Starring: Iman Vellani, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh, Laurel Marsden, Rish Shah, Nimra Bucha, Samina Ahmad, Farhan Akhtar, Aramis Knight, Arian Moayed, and Alysia Reiner
Creator: Bisha K. Ali
Though it does make some questionable choices as far as the pacing of certain episodes and a few underdeveloped supporting characters, Ms. Marvel is the first MCU project in a while that truly matches the essence of its protagonist. Pakistani culture mixes with Gen Z American energy to create a uniquely youthful fusion of what a kid superhero post-Endgame might actually look like, and Iman Vellani is more than up to the task. Admittedly, the more it attempts to expand into the wider MCU, the less it works, but even then, the more intimate storytelling is enough to hold it together.
Ms. Marvel is joyful, heartfelt, and charming. It demonstrates how Phase 4’s diverse storytelling, when done right, is full of depth. The intricate care it takes in introducing Kamala Khan (the effervescent Iman Vellani), her infectious family, and the rich history of Pakistani culture is top notch. While the action can be slightly underwhelming and Disney+’s rushed 6-episode structure highlights the lackluster antagonists’ inconsistent development, each episode focuses on establishing Kamala (not Ms. Marvel) as a three-dimensional character with a resonant story. The emphasis on story over superhero makes Ms. Marvel my favorite MCU show to date. Plus… The soundtrack. IS. FIYAH!!!!!
I’ve had several debates about whether Ms. Marvel is “not good” or “not for 41-year-old Q.” I’ll let you decide that for yourselves, but I’ll tell you this: I did not enjoy it one bit. It’s full of teenage cringe, subpar CGI, Bollywood-style camp, and characters (and story) that I couldn’t care less about. Plus, the tone is more aligned with Lizzie McGuire and Hannah Montana than the MCU. It’s the first time I’ve ever been held hostage by the MCU’s shared universe because I basically felt forced to hate-watch the series since Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) is a main character in 2023’s The Marvels.
The MCU shows range from “pretty great” to “I forgot about Hawkeye,” but thankfully, Ms. Marvel stands out as maybe the best one yet. This show sucked me in instantly with its style and vibe. Iman Vellani gives the most lovable performance, which makes it so easy to root for her, and I specifically love how much the show focuses on her. It doesn’t feel like it’s just one big Phase 4 set up. This is her story, about how what’s happening affects her and her loved ones. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.