To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, Ms. Marvel is a coming-of-age superhero series based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The show is produced by Kevin Feige with Bisha K. Ali (Loki) serving as head writer and Adil & Bilall (Snowfall) leading the directing team. Featuring Iman Vellani, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh, Laurel Marsden, Azhar Usman, Rish Shah, Arian Moayed, Alysia Reiner, Laith Nakli, Nimra Bucha, Travina Springer, Adaku Ononogbo, Samina Ahmad, Fawad Khan, Mehwish Hayat, Farhan Akhtar, and Aramis Knight, it is the seventh of many Disney+ limited series and shows set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Meaning it shares continuity with the films of the franchise. The story follows Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old Muslim Pakistani-American Captain Marvel fangirl from New Jersey who discovers she has superpowers after putting on a mysterious bangle she received from her grandmother.
A recap of the events of Avengers: Endgame using paper cutouts and digital animation is narrated by Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) for her YouTube channel Sloth Baby Productions. As she uploads her video to the platform her mother Muneeba (Zenobia Shroff) calls her downstairs so that they can leave for her driving test. She engages in conversation with her father Yusuf (Mohan Kapur) and brother Aamir (Saagar Shaikh) before heading out the door. After failing her driving test Kamala heads to school and talks with her friends Bruno (Matt Lintz) and Nakia (Yasmeen Fletcher) about the upcoming AvengerCon. They are almost done with her Captain Marvel cosplay but feel it needs one final flourish to make it stand out.
Since Kamala failed her driving test they no longer have a ride to the convention. Bruno thinks Kamala should ask her mom, but Kamala doesn’t think it’s a good idea. After rejecting her parents’ plan to take them as long as her father chaperones and she wears a Hulk costume, Kamala decides to sneak out. After going over her plan with Bruno, he surprises Kamala with glowing gloves as the pièce de resistance for her cosplay. After they arrive at Camp Lehigh for the convention Kamala loses her gloves in the bathroom. She then decides to wear a mysterious bangle she received from her grandmother and gains the ability to control a “hard-light” like substance.
Ms. Marvel is the first Muslim Pakistani-American superhero in the comics and this series celebrates that as much as possible. From the language, the family uses when speaking to each other to the food they eat to the breakdown of the different groups at the local Mosque. This series is excellently crafted to promote Muslim and Pakistani culture. The series also doesn’t shy away from how Muslims have been treated in this country. Like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier did with the Black community before it, Ms. Marvel displays how numerous microaggressions can lead to a group of people feeling that they are treated unfairly. This series also takes time to explore the history of Pakistan and how the partition of India affected many different families.
The best part about this series is Iman Vellani. She radiates a joyous and carefree nature every time she appears onscreen as Kamala. Her character is very similar to Peter Parker in that she idolizes a specific hero and wants to do her to be like them. Kamala is also a daydreamer who wishes to have more than what her mundane life offers. Which sometimes causes her to ignore the good she has around her. We also get to see her in a high school setting, which so far, has only been seen in the Spider-Man movies. Even though this series has a female lead, it’s not bogged down with the drama of Mean Girls (which is a fantastic film) or the love story of The Fault in Our Stars. If anything, Ms. Marvel likens itself to Clueless or Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. While there are bits of love and drama, it’s not the focus of the story.
Like some of the other MCU Disney+ series, Ms. Marvel starts strong, but then loses some steam in the second half. I feel this is due to the limits of the six-episode season that doesn’t allow for fully fleshed-out characters or stories. The villains reveal themselves after less than an episode onscreen and are dispatched just as quickly. Some of the VFX are also sloppy indicating the rumors of Marvel Studios overworking VFX artists and not giving them enough time to properly finish projects. There is a scene in episode four that looks very “cable tv” showing where the budget was lacking in this series.
Overall, this series is a fine addition to the MCU. A coming-of-age story that toes the line between Clueless and Scott Pilgrim with a dash of Spider-Man. I give Ms. Marvel an Average 3.9/5. I thoroughly enjoy watching this character and can’t wait to see her interact with Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau in The Marvels.