“Don’t Mess”: Miss Marvel #5

I kind of love that I started and ended this week with Jersey, I’m not going to lie. While Kamala, a well behaved daughter of Pakistani immigrants, has little in common with Frankie and the boys, she has that thing that many of us from The Garden State share.

Kamala yearns.

Sure, a lot of young people yearn. A lot of people yearn. But for some reason, our tiny little state, which is so often the butt of the joke has been the setting for some pretty kick ass yearning that lead to some intrinsically awesome art.

Shut up, if I want to declare Born to Run and Clerks art, I’m going to. (One of those might be more “art” than the other…)

Yes, this issue showed Kamala saving Vick. Yes, she got her costume. Yes she declared herself against The Inventor, and yes she had an amazing conversation with her father where she did and didn’t tell him her secret all at one.

But really, thinking about this issue, I’ve got two images in my head. One, is Kamala in front of the Circle Q, in full Ms. Marvel gear, delivering the following speech:

This guy thinks he can threaten us where we live? Ms. Marvel has a message for him. This is Jersey City. We talk loud, we walk fast, and we don’t take any disrespect. Don’t Mess.

That’s as Jersey as it gets friends. Yes, I grew up in the affluent suburbs, but I still understand how this state works. We’ve got a bit of a chip on our shoulders here, but don’t mess with us. We don’t like it. We will yell, we will push.

But the other image is the cover. This might be one of my favorite covers ever.



It’s simple, Kamala sitting on a street lamp, gazing at the spotlight. Yes, like Sinatra, Springsteen and Smith before her, Kamala Khan is in the shadow of the big city across the bridge. The skyline is a massively huge part of your life if you’re from here. Lookout points are the best places to hang with your friends on teenage summer nights. Glimpses of The Empire State building aren’t rare and I still lose my breath every time.

But it’s just the way things work. You don’t get to be a Jersey Icon unless you yearn to cross the river. But of course once you do, none of those snotty New Yorkers better cross you, or say anything against Jersey, because then, well, we’ll lay you on your ass.

Or I guess now, Ms. Marvel will.


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