We Resolve That Doppelgänger Cliffhanger. Yes, we will never tire of saying that
Welcome fellow Kamala-Stans as we look at the next exciting issue of Ms. Marvel. Last month, I got the chance to interview author Samira Ahmed about her run on Beyond The Limit, which thus far, having read this most recent issue, is easily its most compelling issue to date. Having read every single issue of Ms. Marvel’s continuity now and in doing a comparison piece between G. Willow Wilson, Saladin Ahmed, and Samira Ahmed’s runs on the character, I wholeheartedly believe this current run is spectacular in showcasing Kamala’s best character traits, with Beyond The Limit issue 3 continuing that trend.
In issue 3 we see the conflict about the Kamala copycat come to a head as readers finally get to meet the very cool doppelgänger. Like much of the series, it’s not what you’re expecting: being very shapeshifting and conspiracy theory-driven – as issue three walks a tight line in bringing balance in-between what’s happened, Kamala’s Bollywood multiverse fiasco, and explaining just what’s up with the doppelgänger.
I stress it’s really the writing that blows me away here. Whereas former runs really looked at Kamala’s backstory or her role as a superhero, this series is our sort of getting to know Kamala as a hero in this universe while still juggling a comfortable level of fun. All for an exciting mystery about what it means for Kamala to be a hero. The responsibility but also her own history – as she’s been at it for over half a decade now. The series fits Marvel’s multiverse themes centered around the upcoming Multiverse of Madness. Samira Ahmed seems to really know Kamala, but also, just has a lot of fun with it. This is why I think so many people, including myself, are loving this run.
Some fun ones to keep an eye out for: Churrostan! And Kamala’s endless love of food, which to me is hilarious but also befitting given her powers. There are more callbacks to Spider-man here, as the tingle is yet again in play. Without spoilers, we really do get to relearn the ropes in this issue so to say, and see the best of Kamala and her process and her heroic philosophy. We also get a neat hero cameo – whom I’m starting to think that I should be reading as well. Given that this isn’t their first reference in this current run.
Though the big moment for most fans I think will be what happens by the issue’s end. The tone shifts in a generally surprising way that still feels very Marvel. But that revelation? I really wasn’t expecting it to happen. I think fans of the series will love it, and if you’re like me, will be super intrigued to see how it all ends as we start running into the penultimate issue.
The best thing about Samira Ahmed’s run on Ms. Marvel thus far is just how natural she is at capturing Kamala Khan’s worldview. Not just as a character but as a story on the whole and its importance. As someone who has a mixed-race little niece who is eagerly wanting to introduce her to things like S.T.E.M., I think this is exactly the type of series to set that example for young girls who’d like to pursue science.
Kamala is pretty awesome and The Beyond The Limit run is a multiverse love letter to that. And personally, I think fiction needs to be rounded, representation absolutely matters, and characters like Kamala are going to be just so essential to the cultural zeitgeist moving forward. Whereas comics in the 80s-90s broke censorship and barriers, I genuinely do think fiction now, comics and otherwise, work as sort of a protective space for its fans. A safe haven in a world that’s continually crumbling around us, yet somehow, more integrated than ever before.
These are troubled times. Joy and fun and laughter? We should take them where we can get them. This is why I think Kamala is what we need… especially for kids of color.