The teaser trailer for the upcoming Ms. Marvel live-action series on Disney+ has been released. And while I’m all for actress Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, I have thoughts about certain narrative choices.
Even though the teaser trailer isn’t even 20-seconds long, it still gave the Ms. Marvel fandom a lot to be excited and worry about. First thing first. In contrast to some of the other casting decisions in this show, I think everyone will agree that Vellani looks awesome as Kamala Khan. I’m immediately drawn to her onscreen personality, and I can’t wait to see how she fares in the six-episode long season. She even looks good in the funny budget store Captain Marvel costume she’s wearing in the teaser.
To be fair, I still don’t know why someone like Kamala would be a fan of Carol Danvers, considering Carol’s overall absence from Earth compared to the other heroes that have been around longer, but I’m looking forward to the explanation.
One of the biggest concerns in the Ms. Marvel fandom right now deals with the information that Kamala’s powerset has been changed in the live-action series. In the comics, Kamala’s able to manipulate her body like Mr. Fantastic. However, in the upcoming show, allegedly, her powers will be connected to an ancient family heirloom (Kamala’s armband from the comics) that will allow her to create energy constructs. Going from stretchy powers to construct-building by using some kind of energy (like a Green Lantern) is a huge difference. There are rumors that the energy in question will be magical in nature. And certain fans don’t like the idea of giving Kamala Khan, the MCU’s first Muslim superhero, magic-based powers due to magic being haram in Islam.
Personally, I don’t mind magic being given to a fictional Muslim character like Kamala especially because magical armbands that allow you to create energy constructs don’t actually exist in real life. I’m a very, “Let fictional Muslim characters act like fictional people” type of person, as long as the creative team’s narrative decisions aren’t portraying stereotypical Muslim characters or promoting Islamophobia.
Having said that, I do hope Kamala does get her stretchy powers by the end of the series. I say this because, in the comics, her ability to change her appearance played a role in showcasing Kamala’s insecurities growing up as a Pakistani-American teen girl in the US.
Another thing that caught my attention while watching the teaser trailer was the scene showing a whole lot of Muslims praying in a mosque. It’s nice to see the MCU going all-in with Muslim representation and actually doing the work to show a Muslim community instead of simply mentioning that Kamala is Muslim and never bringing it up again.
I’m still not sure if that specific prayer shot had a woman praying with nail polish on or if the nails looked different due to lighting.
With Muslim creatives present behind the camera, I have my fingers crossed that the Ms. Marvel live-action series will feature well-written Muslim representation. We will find out when the episodes air sometime in the Fall of 2022.
Also, I don’t know about you, but a certain guy made me think he could be queer. As far as my theory goes, I think he could end up being Kamala’s boss once she begins some kind of part-time job.
The Ms. Marvel comic book series does have queer representation due to Kamala’s close friend Zoe being queer. There’s an entire story arc from back in 2017 addressing Zoe’s crush on Kamala’s other close friend Nakia.
For those interested, here’s my breakdown of the Ms. Marvel teaser trailer!
As for even more Marvel content coming to the Disney+ streaming service, here’s Angel’s roundup of everything shared in the Disney+ Day Marvel Trailer.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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