Certain things get me really excited in pop culture, namely instances of people “being in the know.” Maybe they did a lot of research, or maybe they were true fans who experienced or loved a thing, and they decided to nod to it. Either way, I get really excited when I read or watch something and can say “omg, that is so accurate!” Ms. Marvel #16 has done that, and it makes me want to hug G. Willow Wilson more than I already did.
I don’t know if this is an intentional nod, but I have to image it is. Years ago — 2005, to be exact, back when I was still hardcore into World of Warcraft — there was an in-game virus called Corrupted Blood that was an almost literal game-killer. The virus was picked up in Zul’Gurub, and afflicted characters would explode after x-seconds. Anyone who was exploded upon would be infected and so on and so forth. People would get their pets infected with the virus and summon them inside major cities, where they would wipe out everyone. Virologists have studied this phenomena because it gave them hints as to how people would act during a plague or viral outbreak. Cool, right?
I love that G. Willow Wilson has merely taken that to a more logical, real-world end. The idea that this virus was created as an experiment out of sheer boredom is a really nice touch. This issue has so very many nice touches, in a see of them, though. In fact, as an aside, whenever friends ask me to describe Ms. Marvel, as a series, that’s a word I always come back to: nice.
The virus, of course, has an extreme demand of Kamala, which is to add it to the S.H.I.E.L.D. mainframe, or else he’ll not only expose her secret identity, he’ll also expose the reason Zoe has been acting a little strange as of late. That reason being, she’s in love with Nakia. This shocks Kamala, only because it’s yet another reminder that she hasn’t been paying as close attention to her friends as she probably should be.
I was scared, for a moment, that Kamala was going to infect S.H.I.E.L.D., and I actually sighed and said “yes,” aloud, as she came to her senses. On one hand, it’s terribly unfortunate that Zoe is put into the situation she is, but on the other, we’re talking about S.H.I.E.L.D. But more on that in a moment. Zoe’s revelation to Nakia is another sweet moment, as Nakia confirms she doesn’t feel that way about Zoe, but that she will always be her friend.
One of the sub-themes of Ms. Marvel has always been that of being a good person, a good friend, and that teenage years are hard and confusing. Nakia’s reminder that Zoe’s transformation from stereotypical bully girl to something more honest is a good message. Now if only we can get that nice transformation and understanding between Kamala and Bruno…
Speaking of Bruno, his revelation that the virus is learning from us is of interest. The virus went nasty, very quickly, which makes sense. That it specifically targeted a hero, and wanted to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. tells us more on where this virus has been transmitting itself. Apparently bad people (Hydra?) play World of Battlecraft, too. Who knew? I’m still unclear on how it reads/possesses minds, but I’ll go with it for now. I just hope Kamala is correct and she can defeat it.
Author(s): G. Willow Wilson
Artist(s): Takeshi Miyazawa
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Publish Date: 03/15/17
Acquired via Purchase