Marvel Cinematic Universe’s new supergirl, Ms Marvel is truly one of its kind, and here’s everything you need to know before you dive into the series!
Marvel Cinematic Universe which was initially filled with white male superheroes with undeniably gorgeous looks saving the day has now become more and more inclusive of people from all communities. Be it powerful women like Wanda Maximoff or Captain Marvel taking down the biggest of villains and even the mighty Thor and extremely witty Doctor Strange not standing a chance against them. Finally having its first-ever South East Asian representation with Ms Marvel is something we would never imagine in this lifetime; to have someone who looks like us on-screen and is a part of the legendary Marvel Cinematic Universe, showcasing our rich culture, talking our language, and making us feel like we belong to the popular mainstream stories is something that will surely make many South East Asians beam with pride!
Directed by Meera Menon, Bilall Fallah, Adil El Arbi, and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Ms Marvel is a story about a geeky Muslim teenager learning her ropes in the big white world. She loves her comics and cannot stop imagining all the superheroes in them, especially her favorite, Captain Marvel. Until one day she unexpectedly finds herself embodying those superpowers that she’s been dreaming of since she read her very first comic book.
The show does not shy away from Kamala’s Muslim heritage right down to a trip to the mosque to rightfully express how wearing a Hijab feels true to your inner self. What’s even better is that nothing is dumbed down for the sake of audiences who are not well versed with Muslim or South East Asian traditions. I mean a full-fledged sangeet sequence with hardcore Punjabi music playing and everyone in the frame wearing kurtas, sarees, and lehengas is something that feels too good to be true. And even the subtle hints of representation like the Ko Ko Karina song and so many other catchy numbers used as background music, the food, and the jewelry, all add to the authenticity that the show brings us.
Marvel has done its research well and brought together some new and familiar faces to be a part of the show. Iman Vellani, a Pakistani-Canadian girl, beautifully carries the show on her shoulders with her portrayal of Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel. Zenobia Shroff and Mohan Kapur play Kamala’s loving and supportive parents. Saagar Shaikh as Aamir Khan, Kamala’s elder brother. And if this wasn’t enough, we will also get to see Farhan Akhtar and Fawad Khan, two actors who’ve been a part of our lives through multiple Bollywood movies will now be a part of a Marvel show, and that in itself feels like some of our own are representing us.
Digging deeper into the story, here are some interesting unknown facts about Ms Marvel that were an integral part of her story in the comic books!
How she gets her powers in the comic books Vs how she gets them on the show.
In the comics, Kamala gets her powers by being exposed to a strange green Terrigen mist which turns her into Ms Marvel. But in the show we see Kamala getting her powers in a different way. In the first episode, we see Kamala find a bangle that belonged to her grandmother and after she wears it to her at AvengersCon, while she is dressed as Captain Marvel, Kamala Khan’s eyes glow and without any control, she ends up showcasing her power on stage. In the comics her powers include, being super flexible and shape-shifting her body as and when she wants, but in the MCU so far, her powers are shooting out almost crystal-like formations and enlarging parts of her body when necessary. After finding the bangle, Kamala seems to be set on a journey to discover her true heritage. Just like wearing bangles can be a form of happiness for many South East Asian people, it proves to be a symbol of power, history, and strength for Kamala.
Ms Marvel isn’t mutant, she’s Inhuman
Even though she dreamt of being a mutant all her life, she’s actually an Inhuman. Inhumans are a race of humans engineered by the aliens, Kree who we have seen before in the MCU. Unlike mutants, whose powers tend to activate on their own around puberty, Inhumans don’t receive their powers until they undergo Terrigenesis.
She has healing powers!
Wolverine who is the ultimate expert when it comes to healing powers has tutored Ms Marvel on how to use her healing superpowers, which come to her aid during deadly battles with supervillains. But if she needs to shape-shift while using her healing powers, it could take longer than usual.
She has a dog named Lockjaw
After she finds out that she is Inhuman, she is sent to visit the city of Attilan where she meets Queen Medusa. After making an unforgettable first impression on her, the alien monarch later sends her a gift, in the form of the family’s pet, the giant Indog, LockJaw. He has been Kamala’s true ally and even has the ability to teleport which has been helpful to Kamala in several dangerous situations.
Apart from her name, she doesn’t have much in common with Captain Marvel
Ms Marvel doesn’t really have any connection to Captain Marvel. The name purely comes from the fact that she was Kamala’s favorite superhero. Although the two have met in the comics and even had a mentor-student relationship much like the traditional hero/sidekick relationships that Marvel is famous for, but have rarely gone for missions together.
Going beyond the story and behind the scenes of Ms Marvel!
Behind-the-scenes footage from episode 1 where Kamala collapses on her couch shows that the scene was shot in a rather unique way using a rotating camera rig. The clip gives us an insight into just how much hard work and creativity goes into putting even one small scene together.
Speaking of how Iman Vellani bagged the role of Ms Marvel, she shared that her aunt sent her a text about the audition which did not even feel was a real thing but taped herself at 3 am practicing the dialogues and shot at it anyway! And it took a whole pandemic and graduation from high school for Kevin Feige to finally tell her that she’s got the role! She also shared that Brie Larson who plays Captain Marvel in the MCU reached out to her and walked her through how things are done on a Marvel set. The series was shot in Atlanta which was right next door to where Loki and Spiderman: No Way Home was shot so it was given that she ran into her superheroes IRL!
Ms Marvel definitely is a huge win when it comes to inclusivity and representation, and a lot of it comes from the fact that the makers consciously made a decision to make everything that Iman Vellani did as a South East Asian girl IRL to be a part of her on-screen character as well, just on a much larger scale!
The series definitely has its audience anticipating how exciting the plot lines are going to get in the upcoming episodes!
Ms Marvel is currently available for streaming on Disney+Hotstar!
Also Read: The Ms Marvel trailer reveals a new super hero in the form of a Pakistani American teenager
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