Gone are the times when the Avengers were a nuclear and immovable trunk from which they started, like branches of a tree, characters and sub-films. ‘Ms Marvel’ is not only a series that moves away from the usual perspective of Marvel hero series, it also serves as a starting point for a reorientation of part of the franchise series
Also, ‘Ms. Marvel’ thus confirms that the promised multiplicity of tones and styles for Disney series is a fact: few characters are more suitable for it than Kamala Khan, a Muslim teenager with a completely normal life who acquires cosmic powers. Her vibrant and upbeat personality permeates the pacing and aesthetic of the series, which is brimming with animations, staging tricks, and special effects that recreate Kamala’s hyperactive wit.
The important thing is not that this style has reached Marvel, but that it works in opposition to other darker ones (‘Moon Knight’) or continuation (‘Hawkeye’). The appeal of ‘Ms. Marvel’ is not, of course, for all consumers of franchise series and movies, and that is an unequivocally favorable path: if Marvel generates dozens of headers and we all like them, it is because there is a clear lack of variety and approaches. What ‘Ms. Marvel’ is not going to excite everyone is, without a doubt, a good sign.
And this is just the start: in the episode that Disney + has released, the superheroic part is in a very secondary plane, if not practically absent. More important here are Kamala’s attempts to reconcile her life as an Avengers fan and typical teenage neuroses. It’s a shame that in today’s episode we start to get a glimpse of Kamala’s powers and they differ so much from the comics.
Other powers, other approaches
From Marvel they said that if they had left the powers of Kamala Khan like those of the extraordinary comic by Sana Amanat, G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (perhaps the last true swerve that the publisher has experienced), the result would have been closer to the body horror than to a youth series of superheroes, since in the comics, Kamala can stretch and grow parts of her body a bit in the style of Mr. Fantastic. Thus, one of the most interesting and perverse subtexts of comics is lost: the awakening of powers as the equivalent of the physiological changes of puberty.
It is not the only change with respect to the comic. For now, the series is much less incisive than its predecessor on racial, religious issues and the integration of a Pakistani and Muslim teenager in a neighborhood in the United States. The comic managed to be hilarious and, at the same time, very combative in those aspects, and in that the series falls short, as a competent transcript but not so fierce.
Where it does hit the target ‘Ms. Marvel ‘is in her approach that the fans are part of the Marvel Universe. Anyone who has genuinely enjoyed any corner of the MCU can see themselves reflected in her dedication and devotion to Captain Marvel. It is not only a tribute to the fans, but an acknowledgment of how they are part of the narrative of the MCU. The ideal would have been a vision with a hint of irony, but even seen from total innocence, the truth is that sequences like the opening one, which reviews the entire passage of the Captain Marvel by the MCU, it’s a technical and visual delight.
As we said, ‘Ms. Marvel ‘has already put a good part of her cards on the table (emphasis on mini-tragedies, little cosmic superheroism, narrative frenzy), but she still has a lot to prove. Six episodes will only be enough to introduce the character and not exhaust the viewer, but her real challenge lies beyond: will it be ‘Ms. Marvel’ an important beacon in the way or a mere isolated experiment?