Recommended: Ms. Marvel on Disney+
What's Ms. Marvel About?
Kamala Khan is a Muslim, Pakistani-American teenager growing up in Jersey City who's obsessed with superheroes, particularly Captain Marvel. At times, Kamala feels like she doesn't fit in at school or at home — until she gets super powers of her own.
Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?
In its latest project from Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney+ combines a coming-of-age and superhero origin story into one. The show is particularly adept at embracing the cultural and religious elements of Kamala's life without being over the top or stereotypical. Small moments — like Kamala whispering "bismillah" before her driver's test, or her family throwing untranslated Urdu into their English conversations — show a clear understanding of Kamala's background.
Meanwhile, the moments of strict, Muslim immigrant parenting feel all too real, as Kamala is forbidden from attending AvengersCon, a superhero convention she hopes to attend with Bruno.
"So you want to go to a party? At night? Is this a joke?" Kamala's mom asks at the prospect of her daughter attending the convention. Defeated, Kamala quips that if it were her brother asking, they would no doubt allow him to go, another sentiment all too familiar to brown girls with immigrant parents. "It's not really brown girls from Jersey City who save the world," Kamala later says.
Eventually, of course, her powers do emerge, and Vellani's take on Kamala's emerging abilities is incredibly charming. Both she and the show are giving young Muslim girls from immigrant families a superhero they can look up to, but even beyond representation, Ms. Marvel is captivating and fun.
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