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‘Ms. Marvel’ Isn’t Getting the Love It Deserves, and That’s a Shame

Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan in Ms. Marvel

Marvel’s latest Disney+ series, Ms. Marvel, had its fourth episode premiere today, and there isn’t enough praise going around for the series online. I’m serious; this show is so incredibly fun and good and one that highlights its brilliant star, Iman Vellani, in a nearly perfect way. The tone of the series is more in the same vein as Hawkeye, in that each episode is fun and we get to learn more about the story as a whole, but with a main character who doesn’t shy away from who she is. Kamala is a fangirl in the best of ways, and despite her mother trying so hard to get her to stop her obsession with the Avengers, she doesn’t stop, and it’s inspiring in a way that speaks to any of us who have had our “obsessions” or nerdy tendencies questioned by our family.

But between Ms. Marvel fighting against Obi-Wan Kenobi and now Baymax dropping on the very same streaming service, with things like The Umbrella Academy and Stranger Things 4 Vol. 2 available elsewhere, it just feels like big buzz is elsewhere when Ms. Marvel really deserves all the recognition for telling an incredibly relatable story while also breaking boundaries for the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the first Pakistani-American, Muslim superhero.

The show itself is so easy to watch and enjoy. It just flows with Kamala’s powers and her journey into understanding herself so flawlessly, and it’s one of those MCU entries that just feels incredibly lighter than the other shows that have come out, and that makes it a fun time. There are aspects of the series that fans (especially Muslim fans) are criticizing, like that of the Djinn storyline, and those are the voices we should be listening to when it comes to what the show could be doing better on.

For me, I know what I love about the series, and I want to celebrate some of it! So let’s talk about some of the brilliant aspects of the series.

Kamala’s own journey

What we have is a show about a young girl both learning about her family and learning about her own place in this world. When she’s back in New Jersey, she’s working with Bruno to try to understand her powers while also fighting against the ClanDestine, as well as the Department of Damage Control. She has a lot working against her, and yet, she still finds the time to reflect about herself and her connection to her great grandmother.

And what was so beautiful about the fourth episode was that Kamala got to learn all about her history from the Red Dagger, and it informed a lot of her actions. But through all that, she also doesn’t change who she is. In the midst of searching for answers, when she goes to visit her nani, she’s wearing an Avengers Con shirt and is still just her nerdy, Avengers-loving self, and it’s what makes Kamala such a fun character to go on this journey with.

Mothers and daughters

Episode 4, “Seeing Red,” was a dive into the relationship that Kamala’s mother shares with her own mother, as Kamala is off trying to figure out what the truth is about the ClanDestine and her history. But it was so fascinating to see how Muneeba interacted with her own mother and how it then informed her relationship with Kamala. What we saw of Muneeba before this was her efforts to stop Kamala from letting her outlandish dreams consume her, and we got hints that someone in their family let their dreams take them away from the family.

She seemed both protective and someone who understood that her daughter was brave and had interests she might not understand, but it did seem like Muneeba wanted to give her daughter freedom to be who she was. Seeing her interact with her own mother changed how Muneeba reacted to Kamala, and the two shared a beautiful moment eating toffee together, and it showed us that they had a lot of growth left in their relationship.

Fighting against the odds

Yes, I know that Obi-Wan Kenobi was on at the same time as Ms. Marvel, but there’s no reason you couldn’t have watched both. A lot of people would log on to talk about Obi-Wan Kenobi and then comment on Ms. Marvel days later, and yes, sure, you have a preference, but it isn’t a good look to ignore the show, in my humble opinion, especially when it’s so good.

It is also a little bit of a side-eye moment to see what people are prioritizing over watching this show. It’s good and fun and an easy watch, so anyone not putting Ms. Marvel on their instant watch list? Questionable at best. Hopefully, the focus will shift to Kamala now that Obi-Wan Kenobi is done and it’s the big Wednesday show now on Disney+, because she deserves the praise.

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.