Ms. Marvel: Generation Why
June 8, 2022 5:04 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Kamala Khan, a teenager growing up in Jersey City and mega fan of the Avengers, feels a little out of place at school and sometimes even at home. She is determined to attend Avengercon, even if her parents won’t allow it. But what starts off as a Captain Marvel cosplay competition takes an unexpected turn—is she becoming one of the super heroes she’s always looked up to?

Vulture: Ms. Marvel’s Enthusiasm Is Infectious. Vellani’s rebellious, goofy, nerdy, and loyal Kamala shares a bit of DNA with the observant Cher from Clueless, the imaginative Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers, the emotive Mei Lee from Turning Red, and, most importantly, the determined Jess from Bend It Like Beckham. .

The Verge: Ms. Marvel Feels Like the Future of the MCU. What makes Ms. Marvel work, though, is how well the show’s able to situate itself squarely within the messy confines of the MCU while letting the foundational elements of Kamala’s hero origin be the story for the most part.
posted by 1970s Antihero (43 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
A lot of fun, and good soundtrack.

5* review in the Guardian
The star is Iman Vellani, in – incredibly, given her charisma, comic timing and dramatic chops in every scene – her first acting role.
Now THAT is a debut.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:47 AM on June 8 [17 favorites]


I really like her! And mind you I only just started on her debut comics run, but on balance i much prefer this version for her powers, i think. I like that there's a family/cultural connection, and i think this gives her mother's misgivings less of that typical trope of the brown Muslim parent (speaking as a Muslim woman myself though not South Asian) with a more personal backstory (so it's not just an immigrant cliche. But more superhero tragedy cliche which is more than fine for me for a breakthrough character!).
posted by cendawanita at 7:59 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


Me and Fleebnork Jr enjoyed this! I have read a fair number of the Ms Marvel comics and I think they got the vibe pretty well.
posted by Fleebnork at 8:14 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


Thought this was an absolutely delightful premier episode, with wonderful performance across the board. Loved the dense visual style.
posted by merriment at 11:24 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Vellani is great! I loved her performance.

And of course but-hurt MCU "fans" are review bombing on IMDB.
posted by Pendragon at 11:26 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


And of course but-hurt MCU "fans" are review bombing on IMDB.

Indeed. You have to agree with them, though, that there are hardly any white males represented in the MCU.

I mean, apart from Tony Stark and Steve Rogers and Thor and Peter Parker (x3) and Clint Barton and Odin and Malekith and Loki and Johann Schmidt and Reed Richards and Blackagar Boltagon and Eddie Brock and Zemo and Phil Coulson and Skurge and Trevor Slattery and Druig and Reed Richards and Ego and Yon-Rogg and Ikaris and Happy Hogan and Georges Batroc and Thaddeus Ross and Professor Charles Xavier and Alexander Pierce and the Grandmaster and Arthur Harrow and Harley Keener and J. Jonah Jameson and Scott Lang and Kurt and Ralph Bohner and Pietro Maximoff and Henry Pym and Billy & Tommy Maximoff and Fandral and Laufey and Quentin Beck and Justin Hammer and Razor Fist and Eros and Dum Dum Dugan and Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and Ulysses Klaue and Otto Octavius and The Other and Ronan the Accuser and Aldrich Killian and Flint Marko and Adrian Toomes and Ivan Vanko and Vison and John Walker and Mitchell Carson and Kaecilius and Dane Whitman and Kraglin Obfonteri and Volstagg and Arnim Zola and Emil Blonsky and Everett K. Ross and Obadiah Stane and Howard Stark and Yondu and Chester Phillips and Jonathan Pangborn and Mobius M. Mobius and Darren Cross and Peter Quill and Drax and Quentin Beck and Talos and Bruce Banner and Alexei Shostakov and Stephen Strange (x n) and the voices of rocket Raccoon and Jarvis and Howard the Duck and Surtur and Pip the Troll and Korg and Dormammu and Khonshu, it's hard to think of any prominent roles played in the MCU by white guys. I guess whatever Walton Goggins' role was counts, but come on.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:52 PM on June 8 [91 favorites]


It's a shame I can only favorite your comment once, ricochet biscuit.
posted by Pendragon at 1:18 PM on June 8 [5 favorites]


Because I'm just that kind of nerd, I have to point out that the following aren't played by white guys:

Trevor Slattery
Drax
Khonshu

(Batroc is Algerian, but played by Georges St-Pierre, a white Canadian.) Regardless, your point stands.

