Ms. Marvel – Episode 1 Review

Director: Adil & Bilall

Writer: Bisha K. Ali

Starring: Iman Vellani, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh, Laurel Marsden, Azhar Usman

Rating: ★★★★½

I’m going to start by saying that I’m not familiar with Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel in the comics at all. I remember her being introduced, but I’ve never read a single issue with her in it. Not for any particular reason, there’s just too many comics and as I’ve gotten older, I read a lot less superhero comics. So, I went into Ms. Marvel blind, seeing no trailers or knowing anything about it in general. Saying that, the first episode is absolutely fantastic. It feels like a comic, in the best way possible, with flashy and playful visuals. Lots of quirky and off-beat moments, with Khan’s imagination playing out as doodles on the background.

The first episode shows Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) preparing to attend AvengersCon with her best friend, Bruno Carrelli (Matt Lintz). Kamala’s parents don’t want her to attend, instead wanting her to focus on her school work and future.

This is an origin story for Ms. Marvel, without any of her powers on display for the majority of the episode. Instead, it’s really more about Kamala going through her normal life with the backdrop of superheroes. She struggles with other kids at school and drifting off in class. There’s also a lot of pressure put on her by her parents, who want the best for everything. It’s a coming-of-age story, where Kamala doesn’t want to be rebellious, she just wants to find out who she is outside of her family. The vibrant visuals make this feel special though, you can feel the passion from behind the scenes leaping out the screen. Directors Adil & Bilall (who also directed the surprisingly excellent Bad Boys for Life) do a great job at setting up a new slice of the MCU in the opening episode.

The whole cast is fantastic, especially Iman Vellani as Kamala, who is completely relatable and Vellani does a great job as making her a believable character. Zenobia Shroff is also really great as Muneeba Khan, Kamala’s mother, who is completely overbearing and bring a lot of humour to the show. There’s a great moment when she offers dinner to Bruno, and when he declines, she brings a bag of filled tupperware containers almost instantly, without explaining how quickly she did it.

Later in the episode, when her parents try to be lenient and let Kamala go to the con, she accidentally upsets them by rejecting the Hulk costume her mother made for her. It’s a very relatable moment, and everyone’s upset someone without meaning too and the image of hurt on their face haunts you for a long time. The first episode is very grounded with these little moments of humanity, which will probably be replaced by the loud and flashy action that we expect from the MCU in future episodes, especially if the small glimpses that we get of Ms. Marvel’s true powers are anything to go by.

Ms. Marvel episode one is an absolute blast from start to finish. It’s filled with high-energy antics and the way it is presented is really quirky and stylish. If you’re put-off by not really knowing the character then give the first episode a go, it’s really worth it.

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About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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