Ms. Marvel is in the books, with ‘No Normal’ and it managed to distil everything that made this series great. As Marvel finales go, this is absolutely one of the best. For a gargantuan franchise with access to as many resources, Marvel struggles to wrap up its storytelling. Like Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel categorically breaks the finale curse.
Iman Vellani has spent this entire series proving why she is the superhero Marvel needs to lead the next generation of these stories. The finale is no exception. Her humanity, with all of her endearing quirks and flaws, makes her among Marvel’s most human superheroes. It serves her well. What Ms. Marvel has done is prove that the superhero genre is made richer by including more diverse stories.
Kamala Khan is the teen superhero that the genre needs. By structuring her story around family and generational healing, she becomes aspirational. This entire series has deviated from Marvel’s formula, revolving around the individual achievements of those who go on to be heroes in their own right. This only adds to Kamala Khan’s humanity and makes her all the more endearing and easy to cheer for.
At the time of writing, Ms. Marvel is the highest-rated Marvel TV show on Rotten Tomatoes. This is more than well-deserved. While not all of the storytelling came together in the end, there was more than enough to prove Ms. Marvel’s strength. As always, the accuracy of the representation of Pakistani-American culture needs to be left to those voices. By all accounts, the representation was less than perfect. However, the series represented a small step in the direction of at least making an effort to elevate more diverse stories.
“I don’t need anyone on my side. I’m not even concerned if God is on my side as long as I am on His side. For God is always right”Sheikh Abdullah, Ms. Marvel
It remains a smart idea that Ms. Marvel did away with the djinn storyline. Truthfully, that was going nowhere helpful. It was only ever going to lead to orientalism that was never going to serve Marvel well. Unfortunately Kamran (Rish Shah) took the brunt when it came to lack of character development. Shah absolutely gives his performance his all in spite of the less than stellar dialogue he’s given.
The other relationships also suffer from a lack of closure in Ms. Marvel’s inaugural season finale. It would have been amazing to see more of Nakia (Yasmeen Fletcher) and Zoe (Laurel Marsden). There was clearly a lot to develop with both of these characters. Unfortunately, the focus remained on the male sidekicks. While they’re worthy of their own stories, Marvel has tones of male superheroes and their male sidekicks already. A show centering on a female superhero would have been a great opportunity to bring even more phenomenal women into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Ms. Marvel didn’t always hit the mark. The journey, however, was an enjoyable and informative one. It’s an indictment of the modern education system that so many fans on social media have spoken about the fact that the first time they’ve even heard about The Partition was in a Marvel show. There was so much about Marvel’s latest series to love. There was also so much more the show could have given us. Hopefully, this isn’t the last time we’ll be seeing this cosmic ray of light.
Season 1 of Ms. Marvel is now available to stream on Disney+.