The second major Disney+ MCU arrival of 2022, Ms. Marvel, is not far off – and, similar to Moon Knight before it, it embraces the significant errand of acquainting a fresh out of the plastic new person with the common universe without the implicit support of a current person to go about as a co-star. That is about where the likenesses between the two shows end however – which, peculiar as it might sound, is really something to be thankful for. Saying that Ms wouldn’t be altogether precise. Marvel is a “reexamination” of the Disney+ MCU equation – it’s still a lot of a Marvel show- – yet it feels totally particular from the shows that preceded it, and it figures out how to inventively tackle a portion of the issues its ancestors have faced (both on the big screen and the little.)
Featuring Iman Vellani, Ms. Marvel adjusts the comic books of similar name and recounts the narrative of Kamala Khan, a dorky teen who has experienced childhood in a world populated by superheroes making all the difference. Khan is a guaranteed fan- – she runs a virtual entertainment channel committed to legends, zeroing in on her #1 of the bundle, Commander Marvel, and in any case does what teens do: battles against her severe guardians, bumbles through school, messes about with companions, you know, the works. That is, until the day she coincidentally finds an old family legacy that concedes her superpowers of her own.
Comics fans will note promptly that a few significant changes have been made to Kamala’s abilities and history – gone is her body-distorting “embiggening” and her barbaric starting points, supplanted by a bracer that concedes her the capacity to make “hard light” projections. Tragically, these capacities are about comparable to the other MCU’s quality concerning generally speaking enhanced visualizations – they look truly sad and low spending plan – yet the account decisions and story beats encompassing them really take care of business competently. The updates to Kamala’s powers make her story quickly more private, and the stakes a lot higher for her loved ones. Also, discussing her family, they’re by a wide margin probably the most grounded part of the show.
Close by Kamala herself, her mom, Muneeba (Zenobia Shroff), father, Yusuf (Mohan Kapur), and more established sibling Aamir (Saagar Shaikh), give the pulsating heart of the show. Kamala’s homelife is on the double unbelievably well defined for her Pakistani history, and quickly unmistakable to any individual who has at any point been a young person with interests their folks simply don’t exactly have the foggiest idea. Muneeba and Yusuf, explicitly, get probably the most entertaining gags across the initial two episodes that were accommodated review, and give the absolute most consistent article the MCU has figured out how to convey in some time.
Outside of her home life, Kamala attends high school with her best friends Bruno (Matt Lintz) and Nakia (Yasmeen Fletcher)–both of whom are perfectly engaging as characters, but struggle to stand out in the high school setting. Ms. Marvel’s biggest stumbling point is its high school side-stories, where it struggles to make itself distinct from any other generic coming-of-age story about nerdy kids and popular bullies. Outside of the classroom scenes and school politics, both Bruno and Nakia start to shine, with Nakia specifically really gaining forward momentum as she begins to develop her own side plot at the local mosque.
Visually, Ms. Marvel may not be quite as hyper stylized as WandaVision, but it still manages to make a very unique impact. Throughout the first two episodes, the live-action reality is encroached upon by Kamala’s imagination, literally doodling over scenes and cutting away to long, fantasy digressions. It’s charming–and, critically, the hand-drawn visual effects actually do look great (unlike many of the other digital effects.) It all serves to give Ms. Marvel its own unique identity within the MCU’s desperately crowded pantheon–something that serves it immeasurably in terms of establishing Kamala as a brand new character.
In addition to the visuals, Ms. Marvel also doesn’t shy away from facing the fact that it is part of a shared universe head-on. Unlike Moon Knight before it, which neglected to make even a passing reference to the greater MCU across its first season run, Ms. Marvel wants viewers to know exactly where it stands. Kamala is an expert on the MCU’s events–she’s been watching from the sidelines with interest, despite being in no way involved in any of them–which gives her a fun outsider-slash-fan perspective from within the universe itself. Kamala’s got her own ideas of what happened during Endgame, for example, and sure, maybe they’re not entirely accurate, but at least she’s able to point to these events and acknowledge that they affected her in some small way. It really does help her story feel like it has some greater level of consequence in terms of Phase 4’s progression, rather than yet another mysterious new character who may or may not pop back up in the future.
Of course, this review is based solely on the first two episodes, provided for screening by Disney. With six in total, there is still plenty of space for twists or surprise reveals down the line–so it’s probably best to not bank on anything as a certainty until the season finale debuts in July. That said, based on these early episodes, Ms. Marvel is an extremely fun, deeply charming watch with a cast of great new characters and a gravity that other Disney+ MCU projects have been lacking.