Synopsis: Kamala Khan attends Avengercon only to discover that she herself, by virtue of her grandmother’s bracelet, might have superpowers. Ms. Marvel is novel on a couple of fronts. It’s the first to feature a South Asian Muslim superhero. It’s also the first coming of age story for a Marvel series.
The story opens with nerdy 16-year-old Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), a huge fan of the Avengers, failing her driver’s test by backing into the car of her driving instructor. She and her friend, Bruno Carelli (Matt Lintz), are planning to go to the very first Avengercon, and apparently, calamity follows her wherever she goes.
Kamala’s grandmother sent a box of “junk” to her home, which her mother quickly banished to the attic. After arguing with her parents over whether to go to Avengercon, they give her permission, but with some restrictions. She must go with her father (dressed as the Hulk), and dress like the Hulk instead of Captain Marvel. Kamala, unhappy with the prospect of being stifled by her parents, finds another way to sneak out, so she can go with Bruno to the con.
With the prospect of not being able to go to Avengercon, Kamala plots a way to go, anyway. Bruno persuades her to alter her Captain Marvel costume to wear a pair photon gloves he created, but also to add something Pakistani to distinguish herself from others. Kamala puts on a bracelet she found in her grandmother’s box of junk. Despite a few more setbacks, she and Bruno get to the con.
Avengercon is a giant indoor playground paying homage to each of the Avengers. Every comic con-like cliche you can think of was there. Kamala dons her Captain Marvel costume for a cosplay competition, forgetting the photon gloves, but wearing her grandmother’s bracelet. As could be predicted, the bracelet is imbued with powers. In her hands, they lead to some sort of power beams that cause a kind of Rube Goldberg series of disasters that starts with a giant Ant-Man rolling head and ends with her bully classmate, Zoe Zimmer (Laurel Marsden) stuck on a giant Thor’s hammer.
When she gets home, she finds she’s in trouble with her strict mother, but she’s too enthralled by finding that she has super powers, and figuring out what exactly she can do.
We also get a mid-credits scene with our favorite smarmy Damage Control duo, who have their eyes on her.
Iman Vellani is luminous as the quirky, dreamy, endearing Kamala Khan. She shines as the teenager with an imagination on overdrive. Matt Lintz is fine as her foil, Bruno. Overall, the acting is excellent.
CGI & Effects
This series may be the most fun, colorful, and creative of all the Marvel series with playfully animated CGI murals and whatever else pops up in Kamal’s imagination. The special effects are especially good, conveying both the mix of urban decay and lively upheaval in Jersey City, NJ. Visually, this series is a feast for the eyes, and always exciting.
This was a marvelous start for a new series. It’s an origin story full of teen angst. It’s also funny and and playful, and a good start point for new viewers trying to get into Marvel stories who aren’t caught up to the entire MCU run. I’m looking forward to it.
- CGI & Effects10