MCU Review: Ms. Marvel – Episode 1

by Miller C. Lashbrook

Side Note: I think I am going to switch from calling these “reviews” and instead call them “thoughts”. For me it makes more sense and feels right. People don’t need another person rating something, but they may want to hear my perspective on it.

Side, Side Note: There are no spoilers below.

Ms. Marvel is the exact show that I need right now!

If you read my June 2022 Update post from yesterday, you will know that I am in the middle of a soul search to find my dream again. In the middle of this to watch the premiere of Ms. Marvel, a show about a superfan of the Avengers becoming a superhero herself, starring a super fan of Marvel, all the while exploring her experience as a “little brown girl from Jersey City”, that was the exact thing I needed to see.

The costumes, set design, cinematography, it all captures what it means to be a teen nerd. Often times in genre content, especially in shows on the CW, we see the angst of being a teen; we see the emotional turmoil of having some semblance of agency for the first time. Ms. Marvel, however, does not go for angst, but rather what it means to be a dork. Kamala Khan is a total nerd and she gets to be the hero!

The episode opens with Kamala’s YouTube video recreation of the third-act battle from Avengers: End Game. I could not help but just smile because it reminded me of the stop motion Lego videos I used to make or the Christmas where my I asked for a digital camera (to make stop motion) and my dad got me a camcorder because he assumed I wanted to make traditional movies. This is why it infuriates me to no end when I see tweets or IMDb reviews with people saying they “just can’t connect with a Muslim girl”. I am a chubby, white, queer person from Florida but I am a dork, so I can of course relate to a fellow dork even if she is brown or Muslim or straight.

I know I am rambling at this point, but let me now talk about why I teared up watching this first episode. To date, the majority of the MCU protagonists have been characters that were created in the Marvel Comics before I was born; Many of them were even created before my mom was born. But Kamala Khan was created in 2013. Growing up my introductions to superheroes, like many around my age, were Power Rangers and the animated Marvel and DC shows of the 90’s. I did not read a comic in earnest until around 5th grade when they started having trade paper backs at the book fair. Through middle school I would scoop up whatever I could to read, but we didn’t have a comic book store near us. In my sophomore year of high school however I discovered that the public library had graphic novels. This was when I found Volume 1 of the Young Avengers and the Runaways. My first single issues of comics however came when I got a car and I could drive 45 minutes away to the nearest comic book store. This was roughly around 2013.

What I am trying to say is that Kamala Khan started her journey as a character when I started my journey as a lover of comics. Seeing Kamala get her own show (and be brought to life by the perfect actress) is like seeing a friend from high school thriving in their career.

This all being said, if you have gotten this far in my ramblings and have not watched the first episode of Ms. Marvel, please do so. I am sure that everyone will enjoy its charm and relate to Kamala some how.

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