But that's not why I came here to comment. Loved this; Vellani is fantastic, and I really liked the animation incorporated into the scenery and narrative. Tons of fun bits: Scott Lang on This Powered Life, AvengersCon at Camp Lehigh (the part that wasn't blown up by Arnim Zola in The Winter Soldier), the "cosmic" gloves reminding me of Carol's neon suit option.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:58 PM on June 8 [5 favorites]


Fair enough. I don’t think the angry angry gatekeepers are upset over F. Murray Abraham stealing the role from, say, Ed Harris, though.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:12 PM on June 8 [5 favorites]


If, like me (admittedly hypersensitive to far-right appropriation of Norse mythology) you jumped out of your skin at the phrase “Asgard pride”, it’s pride as in gay pride.

With that out of the way, I just want to say I really liked this episode. My only complaint is that I could’ve done with a bit more just goofing around in the world, before the reveal of the powers. I wanted to spend more time with the Khans and in the high school. Hopefully the story won’t be rushed along and we’ll get more everyday life stuff in subsequent episodes.

But there was so much to love, that this is a minor complaint. To start with, that family feels absolutely three-dimensional. I absolutely believed that the parents had been together for a quarter-century or more, and the sibling relationship was very deftly drawn. The high school was a bit more sketched out, but I hope the various characters will be filled in. The obvious exception is Bruno, a Peter Parker who doesn’t get bit by a radioactive spider, and feels very real in his geeky enthusiasm and drive to be somebody special.

All of this brilliant world building is the perfectly laid parquet floor that the protagonist, Kamala Khan, can dance on in the full glory of her awkwardness. She just pops out of the show, so perfectly drawn that I feel like I’ve known her as an archetype for years and years, even though I can’t think of anyone exactly like her… I’ve tried to sum up her in a sentence, but I can’t, which I think is testament to her seeming realness (or my poor abilities as a summarizer).

I’m very excited about where the show goes from here. I suspect it will end somewhere cosmic, but I hope we’ll get plenty of Jersey City along the way.
posted by Kattullus at 4:19 PM on June 8 [7 favorites]


I really loved everything about this. Joyous, enthusiastic, with a visual style that reminds me a little bit of Mitchells vs the Machines or Scott Pilgrim in parts.

Suspect one could spend a lot of time going through individual frames at the AvengersCon to see all the easter eggs in it, but they made it really easy with the Trust A Bro moving van.

Curious to see how the change in origin story and the power shift work out, but mostly I want it to be next week so I can spend more time with the Khan family.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:33 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]


Suspect one could spend a lot of time going through individual frames at the AvengersCon to see all the easter eggs in it

Episode 1 Easter Eggs
posted by 1970s Antihero at 4:36 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Oh my god Iman Vellani is ADORBS. Absolutely love her.

I’m intrigued by how Kamala cycled through a shadow world full of glowing-eyed wraiths when her powers activated. That should lead somewhere interesting.
posted by ejs at 6:21 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]


Heads up, there's something after the animated credits.
posted by Pronoiac at 6:55 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]


I thought there was a lot of Into the Spider-verse energy in this, with the playing around with the background (the text messages popping up in the scenery) and Kamala's "comic book" plans.
posted by SPrintF at 8:12 PM on June 8 [4 favorites]


I'm mulling over the bangle. In the comics, the source of Kamala's powers is perfectly generic, essentially the same as every single member of the Inhumans. But that very genericness seemed fairly significant. She's a teen trying to figure out who she is, caught between American aspirations and her ethnic heritage, a "brown" girl who idolizes a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white woman. American comics have a shameless tendency to define ethnic superheroes entirely by their ethnicity, giving them powers associated with national stereotypes, and the writers of Ms. Marvel made a point of not doing that: her background informs her character, but not her powers or their source. They're definitely not part of her family's expectations for her. She has to figure out for herself how to build an identity around them that fits into society without denying her heritage.

