Marvel has given us a lot of different things in their live-action Disney+ series to this point. We’ve seen a dramatic journey through television history, an action-forward political drama, a time-traveling sci-fi story, a comedic holiday romp and a psychological horror story. Now, as they get ready to introduce one of the heroes of the future, Marvel is giving us a high school comedy with Ms. Marvel.
You can’t start a conversation about Ms. Marvel with anything other than its star. Iman Vellani is the perfect Kamala Khan. She has a charisma and a charm about her that will have the audience on her side the second she appears on the screen. Since Avengers: Endgame Marvel has been on a mission to reassemble the talent that will carry the MCU and they have hit again here in a big way. Iman Vellani is Marvel’s next big star.
The rest of the cast around her also does a fantastic job. Matt Lintz is perfect as the lovable and nerdy best friend Bruno while Yasmeen Fletcher delivers the classic high school sidekick performance as Nakia. Mohan Kapur delivers a fun performance as Kamala’s father but it’s Zenobia Shroff as Kamala’s mother who really gets to shine.
The charm of the cast is elevated by the fun and playful style of this show. Kamala’s fan art comes to life throughout the show and brings a color to the visual that we have not seen in the MCU to this point. There’s an energy and a style to this series that really makes it feel unlike anything else and will have to smiling from start to finish. The music, whether it be soundtrack or score, adds another layer to that as well.
And all of that plays perfectly against the uniqueness of this story as far as the MCU is concerned. This isn’t your typical superhero battling an alien to save the city type of story. This is a coming of age, high school comedy that delivers heart and humor throughout. It compares best perhaps to comedies like Mean Girls or Superbad, though much more family friendly than the latter, and of course with lots of other elements thrown in.
The biggest difference between this series and other MCU projects is the role of an antagonist. Almost every other film or series would take the time early on to introduce a villain of some sort who would serve as one of the main characters in the story. Ms. Marvel doesn’t have that, at least not in the early going. This show is about a teenaged girl dealing with all the typical problems of a teenaged girl as well as the concept of her potentially becoming a superhero. If a villain is to play a role in this series, it’s a secondary one at best and that actually works to this show’s advantage.
One of the big points of this series was always going to be representation, with Kamala being Pakistani and Muslim. Marvel certainly delivered on this front as that representation can be seen throughout the show’s first two episodes. Much of the show takes place in the home of Kamala and her family and the audience gets a taste of what their normal life is like, outside of the superhero elements of the story.
One of the biggest sticking points for fans of the Ms. Marvel comics was the change in her abilities for this series. In the comics, Ms. Marvel simply has the ability to grow and stretch in amazing ways. Here though, she unlocks some kind of cosmic power that comes complete with a purple glow and makes her abilities much more cinematic. While some fans are sure to hold a grudge for changing anything at all about their favorite comic character, these changes work well for the show and are consistent with that colorful energy it constantly puts forth.
Overall, Ms. Marvel is on track to be one of the strongest Marvel series to date. It grabs you right from the beginning with its infectious energy and colorful style. And if that doesn’t get you, Vellani is sure to reel you in. The charismatic and charming star delivers everything Marvel could possibly want and more. Fans are not only going to be itching each week for the next episode of this series, but they’ll be ready to burst with excitement as they wait to see more Kamala Khan in the future of the MCU.
Ms. Marvel will premiere on Disney+ on Wednesday, June 8.