How do real-life superheroes affect pop culture in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Such is the central premise of episode one of “Ms. Marvel” on Disney Plus.
The show follows Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) a Pakistani American from Jersey City who is a huge Captain Marvel fangirl. She hopes to attend the first ever AvengersCon with her friend, Bruno Carrelli (Matt Lintz), who excels at making tech, where she hopes to win the Captain Marvel cosplay contest.
Her father (Mohan Kapur) and mother (Zenobia Shroff) are somewhat conservative, but eventually allow her to go if she’s willing to attend with her father and dress up as the Hulk with him, which she refuses. This legitimately hurts them, and in response they forbid her to go. This doesn’t stop her, as she sneaks out.
Everything goes well until a family heirloom she wears as part of her costume gives her powers that she unleashes during the convention, which both lets her stand out and also puts others in danger. Episode 1 leaves her confused by her newfound powers and very much in trouble with her parents.
I’m not quite sure where this show is going to go, as so far its central conflict is between Kamala and her parents. I understand why she reacted the way that she did to their conditions of going to the convention, but seeing their faces deflate at her rejection really hit me. You can tell that they’re trying their best to make their daughter happy, they just don’t want to see her hurt or in danger, which of course she doesn’t understand, being a teenager.
Episode 1 is fine, it just didn’t hook me in ways other live action Disney Plus shows have. They should have released at least Episodes 1 and 2 together, because Episode 1 on its own doesn’t make a compelling case for you to continue with this show. Episode 2 will presumably follow up on Episode 1’s post-credits scene in what looks like a government agency taking interest in Kamala’s powers, but it’s unclear what they want from her or what her involvement with them will be.
“Ms. Marvel” Season 1: Episode 1 “Generation Why” gets a 6/10