But with the bangle, we seem to have a power source that's tied to her family. That changes the symbolism significantly. Not necessarily for the worse, just for the different. I'll be interested in seeing see where they take this.
posted by baf at 9:11 PM on June 8 [9 favorites]




American comics have a shameless tendency to define ethnic superheroes entirely by their ethnicity, giving them powers associated with national stereotypes..
Indeed. It could be so much worse:
Dust (real name Sooraya Qadir) is a superheroine appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character usually appears in X-Men-related comic books. Sooraya is a mutant with the ability to transform her body into a pliable cloud of dust.
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:28 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]


So the fact that people at Avengercon were cosplaying as Mantis, Gamora, Drax, and Groot, who were only briefly on Earth for the final battle against Thanos (and Groot also in Wakanda), implies that Ant-Man must have described them in incredibly minute detail on that podcast…
posted by ejs at 7:29 AM on June 9 [7 favorites]


Well, presumably the Guardians tarried a bit on Earth (at least long enough for Thor and Valkyrie to head for New Asgard and have their conversation there). There may have been some media coverage.

That said, it has been pointed out that the last act of Endgame, in which a spacegoing dreadnought appears above upstate New York and discharges an army of invaders only to be repelled by a motley collection of heroes, several platoons of wizards, an ultra-tech army from Africa, and some space pirates, is not even the biggest news story of the day.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:22 AM on June 9 [4 favorites]


I enjoyed this, the performances are all great and the little ways they represent texting and use the backgrounds/animations is really fun.

I will say the entire Avengercon scene was a wild experience after just having watched the Homelander Birthday Extravaganza scene. I mean the pure unadulterated cynicism of Vought having Pride flags and whatnot tied into their superheroes contrasted by Disney literally doing that with joyful glee. I need someone to write a thesis on just those 2 scenes and the metacommentary they provide.

On the one hand it is obviously corporate pandering (Asgard Pride eyeroll) but on the other those kids were having an absolute blast and it was fun watching them.
posted by M Edward at 8:42 AM on June 9 [5 favorites]


> "So the fact that people at Avengercon were cosplaying as Mantis, Gamora, Drax, and Groot, who were only briefly on Earth for the final battle against Thanos..."

You're kind of forgetting that they were all in "Rogers! The Musical."
posted by kyrademon at 9:33 AM on June 9 [9 favorites]


I liked this a lot and am glad that they brought some more energy into their shows. (I too got some Scott Pilgrim/Edgar Wright vibes; I don't know the story of why they fired Wright from Ant-Man but it's interesting to me that now they're leaning on his aesthetic sense a bit. That series of quick cuts at the start of the driving scene in particular was reminiscent of the way Wright shows habitual actions in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.)

At any rate: even if they left out the terragen mist and gave a different source of her powers, I thought this was off a promising start and I'm looking forward to the next episode.
posted by johnofjack at 5:19 PM on June 9


I enjoyed this, the style of filming is a lot of fun.

I totally loved that her mom (very quickly!) made a Hulk outfit, and then her dad jumps out, also in a Hulk outfit. That's adorable and I felt so bad for them when she wasn't into it. I was all "But they're trying! They're getting into it!"
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:22 PM on June 9 [11 favorites]


This was great. Delightful!
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:21 PM on June 9


Dust (real name Sooraya Qadir) is a superheroine appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character usually appears in X-Men-related comic books. Sooraya is a mutant with the ability to transform her body into a pliable cloud of dust.

