The expanded MCU’s newest superheroine is here, and she’s Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan. She’s like most 16-year-old girls who have challenges at home and school. She’s also very passionate about the things she loves – not sports or bands, but drawing and superheroes! MS. MARVEL’s debut hits all the right notes: It’s interesting, fun, funny, perfectly cast, and deserves your time and attention.
Imagine being a kid growing up in a world where Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, Hulk, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, and others are real! There would be millions of kids and teens worldwide looking up to them. Kamala LOVES the Avengers, especially looking up to her personal hero Captain Marvel. She’s also an artist and creates social media videos around her artwork using her favorite heroes. Kamala is a first-generation American in a Muslim family, and her parents, like many parents everywhere, want the best for her and can be a bit strict with their rules.
I’ve only read a few MS. MARVEL comic issues (from the rebirth in 2014), but the pilot absolutely hit the nail on the head in its similarities to the comic. I’ve seen some comparisons to the style of the film SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, but when Edgar Wright made that, he borrowed heavily from the Pilgrim comics and stylized that film around its source material and other comic books. MS. MARVEL doesn’t need to be inspired by SCOTT PILGRIM when it has decades of Marvel comic-book inspiration to draw from already.
Kamala Khan is such a wonderful character to introduce to the live-action MCU. She’s just an average teenager and carries many of the traits that anyone who is or has been a teen can relate to. I wish there had been more characters like her on TV or the big screen when I was a teenager. It’s even more important here to acknowledge that she’s not another white hero like most of The Avengers. While there wasn’t a lot of strong female representation in film & tv when I was a kid, there was far less for kids of color and never a heroic character who was Muslim.
MS. MARVEL is easily the most accessible live-action MCU show for new fans, whether they be kids (appropriate for young kids so far) or just folks who aren’t familiar with the Avengers yet. I’m really excited to see where this story goes, how far it deviates (or not) from the recent comic-book storylines, and absolutely all-in with star Iman Vellani as the titular character. She brings charm, wit, and a very relatable aura to her role.
MS. MARVEL streams on Disney+ with new episodes every Wednesday.