If an irreducible detractor of superheroes until now could have clung to a trite criticism, such as the fact that in comics or cinecomics they always focus on the same characters, now they no longer even have this superficial line of defense: Marvel, in fact, at the last D23 he even thought of such individuals with the announcement of a TV series focused on Kamala Khan, the most recent identity that has taken the name of Ms. Marvel.
And by recent we mean a character who made his first appearance in 2013 and which has only had its own magazine since 2014. For a comic, it literally means being born yesterday and it is pleasant to note that i Marvel Studios however, they have a certain eye for the most recent productions of the House of Ideas.
However Kamala’s introduction into the MCU really seems to be a natural step, a spontaneous evolution of what this shared universe has been up to now, and the fact that the House of Ideas points a lot on this characters also on the gaming side (read here how important Kamala is in the review of the single player of Marvel’s Avengers) says it long. The reasons are many and cover all the peculiarities and key points that made Kamala a character immediately loved and rooted in the world of nerd culture, and now we finally have some more information.
But let’s take a small step back, because Ms. Marvel’s name is not so closely related to Kamala Khan’s, but to another well known to Marvel fans – namely Carol Danvers. Ms. Marvel, in fact, is a newspaper born with the idea of being the female counterpart of Captain Marvel, an identity that the former US Air Force officer will assume only from 2012. Kamala Khan is only the latest in chronological order to having taken the name Ms. Marvel, obviously in honor of her favorite heroine, the model she wants to emulate in all respects. Curiously, however, the young American teenager of Pakistani origin is an extremely different character from Carol, both in terms of personality and powers. Primarily, Kamala is an Inhuman, a human genetically modified by the alien race of the Kree to acquire special powers and be used as a weapon – storyline that in the MCU found large exposure in the first seasons of Agents Of Shield.
This is what makes the Disney + series a wonderfully natural introduction into the narrative macro-fabric, as Kamala discovers her powers following the release to Earth of the Terrigen Mists, the compound that “awakens” the dormant modified cells. Again, events that the adventures of Daisy Johnson and associates have already perfectly covered, giving the show the ideal and fertile background in which to fit and grow. But what powers has Kamala received?
In particular, there are 3 fundamental skills that the Mists have given to the young Muslim: the ability to stretch arms and legs, the ability to change one’s shape and a superhuman regenerative factor. But what makes Kamala’s comic book adventures unique is the context in which she lives and the difficulties of being a Muslim girl in today’s America. Kamala is a person in constant struggle with his faith, not because he doubts but because it is simply difficult to comply with all the duties of Islam today. There is, in short, a deep rift between the real life of a young girl in the 2000s and the obligations that faith prescribes. Not only that, we must even take into account the social complications of a precise historical moment such as the current one, which unfortunately does not always generally look favorably on the different – and in particular the Islamic faith.
Let’s be clear, Ms. Marvel’s new course has never been a desperate attempt to evangelize Islam – something of which he has often and unjustly been accused – and neither did he ever want to be, but it is expression of the continuous struggle against the labels that are imposed on us, for one aspect of us or another. And for Kamala, this is her faith, her cultural heritage.
A young teenager, a cartoon strongly focused on existential dilemmas as well as struggles with the villain of the moment, with that keyword hovering and which responds to the name of responsibility, remember something? It is not for nothing that Kamala is one of the characters who will bond more with Spider-Man, precisely because of the similarity of the concept – and therefore for their psychology – at the base of the two titles.
There is no doubt then that Disney + is the perfect home for a series about Ms. Marvel: Kamala is a cheerful character, at times clearly funny, nerd to the core, surrounded by well-characterized supporting actors who give a tone of almost serenity to the events, while not skimping on the dramas and charismatic villains. And it is certainly, if made with the means and the care it deserves, the right series at the right time: Kamala Khan’s adventures can give so much to the present historical moment, from the youngest to those who have grown up.
It is a universal story, founded on simple and genuine values, which has the potential to raise a generation with fundamental life lessons like tolerance and acceptance of the different. In short, it is an intelligent bet, much more coherent than, for example, the TV show on Moon Knight – the idea of a transposition of Khonshu’s Fist on a theoretically family-friendly platform like Disney + still triggers doubts – and we also find it perfectly adequate the choice of Iman Vellani, a young Canadian actress of Pakistani origins who will begin her career with the role of Kamala.
The potential is immense in every respect, apart from a small detail. It is true that there is a fundamental message to send, that the humor of the magazine is wonderfully linked to that typical of Marvel productions, that its introduction within the MCU increases interest in a second film dedicated to Captain Marvel, but a crucial role in the evolution of Ms. Marvel is played by the Inhumans.
Particularly Attilan’s royal family, now forgotten after the sensational flop of Inhumans. We will see how such an impasse will be resolved, and despite this the hopes are very high: precisely the incursion of the young Kamala on Disney +, on the other hand, could mark a creative rebirth for the unfortunate supergroup led by Black Arrow.