The Following Recap/Review Contains Spoilers for Episode 1 of ‘Ms. Marvel’
Ms. Marvel has been a show in the works since the Summer of 2019, and the first episode dropped today. When early reactions dropped saying this was more focused on a younger audience, I wasn’t sure how this show was going to work for me, so I was surprised when I liked it so much! Ms. Marvel was developed in 2013, and is the first Muslim character to headline her own comic book. I have no background in her series, but I do know there have been some substantial changes to her powers, but also reportedly her backing characters. I can’t speak to those facts, so I will be judging the show based on itself alone.
As far as the editing of the show goes, there’s a ton of cool editing. It’s very reminiscent of Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse with drawings that come up on the screen, and there are a lot of cool ways to display text messages utilized. It can throw you off a little at first, but once you’re used to it it really works. Directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life), this show develops Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) well. Her relationship with Bruno (Matt Lintz) is a little strange and definitely plays off as if he likes her, but has been friend-zoned. That’s not a suggestion I like making, but they’re just a little weird on screen together. It’s not quite clicked for me, them being best friends. Otherwise, Iman as Kamala works perfectly. She’s so vibrant and full of energy, I love it.
The plot for this episode centers around “Avenger Con”, the first one ever, celebrating Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Kamala has an enormous desire to attend, dressed as Captain Marvel, but is scared to ask her parents for permission. Bruno pushes her to ask, and she ends up doing it, only to get told no. Her brother Aamir (Saagar Shaikh) says he’ll talk to their parents, and they come in in the morning to give her permission. Provided, she dresses in her mother’s handmade Hulk costume and attends with her father in a handmade Hulk costume as well. Kamala refuses, saying it would be too embarrassing. She decides to sneak out to attend, grabbing one of her Nani’s bangle/wrist cuffs as her customization to the costume.
Running late, Bruno and Kamala make it to Avengers Con and have the time of their life visiting all the booths. She gets ready for the Captain Marvel costume content, and seconds, before she gets on stage, puts the bangle on and is transported to a new world and back, while her body glows with diamond-looking energy. She has superpowers! Not used to them, she puts on a display that catches the eye of the Department of Damage Control in a mid-credit scene. Two hours past her predicted time of arrival in her initial plan, Kamala, with her powers and Bruno’s help gets back into her bedroom, to find her mother Muneeba waiting for her. Kamala’s damaged her relationship with her mother, but maybe a little too distracted by her newfound powers to recognize it.
It is great to see so much Pakistani representation on screen in the MCU, even if it doesn’t match up with the comic characters exactly. And while I can’t draw comparisons directly to Islam, being raised by a conservative Christian family (and being a terrible driver), I can relate to most of the family drama on screen. Heck, most people who have been dress-coded know, it’s hard when you’re expected to account for everyone else’s problems. I’m glad they allowed it to focus on Kamala’s family, and hope to see them all fleshed out a little more. I imagine Kamala’s main emotional conflict will be with her mother for the rest of the season.
Overall, Ms. Marvel hits a lot of highlights for me! I love that it’s relatable to a lot of people. There are some definite points needing improvement, mainly in the supporting cast, but it’s understandable in a main origin episode to focus on the star. Vellani is going to do big things and has a truly bright future as Ms. Marvel. Also, I loved Black Widow finally got a spot in a memorial. –Katie Rentschler
Ms.Marvel new episodes drop on Disney+ every Wednesday. Episode 1 is streaming now.
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