What Makes Ms. Marvel So Great

Created by : Bisha K. Ali, Kate Gritmon, Freddy Syborn, A. C. Bradley, Matthew Chauncey, Sabir Pirzada, Fatimah Asghar, and Will Dunn.

Directed by : Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah, Meera Menon, and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Written by : Bisha K. Ali

Starring : 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

At the height of the pandemic, Disney’s marquee streaming platform became the new home for the gargantuan Marvel Cinematic Universe — continuing the franchise’s expansions during the absence of theaters. For the most part, the platform has been utilized to expand on existing supporting characters that didn’t get their time to shine in previous movies. — as the episodic format allows more time for deeper stories and character development. So far this strategy has paid off for the MCU with the success of WandaVision, Loki, and so on. But with its latest offering — Ms. Marvel — the usually spectacle-driven cinematic universe has struck a chord with this wholesome entry… but why?

A Charming Lead

While this phrase is definitely overused — it very much applies here — as Iman Vellani was born to play Kamala Khan. Casting has always been the MCU’s most reliable strength, whether that’s from the striking gold with Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark or repurposing Tom Hiddleston as Loki after his audition for Thor. Vellani is charming, spunky, and just downright lovable — she brings out the spirit of Kamala Khan from the comics and manages to put her own spin to it ala Tom Holland with Spider-Man. 

A Different yet Relatable Story

(L-R): Mohan Kapur as Yusuf, Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, Saagar Shaikh as Aamir, and Nimra Bucha as Najma in Marvel Studios’ MS. MARVEL. Photo by Daniel McFadden. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The importance of representation in media cannot be understated nor underestimated. Which is why it was so pleasant to see Kamala’s Pakistani culture and family explored thoroughly. Whether it’s the beautifully presented Muslim traditions such as Friday Prayers and Eid celebrations, or the dynamics within her family members. But the real charm comes from making the audience realize that — despite the different cultural backgrounds — Kamala’s pakistani family aren’t all that different from ours.

A Hero that’s not Born out of Tragedy

Spider-Man, Batman, SupermanPop Quiz! — What do these characters have all in common? If your answer was “overused” then you weren’t exactly wrong, but the real answer is that ALL their origins come from a place of tragedy — dead uncle, dead parents, dead fatherrinse, wash, repeat. The tragic hero archetype is much less compelling when 99% of all the heroes we see on screen are using it. Which is why it was so refreshing to see that Kamala’s journey as a hero is a wholesome one.

Ms. Marvel is arguably Marvel’s most beloved show since the watercooler smash-hit that was WandaVision. It’s also a testament to Marvel Studio’s philosophy in expanding their universe as much as possible to new audiences — rather than be creatively stifled by their old legacy characters.

Ms. Marvel is Now Streaming On Disney+

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