Ms. Marvel Episodes 1 & 2 Review: An Absolute Delight of a Show

Ever since she appeared in Marvel Comics pages, Kamala Khan has been stealing the hearts of anyone who gives her a chance, and the Ms. Marvel show is going to be no different. From the moment we hear her voice and see her on-screen, we know exactly what kind of person Kamala is, and we know that we are going to love her because we have all been her. We wouldn't be sitting here watching a show based on a Marvel Comics character if you weren't already a bit of a nerd, and Kamala is a giant nerd. She is the fangirl of the Marvel Universe, and she reacts the way that a lot of people would probably react if superheroes started running around; she picks the most badass of them, and she idolizes her. It's something we can all relate to. In fact, relating to the story is something that is the foundation of Kamala's story.

Ms. Marvel Episodes 1 & 2 Review: An Absolute Delight of a Show
(L-R) Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, Yasmeen Fletcher as Nakia, and Matt Lintz as Bruno in Marvel Studios' MS. MARVEL. Photo by Daniel McFadden. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The stories that we tell about teenagers are often the story of young people finding themselves because that is what you do at that age. You're learning and beginning to define the person you're going to really become as you age into your 20s. So, at its core, Ms. Marvel is a coming-of-age story, but it's one being told very real. Kamala and her journey with her culture and her past is one that many kids of immigrants are likely going to relate to. Kamala doesn't entirely feel like she belongs in either place, so she needs to pick the pieces of both cultures as she begins her journey. While some of us might not be immigrant kids or understand all of the references or even exactly relate to what Kamala is feeling, we all know the overall arc that she is on. She is pushing against the boundaries of her parents, she is finding herself, she is falling in love for the first time, she is learning what it means to be a good person, she is learning her place in the world, and she is figuring how she wants to change the world. We all went through this when we were teenagers, no matter what our racial or religious backgrounds were. That's not to say these details aren't important or just set dressing, they are extremely important, and this will be a moment for the people who see themselves in Kamala.

It's just delightful to watch as Kamala tries to figure out a way to get to AvengersCon because she wants to win a Captain Marvel cosplay contest or when we see that she has a youtube channel that she's working on. The show is very stylized to feel modern, with little animations and drawings happening all over the screen at times. It makes everything about Ms. Marvel just feel incredibly wholesome all around, and after something much heavier like Moon Knight or with how dark Obi-Wan Kenobi is going, Ms. Marvel is a breath of fresh air. It's all incredibly sweet, and all of the cast works so well to make these characters lovable from the moment they appear on the screen.

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(L-R): Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan and Matt Lintz as Bruno in Marvel Studios' MS. MARVEL, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

A lot has been about the changes to Kamala's powerset for the show. In the first two episodes, we don't get to see a ton of stuff with the powers just yet. Kamala is still in the process of figuring out exactly how to use them, and we were only just starting to get a hint about what they could mean. However, there does appear to be a hint that her powers will connect back to Kamala's family in some way, which makes them feel a bit more personal than "she got hit with the Terrigen Mist and became an Inhuman." They actually look pretty good overall in terms of how the powers look. Kamala is currently using her Captain Marvel cosplay outfit as her costume, and after the distracting CGI mess that was Moon Knight's costume, it is good to see actual fabric on a human being in Ms. Marvel. As far as villains go, we don't have much to go on, but there is a threat lurking out there. However, they don't feel world-ending, and, right now, they fit the show's scope. Hopefully, Ms. Marvel doesn't go with the world-ending supervillain by the show's end. This story doesn't need that; we have Kamala, her supporting cast, and her journey. That is enough.

In terms of the cast, enough cannot be said about Iman Vellani. Much in the same way that Xochitl Gomez just lit up the screen whenever she was around in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Vellani is a movie star. You fall in love with her instantly, and you can see why Marvel Studios decided that this was their Kamala because she just owns the role. Special mention must be given to Zenobia Shroff and Mohan Kapur as Kamala's mother and father, respectively. Perhaps this is just me getting old, but you understand why they are so afraid to let Kamala out into the world, and you emphasize their desire to see her safe. Credit must be given to the writing staff of Ms. Marvel because making the parents still sympathetic in coming of age stories like this is a hard line to walk, and they walk it very well.

Ms. Marvel Episodes 1 & 2 Review: An Absolute Delight of a Show
Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan in Marvel Studios' MS. MARVEL, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

If there is anything to worry about, it's the same worry we have about a lot of the Marvel series, and that is pacing. Ms. Marvel is a six-episode series, and we are two episodes in with not much happening in terms of the overall plot. Thus far, nearly every Marvel show has sprinted to the finish line as they tried to pack way too much into its final episode. There are some red flags already showing up in these two episodes of Ms. Marvel that there might be another Marvel show about to make that same mistake. It's too early to tell for sure, but the pacing on these episodes can feel a little weird at times.

Ms. Marvel absolutely works more than it does, and these first two episodes offer yet another promising start to this Marvel series. It remains a little unclear what the full scope of this show will be by the time the credits end on episode six, but we know this isn't the last time we're seeing Kamala as she is returning in The Marvels in 2023. We can hope that the show doesn't use that movie as an excuse to not finish any sort of arc for Kamala the way Loki used its season two renewal to not really wrap anything up. We'll have to see how it ends up playing out, but if nothing else, the Marvel Universe has added another bright star to its lineup.

Ms. Marvel Episodes 1 & 2

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Review by Kaitlyn Booth

The first two episodes of Disney+ & Marvel Studios' Ms. Marvel offer a delightful introduction to a new corner of the Marvel Universe. Everyone is going to fall in love with Kamala Khan.

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Kaitlyn BoothAbout Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on Twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on Instagram.
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