stopped just where I wanted things to really begin for Kamala. It’s a little too short, not giving me enough to really hold onto. I like Kamala, I like her family, I like the quirks of the art and what we’ve seen so far — I just haven’t seen enough yet to know how much I’m going to like it. This TPB is really just an origin story, and we have yet to see Kamala meet the wider world.
It’s great as an origin story, but I’m not hooked yet.
And before you ask, Spidey took me a while too.