Ms. Marvel Episode 1 Review: Generation Why

Watching this was like drinking the combined end credits sequences of Jon Watts’ Spider-Man trilogy and the spirit of Into the Spider-Verse in a big ol’ Slushie – just an irresistible sugar rush. We’ve also gone from basically zero Easter eggs and Marvel connections in Moon Knight to an almost overwhelming amount here. They zip by so fast that you’ll probably need to rewind and rewatch to catch them all. My personal favorite was the Trust a Bro moving van during the end credits. I miss those bros, bro!

Ms. Marvel is just immaculate vibes all around. From the soundtrack, which begins with The Weeknd’s uplifting banger “Blinding Lights” over the Marvel ident (did you spot Moonie this time?), to Kamala’s thoughts on the Avengers and her complex family dynamic, episode one boasts a lot of the kind of fun we were denied when Marvel decided Spider-Man didn’t need his own MCU origin story: a teen with relatable coming-of-age problems who also has to contend with suddenly acquiring superpowers.

Kamala’s origin story is a joyful one because she’s already so enamored with that superhero life, and we’ve seen so many MCU projects by now that we’re all there with her. As fellow Den of Geek editor Alec Bojalad quite succinctly put it, Ms. Marvel is “a fun superhero origin story for MCU fans, about MCU fans, and starring an MCU fan.” Kamala collects merch and yearns to attend the very first Avengers Con. She idolizes Captain Marvel and can’t get enough of Scott Lang’s tall tales. She makes and posts her own videos about Earth’s Mightiest Heroes online. Kamala is a stan, but we all know how the most starry-eyed of MCU stans react when presented with even the most well-meaning criticism about their heroes, and it will be interesting to see how Kamala processes her idols’ flaws when she meets them, or when she has to cope with the fallout of their many (many) mistakes. It’s clear that she must begin by reckoning with her own.

Though the series delivers a large helping of effortless charm from the entire cast, Vellani is the star of Ms. Marvel, and much of this episode’s success rests on the 19-year-old’s shoulders. She plays Kamala as sweet and kind, but often self-centered and burgeoning with the kind of youthful optimism and scrappy over-confidence that I definitely wished I had at that age (but didn’t lol). From the get-go, you can envision Vellani reprising this role again and again in the MCU because she captures Kamala so well, and while we’re still focusing on the beginning of her story, we know it will definitely continue beyond this show.

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