The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand, and the latest series coming to Disney+ departs from previous projects to give us an origin story. Ms. Marvel will introduce Kamala Khan and show how she goes from a head-in-the-clouds high schooler who idolizes the Avengers to becoming a superhero herself. Critics have been given the chance to watch the first two episodes of Ms. Marvel, and those who have seen it are taking to social media with their first reactions.
Pakistani-Canadian actress Iman Vellani won the role of Kamala Khan after an extensive search by Marvel Studios and is set to become the MCU’s first on-screen Muslim character when the series hits Disney+ on Wednesday, June 8. The Ms. Marvel trailer didn’t show us much of the relatable, awkward teenager’s powers, so it will be interesting to see how her complicated origin story from the comics is translated in the six-episode Disney+ series. Let’s see what people are saying about Ms. Marvel.
CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg Tweeted that the first two episodes are delightful. He praises newcomer Iman Vellani and says the series' creative style is unlike anything seen before in the MCU:
Watched the first 2 episodes of Ms. Marvel, and they are delightful. Iman Vellani is 5 1/2 feet of charm & charisma, and Kamala is compellingly rendered as an exciting and flawed hero. The style is bursting with creativity, delivering a look unlike anything in the MCU. #MsMarvel pic.twitter.com/ibIZcXetCsMay 25, 2022
Erik Swann, also of CinemaBlend, agrees that the casting of Iman Vellani is perfect and says this is a big step creatively for Marvel, and a huge step forward for Pakistani representation:
I've seen the first two episodes #MsMarvel, and it's a fun teen superhero show with thrills, humor and heart. And Iman Vellani is PERFECT as Kamala Khan. The series is a big creative step forward for the MCU and an even bigger step forward for Pakistani representation. pic.twitter.com/ata0FSnsqIMay 25, 2022
It's a hat trick of praise for the leading actress, and CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell also says directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah infuse their style into the first episode, which is overflowing with Pakistani culture and Jersey City flavor:
Really enjoyed #MsMarvel, which is light on superhero action but overflowing with authentic Muslim odes, Pakistani culture, Jersey City flavor, and the artistic creativity of Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani, a pure delight). Bilall and Adil infuse their style into the pilot. A win! pic.twitter.com/oQCiqaNBx7May 25, 2022
POC Culture tweeted that the episodes made available for screening aren't big on action, but rather work to build Kamala Khan as a character. That's not a complaint, as her identity is important to the story, and, as this tweet threat points out, Ms. Marvel makes an effort at cultural and religious representation by not hiding that she is Pakistani and Muslim.
I got to watch 2 episodes of #MsMarvel! It’s a super fun coming of age story about a Pakistani American Muslim teen w/ a #Marvel twist. Iman Vellani is so relatable & full of joy. I loved watching Kamala geek out like we do.🧵 @MarvelStudios @DisneyPlus #DisneyPlus pic.twitter.com/k3SgJqFahcMay 25, 2022
Critics seem to universally agree on the excellent casting of Iman Vellani, including Zach Goins of Inside the Film Room, who says Ms. Marvel breathes Marvel canon, unlike Moon Knight. However, as with other MCU series, this one leaves something to be desired in the visual effects department, he says:
Whereas MOON KNIGHT felt completely removed from the MCU, this lives and breathes Marvel canon. Will be interesting to see what sort of antagonist is developed, but the second episode ends with a solid cliffhanger to set the stage. #MsMarvel pic.twitter.com/AJs7Gx9IE3May 25, 2022
Swara Salih is a little disappointed in the first two episodes, saying the watered-down story is a huge departure from the comics. He hopes the portrayal of Kamala's struggles within the Muslim community are handled better in the remaining four episodes. He says the lead actress is "wonderful," however, and says that the show has a good supporting cast:
My MCU #MsMarvel Eps 1-2 reaction thread:First, Iman Vellani is fantastic as #KamalaKhan. She brings all the vivacity, passion, and awkwardness for which we all love Kamala. She does her best and constantly perseveres. Iman will have an outstanding future in the MCU and beyond. pic.twitter.com/B37X495oJGMay 25, 2022
Alex Zalben of Decider says this series is going to mean a lot to a lot of people. The first episodes evoke the tone of Spider-Man: Homecoming, with the goofy humor of Ant-Man:
#MsMarvel, based on the first two episodes, has a ton of visual flair, and found the perfect Kamala Khan in Iman Vellani. The show has some inconsistent pacing and energy at times, but is overall very fun. And, I'm so glad it exists; it's going to mean a ton, to a ton of people.May 25, 2022
Those who were able to get a sneak peek ahead of the June 8 release all seem to really love Iman Vellani in the leading role. That's a good thing, since the series will set her up to reprise her character for a significant part in the upcoming Marvel movie The Marvels — due in theaters in 2023 — which will showcase her alongside Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris).
The six-episode miniseries Ms. Marvel, part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 4, will premiere on Wednesday, June 8, available for screening with your Disney+ subscription. If you’re looking to take a deep dive into the MCU, check out how to watch all the Marvel movies in order — be it by release date or chronologically within the universe.
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