I read comic books on the weekends, usually a few, as a way to reboot. The toxicity and exhaustion suffered during the work week -- the repetition, petty slights of coworkers, exploitation by supervisors -- requires strong tonic. My remedy is to go out for an early-morning run, followed by -- while the endorphins are still fresh -- a colorful Marvel superhero title or two.
Lately, I have been working my way through the new Ms. Marvel. In issue #11, G. Willow Wilson concludes her story arc oriented around The Inventor.
The Inventor is a clone of Thomas Edison -- the American genius who had a large stake in the creation of modernity with his inventions of electric light, power utilities, sound recording and motion pictures -- whose DNA has been inadvertently mixed with that of a pet cockatiel to create a monster with the body and mind of the famous inventor but the head of a bird.
The Inventor is harvesting the bio-energy of teenagers in order to power a slew of diabolical machines that he believes will save the world. In issue #11, Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, takes him out.
Author Wilson is making a Luddite statement here. Present-day youth is being sacrificed to sophisticated electronic machinery.
The terrific art found in the ten scans below is by Adrian Alphona. (The art to the cover of Ms. Marvel #11, depicting Kamala slurping down a gyro on the roof of her Jersey City home under a full moon, is by Kris Anka.)