Worse than that. She’s Afghani (obviously, because the dusty dry mountains etc.) and she permanently wears a burka and is basically mute other than saying the word ‘dust’ in Arabic.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:49 PM on June 9


Ant-Man must have described them in incredibly minute detail

*Clapping

No-prizes all around, true believer!
posted by eustatic at 10:56 PM on June 9 [10 favorites]


So the fact that people at Avengercon were cosplaying as Mantis, Gamora, Drax, and Groot, who were only briefly on Earth for the final battle against Thanos (and Groot also in Wakanda), implies that Ant-Man must have described them in incredibly minute detail on that podcast…

I agree it was a bit of a stretch, but I did like that one of the t-shirts for sale at the convention actually said "Mr Tree," which I took as a sign that there was still supposed to be some mystery there.

(aaaand I just googled it, and Marvel confirms that was the intention).

(...and Marvel is, of course, selling the t-shirts)
posted by retrograde at 11:03 PM on June 9 [10 favorites]


Jeez, out of all the characters, the one whose name they don't know is the one who's constantly telling everyone his name?
posted by baf at 11:22 PM on June 9 [25 favorites]


I assume the MCU movies exist in the MCU. They just have different actors. (see Rogers, the musical)
posted by Naberius at 5:45 AM on June 10


Word on the street is that Drax was annoyed that they didn't ask him to play himself onstage.
posted by kyrademon at 6:18 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Jeez, out of all the characters, the one whose name they don't know is the one who's constantly telling everyone his name?

Contrast with "Dust," a few comments above this one.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:30 AM on June 10


That's adorable and I felt so bad for them when she wasn't into it. I was all "But they're trying! They're getting into it!"

Same here, she should agree to bring dad and actually show them the Captain Marvel costume isn't at all revealing. There's so much room for compromise. But they have made her a realistic teenager so bringing a parent to the convention would be the most embarrassing thing ever. Even if the convention is a warehouse sized Hot Topic designed to sell merch.
posted by Gary at 10:59 AM on June 10 [7 favorites]


This was absolutely delightful, Vellani is fantastic, and I definitely caught the "Mr. Tree" shirt and remembered the Pitch Meeting line about "All that guy says is his name."
posted by Navelgazer at 3:29 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


Same here, she should agree to bring dad and actually show them the Captain Marvel costume isn't at all revealing.

Mom's complaint was that a lot of cosplay is too tight, and Kamala herself ostentatiously noticed how form-fitting her Captain Marvel costume was. The Hulk costume was bulky.
posted by Etrigan at 7:09 PM on June 12 [7 favorites]


(...and Marvel is, of course, selling the t-shirts)

And I can say that while the name stack shirt might be poorly done with a big black box around the white text (judging from the reviews), making non-black shirts look goofy, the Mr. Tree shirt is nicely printed on green, and fairly soft.

Huzzah for shirts only like 5 people will understand.
posted by Kyol at 8:19 AM on June 15


Beloved spouse and I are watching the first two eps right now.
I am cackling so hard at some of the character moments that beloved spouse needs the closed captioning.
I love the family moments, so so much. Kamala's dad is such a sweet goofball. Kamala's older brother is easier-going than he was in the first few issues of the first comics run, and showing a solid supportive core. And absolutely Kamala's mom is a rock star, trying to balance responsibility for K's safety with wanting Kamal to be true to herself.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 2:27 PM on June 19 [3 favorites]




OMG that reaction video is PRICELESS, I love them.

Every time the WHITE BOY COUNTER dings, it's the best.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:24 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


The reaction video is indeed great; they are adorable and it’s fantastic to see their arc from (justified) skepticism to growing appreciation to being pleasantly surprised by the finished product. As a rule I have little interest in reaction videos and less in ones that take a half-hour to deliver their verdict, but I loved this.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:37 AM on July 4 [4 favorites]


I just watched both of their reaction videos, and they were great! I enjoy the added perspective and notes about cultural stuff that I miss, as a middle aged white dude. Also, their sibling banter is entertaining.
posted by Fleebnork at 5:42 AM on July 5 [3 favorites]


A++ reaction video. Very charming!
posted by Glinn at 1:47 PM on July 31


This show is charming! I love everything about it so far.
posted by medusa at 9:51 PM on September 6


« Older Obi-Wan Kenobi: Part IV...   |  Movie: Matilda... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster