Starring: Iman Vellani, Matt Lintz, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur.
Series created by: Bisha K. Ali.
Ms. Marvel comes at an interesting time of growth for the MCU. Multiverses branch into the infinite while in the main MCU (Earth-616), a new generation of heroes emerges with new takes on familiar legacies. Many heroes have already experienced their "passing-of-the-torch" moments, introducing us to a hopeful, post-Endgame future. After seeing the first episode of Ms. Marvel, I'm confident that the future is bright.
The first episode of Ms. Marvel shines with a bright light of goofiness and fandom. Actor Iman Vellani is Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel. Vellani's love for these characters is apparent in every scene and had me giddy with excitement alongside her; however, the real winner of this episode is the character work. Episode one feels no rush to get to the action, opting instead to dive into the Khan family dynamics. Kamala is a normal teenage girl with annoying parents, looming siblings, and daunting expectations. She escapes into Avengers fan fiction and memorizes trivia. Just as the Avengers are our heroes, so too are they Kamala's. Our protagonist is a version of us, and this episode does a great job selling the everyday aspects of the Khan family and Kamala's struggle to fit in at home or otherwise.
Ms. Marvel immediately sets itself apart from the general veneer often seen in the MCU (that algorithmic Russo Brothers vibe with slight grey tint). I'm not here complaining; I can understand an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality, but it's revitalizing to see the unique stylistic identity Ms. Marvel is crafting for itself. Colors pop and run rampant on the screen, bringing the cosmic light shows of the MCU's space-faring titles down to Earth. Text conversations are displayed via neon signs or graffiti, tying our characters to Jersey City more intrinsically. I felt at home in the little time we are given out and about in Kamala's hometown. There is an overall down-to-Earth feeling that mimics the comics and is simply inviting.
I implore you not to miss this wonderful series in the making. As dominoes begin to fall, I foresee this series building some exciting materiel in the MCU's future. For those that aren't everyday comic readers, I know new origins can be a lot. So I hope you'll give some of my Reading Recommendations a try. You've gotta get a good understanding of Carol Danvers, the legend, the first Ms. Marvel before Kamala (not really, but go with me on this). For that, check out Captain Marvel: Higher, Further, Faster. Then jump right on in to Kamala's original adventures and origin in Ms. Marvel: No Normal.
Be sure to catch new episodes of Ms. Marvel every Wednesday on Disney+. In the meantime, Episode 1 starts the series off strong with FOUR OUT OF FIVE POPS!!!!!
Austin Kemp read Batman #315 (Batman vs Kite Man) when he was 5 years old, and hasn't stopped reading comics since. Austin is a college writing teacher and has a masters degree in Comics Studies. Austin and his partner, Savanah, live in Massachusetts with their master, a cat named Chaplin.