Ms. Marvel completely surprised me. Going into it, I was expecting a simple, low-stakes, light-hearted series and, in short, that’s exactly what Ms. Marvel is. What I didn’t expect was for it to resonate so deeply with me and leave the lasting impression that it did. The show has a unique charm and feel to it and that’s mainly due to the incredible talent behind the camera and the shining star that is Iman Vellani. Let’s get into why I loved Ms. Marvel.
The best part of Ms. Marvel is undoubtedly Iman Vellani. The 19-year-old Canadian (always nice to see a fellow Canuck in the MCU) makes her acting debut in the show and she is just fantastic! Vellani was born to play Kamala Khan. Just like Khan, Vellani is a die-hard MCU fan and you can see that she loves these characters as much as we do. She brings so much charm and wit to the role that you can’t help but fall in love with her. I can’t wait to see more of Vellani and I hope that this show and The Marvels launch her career as she is a truly talented actress. I could go on and on about how much I adored Vellani in Ms. Marvel but there is still so much other great stuff we need to get to.
The most controversial thing about the show so far is, without question, Kamala Khan’s power change. Instead of being exposed to Terrigen Mist like in the comics, Kamala finds a bangle bracelet that gives her the powers. Despite this change, the reasoning that is given for this change makes sense and fits well into the story. Personally, I think that the visual look of her powers is much better this way and it also allows Kamala Khan to differentiate herself from another stretchy superhero. While not everyone will enjoy this, I thought it was good and the right move for the show.
The supporting cast of Ms. Marvel shouldn’t be overlooked. Kamala’s family consists of three great characters, but Mohan Kapur as Kamala’s father Yusuf is easily the standout to me. He’s a loveable, yet naïve, father who just wants Kamala to be happy. Kapur plays a character that, while common in film and television, is one that never gets old. Matt Lintz as Kamala’s best friend Bruno is another great addition to the cast and helps keep the often-daydreaming Kamala grounded in reality. Great performances all around.
Something else I thought was interesting was the comparisons to one of 2022’s biggest hits, Turning Red. Both stories follow a young teenage girl from an immigrant family who gets a power that runs within their family (Mei gets the Panda and Kamala gets the bracelet). Both Mei and Kamala have overprotective mothers and kind fathers. The biggest similarity is in the way that both characters go on a journey of self-discovery and the support they get from their friends. I loved these similarities, as I was a big fan of Turning Red, and watching this young teen’s journey really made me happy.
The tone of the show is a great mix of a classic Disney Channel or Nickelodeon show blended with Spider-Man: Homecoming. It’s got a light-hearted feel to it but, at the same time, it’s still a superhero show. If you grew up watching the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon, then Ms. Marvel is right up your alley.
Visually, the show is gorgeous. Every frame is eye-popping and full of color. Right from the opening scene and opening credits, you understand what the show is going to look like. There are some amazing extra details in the background like moving graffiti on the wall, cartoon speech bubbles that pop up, text messages appearing in the stars, and Kamala’s drawings coming to life. These special additions not only give this show a unique look, but they also give it a high re-watch value as you try to catch all the details.
Although this film won’t be tearing apart the multiverse like recent MCU entries, Ms. Marvel is a fun, light-hearted adventure that is very relatable. I think it will have great success and will be enjoyed by the masses. Iman Vellani shines as Kamala Khan and I know she’ll be a star someday.