Marvel’s MS. MARVEL series has been no stranger to critical acclaim since its debut in 2014.  If sales and reaction from critics and fans alike is any indication, G. Willow Wilson’s tales of Pakistani-American Kamala Khan’s transformation into and adventures as the titular character have been embraced in a way rarely seen from new Big Two properties this century. The latest accolade for the series is a victory for Best Series at the Angouleme International Comics Festival. The win, specifically awarded to the series’ first arc collected in the “NO NORMAL” trade paperback, is the first ever for a Marvel series.

READ: Want to know what all the fuss is about? Check out our on-going reviews of MS. MARVEL!

In reaction to the win, Den of Geek reported that writer G. Willow Wilson stressed the importance of the series’ representation of a Muslim lead character at a time when Islamophobia seems to be growing on a daily basis, saying:

“Working on this book and connecting with readers and fans has been a unique joy for all of us. At a time when it sometimes seems that the world is in a state of constant conflict, it is a privilege to work on a series that unites us through adventure, humor and a celebration of our common humanity.”

MS. MARVEL’s win comes at a time of controversy for the festival. While the Angouleme is very highly regarded, generally drawing 200,000 guests, this year’s installment has been met with a firestorm of criticism due to the festival’s Grand Prix lifetime achievement award nominees. When the list of 30 potential recipients was announced, it was noted by many that not a single nominee was female. Due to the resultant backlash, over half of the nominees, including luminaries such as Brian Michael Benids, Daniel Clowes, and Milo Manara, removed themselves from consideration for the award.


The festival initially stood by their choices, with festival executive officer Franck Bondoux telling french newspaper Le Monde, “Unfortunately, there are few women in the history of comics. That’s the reality. Similarly, if you go to the Lourve, you will find few women artists” according to Robot 6. As the pressure mounted, they eventually pledged to add female names to the list, but the gesture was seen as too late by many.

LISTEN: Check out our Comicsverse Podcast episode dedicated to Kamala Khan.

While it would be easy to let the controversy surrounding the Grand Prix to overshadow MS. MARVEL’s victory, we here at Comicsverse hope that’s not the case. Anyone who has read any of our articles on the series or listened to our Podcast on Kamala knows that many here are big fans of the character and series, and we offer congratulations to G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona (artist of the awarded volume), and editor Sana Amanat for the win.

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