Essentials is 'essentially' the first Ms. Marvel title. The book we're talking about reprints all of those (and a couple of Avengers...), but in B&W. If you can find any of these books- great, but you might have to pay well for them. Ms. Marvel had her own title again for fifty issues and these are well worth buying the trade paperbacks for the color and the story. Basically it picks up Carol Danver's tale after The House of M, where she was the world's premier super hero. She retained some memory of that other world and the fifty issue run starts with her deciding to become the 'best of the best' and ends with her being 'the best that she can be'.
You can run after threads of stories in the first run of New Avengers, Mighty Avengers and other books where she guest-stars a lot. She even spent a bunch of time as 'Binary'- a cosmically powered being, before returning to 'ordinary' super heroing on Earth. She's spent time as an alcoholic (like Tony Stark), she lost her powers and memory for a while when Rogue stole them, she's even been pregnant with and by an extra-dimensional being.
Carol's story is a long and convoluted one, going all the way back to the late sixties and well worth the exploration.
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