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Disney+'s Ms. Marvel Reviews Have Dropped, And MCU Fans Should Be Pumped About What Critics Are Saying

Iman Vellani on Ms. Marvel
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

It’s that time again, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, as another show (for Disney+ subscription holders) is about to drop! This time around, it’s Ms. Marvel, which introduces Avengers superfan Kamala Khan into the expansive franchise. Early footage and trailers for Kamala’s first MCU outing have teased a high school vibe, poppy visuals and a lovable lead in Iman Vellani. Some fans may still be skeptical as to whether the show can capture the spirit of the comics, But worry not, because the critics have seen it – and fans should be pumped about what they have to say.

Early reactions to Ms. Marvel suggested that the show could be something special, and recently released reviews appear to be doubling down on that notion. So far, critics have been highly positive when discussing the latest addition to the MCU. Caroline Framke of Variety commended the performances of the cast as well as the world-building and quite a bit of praise for the show’s unique visual style, which compared to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

When combined with Ali’s breezy pilot script and Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah and Meera Menon’s fluid directing, the seamless integration of these visuals makes it especially easy to understand Kamala from the outside in. (Credit here should also go to the production and set designers, who create impressively textured scenes for the actors and animation alike to play with.)

The small-screen adventure also represents a major milestone for Marvel Studios, as it’s the mega company’s first production headed by a Muslim superhero. With this, audiences are treated to a vivid look at Kamala’s culture. CNET’s Abrar Al-Heeti more than appreciated that the series “tells a story familiar to so many Muslims with hyphenated identities” and sought to have authenticity within the superhero tale:

Ms. Marvel feels like the culmination of decades of pushback against misrepresentation in mainstream media. It feels like a celebration of what's possible when you get talented Muslim writers, actors and creators to build something true, authentic and enjoyable. That authenticity is reflected even in small details, like the mix of contemporary pop and Pakistani music that plays throughout the show, symbolizing the coming together of cultures.

Alan Sepinwall of Rolling Stone lauded the production because it “crafted a compelling, smart, funny, and poignant coming-of-age story, and found a terrific young star to embody it in Iman Vellani.” Though he felt that the superhero-related plot points were less interesting than the more personal scenes: 

No matter how many purple sparks fly from Kamala’s hands, the superhero material ironically lacks energy compared to her arguments with her parents, her and Nakia protesting the condition of the gender-segregated parts of the mosque, or her and handsome new transfer student Kamran flirting while discussing their favorite Bollywood films.

One of the reasons some have argued that both aspects of Ms. Marvel work is the performance of Iman Vellani, a self-proclaimed MCU fan like her character. (The actress even had an endearingly awkward encounter with Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige that solidifies the point.) Mashable critic Sushri Sahu, who has enjoyed the show thus far, had nothing but praise for Vellani’s turn as the teen hero: 

With pitch-perfect casting, the entire ensemble puts its best foot forward with Vellani who has got better screen presence than many twice her age and experience. A natural in front of the screen, it is Vellani’s effortless charm that works wonders in keeping her viewers thoroughly entertained.

Charles Pulliam-Moore of The Verge was also impressed with the star’s work and the show as a whole. Something else that he made note of is the fact that Marvel was able to produce something that’s detailed but doesn’t depend on audiences having prior knowledge of the New Jersey-born heroine:

Watching Ms. Marvel, you get the sense that it’s precisely the kind of project that Kevin Feige and the rest of Marvel brass always intended to populate Disney Plus with: stories that require little homework to get into and come in the midst of a character’s brand-wide multimedia roll out. It’s rare that either of the big studios putting out comic book movies manage to get their ducks lined up just so, but all of that time, care, and attention shows in Disney Plus’ Ms. Marvel.

These reviews should provide a lot of comfort for those who may have been worried about the MCU’s take on Kamala Khan. Of course, at the end of the day, you’ll still have to check out the show and form your own opinions. You can check out Ms. Marvel (and see if it rights a Marvel TV wrong) when it hits Disney+ on June 8th as part of the 2022 TV schedule.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.