Cover Photo: Marvel Studios

From the positive focus on South Asian culture to the very authentic and familiar Desi music, here's why Ms Marvel is a must-watch

Awkwardness, growing pains and never feeling like you can fit in. We can all relate to these struggles and Ms Marvel encapsulates them all.

Launching on Disney+ today, Ms Marvel is a teenager’s entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that stars Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan. Viewers make the emotional journey with the teen as she navigates school, her obsession with the Avengers, her protective Pakistani immigrant parents and her new superpowers in the series. 

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So far, just two episodes of the new limited series have been released with four more due to arrive in the coming weeks. Despite a slow and meandering start, the show is deeply enjoyable for many reasons.

Keep reading for why you need to put this show on your watch list immediately.

1. The show accurately portrays the Pakistani American experience

One of the reasons why many people were so excited for the release of Ms Marvel was simply because it starred Marvel’s first Muslim superhero.

The character, in the 2013 comics, is part of a newer generation of Marvel characters who are led by women and ethnically diverse characters. Ms Marvel in the comics is Muslim American like her creators, G Willow Wilson and Sana Amanat, Marvel’s director of character development.

Thankfully, based on the first two episodes, it would seem that the show has done justice to the character’s culture and religion. 

In the style of Mindy Kaling’s comedy-drama series, Never Have I Ever, Ms Marvel introduces viewers to Kamala Khan’s Pakistani-American family in a relatable and enjoyable way.

Her parents are strict and are simply trying to understand their daughter who is devoted to drawing, video games and everything related to the Avengers.

Kamala, played by Pakistani-Canadian actress Iman Vellani on the other hand, is simply trying to navigate her teenage years while straddling two cultures. 

One thing that is immediately clear is that much reverence is given to Kamala’s South Asian background and her religion. It puts a positive lens on Islam and plays up familiar conflict points between parent and child while navigating religion.

2. It sets up the character in a solid way

Going into the series, it’s quite clear that the creators have very little time to provide Kamala with a good and solid introduction to the universe. However, that doesn’t stop them from trying. 

It would seem that the creators are firm on giving Kamala the slow introduction into the MCU that her other, more established superheroes have gotten. 

Clearly, this isn’t a token character or gesture by Marvel when it comes to diversity with this show.

3. The animations provide a good divide between reality and fantasy

We figured out from the trailers that Ms Marvel’s directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, would be mixing animation and live-action into the series. 

What we didn’t see in the trailers, but is very evident in the series itself, is how the animations work very well to provide viewers with a direct entry into Kamala’s world.

The animations reflect who the character is at her core with pop-art sketches, emojis and lighting that highlight her youth and vibrancy. 

Considering how different this is from what we typically see in Marvel series and movies, it is definitely worth the watch just for the animations.

4. It features an amazing soundtrack

One thing that immediately stands out to viewers is just how passionate, creative and energetic Kamala is as a character. This is of course emphasised in the soundtrack that introduces Desi music to the MCU.

It features songs from The Weeknd to South Asian classics such as Ko Ko Koreena by Ahmed Rushdie, Sohniye I Love You by Nahid Akhtar and Oh Nanba by S.P. Balasubramaniam and Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam.

Essentially, the music not only sets the tone but pushes the South Asian background of the protagonist to the forefront of the viewer’s mind in such a positive light.


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