When it comes to the Marvel series, opinions are somewhat polarized, not to say conflicting, since what we have been offered has so far certainly been very different from the uniformity, even excessive coherence, of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Indeed, it can be said that perhaps on Disney + the Marvel characters have so far been at the center of a surprising experimentation, not always received with enthusiasm by the public and critics, also by virtue of a perhaps excessive ambition in wanting to differentiate and amaze. Also the great variation in tone and rhythm between Loki, Hawkeye, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier And Moon Knight she hasn’t been particularly helpful so far. Now though here’s that with Ms. Marvel perhaps we can look with satisfaction at a serial product that already after the first two episodes promises to have much more balance than its predecessors. Certainly much less tiring in fruition, this series is immediately very engaging, more suitable for a teenage audience but not without elements of interest for the adult one. For now it seems to be able to keep the promise of a novelty that is not merely a facade.
The protagonist is the young teenager Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), a young girl from New Jersey of Indo-Pakistani origins, who in a world where the Avengers are basically a mix between a pagan divinity and the stars of the show, cannot hide the dream of being a superhero too. She then nurtures a very deep admiration for Captain Marvel. Yet her life is anything but exceptional, but that of a little girl struggling with insecurity and a scarce ability to harmonize with the world around them, with her family and school, which seem full of pretensions and stingy with happiness. . For Kamala also for this reason the character of Captain Marvel is something fundamental. She is not only her favorite heroine, but someone she would like to be like. One day, however, Kamala will find herself in front of her dream that she becomes reality, to possess those powers that seem to her the solution to all of her problems. But Kamala will soon discover that what she glitters is not always gold and it is not certain that having what you want is always good, quite the contrary. Between excitement and fears, the girl will have to understand who she really is and what she wants for her future.
Ms. Marvel will remind many Hawk eyefor the sparkling and light tonality, the ironic and amused tone with which the point of view of a teenager of our days, a girl who like Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop, searches in her imagination and in the world that surrounds her , what it lacks inside. Ms. Marvel it is a teen product, it is from top to bottom, and this can be seen both as a virtue and as a limitation, since this setting does not necessarily meet the tastes of the entire public. However, the final result from what we have seen in these first two episodes is undoubtedly worthy of attention, if only for the consistency with which it tries to give us a well-rounded image of today’s young people, of their world, of a youth completely different from the millennial one. Their imagination is incredibly more connected to the videogame and virtual universe, which here are the masters starting from her, Kamala, avid gamer, nerd, insecure about what she sees in the mirror, and who takes refuge in the imagination and in the boundless potential. of social communication.
The choice by showrunnner Bisha K. Ali and directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah to give us a glimpse of a Pakistani family in the United States cannot be dismissed with the lightness with which many today look to the will of the majors, to carry on inclusivity as an end in itself. Because the reality is that another really interesting element of this series is how it gives us a glimpse of a minority that in the last twenty years has had to suffer much more than others when it comes to ostracism, marginalization, prejudice and isolation. We see Kamala having dinner with her family, we understand the diaspora to which her community has been subject, how being a Muslim in America is still a problem today, how she feels out of place. In this Ms. Marvel succeeds perfectly in the objective of making us understand how inclusiveness must necessarily also concern cultural products, if only to give a point of reference, to make the members of those communities and minorities feel more within society. today, however, they are essentially invisible. It may seem little, but for the many Kamalas out there it is instead a light in a world that is often dark and not very hospitable.
Here then is that despite the light and ironic atmosphere, Ms. Marvel it is a story of formation and self-awareness. Which has always been the essence of every self-respecting teen drama since the 80s, continuously called into question here. There is also talk of women’s rights, as well as America’s need to broaden its cultural horizons. They are not trivial or easy to communicate elements, as well as the drama of those who are of the second generation and do not know which lifestyle to devote to, yet they emerge with great balance in Ms. Marvel, which however escapes paternalism, pietism, deja vu and becoming something other than what it wants to be: a fun product and visually incredibly connected to the very essence of comics. Many will not escape references to other female cult stories such as Dreaming of Beckham, Mulan or the very recent Red from Pixar. Only problem: it is not yet understood who will be the bad guy, if there is one. By now this classic narrative pillar has also been put into disparate, but unlike other similar teen products, if nothing else Ms. Marvel manages to make you think that maybe it won’t be a problem.
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