Ms. Marvel is going at an excitable pace as we’re 1/3 of the way done with the show. It’s a series that a lot of people are talking about and some are saying that it’s the best one so far in Phase 4 of the MCU. While that’s a little hyperbolic, this episode proves that they might be right.
Story: A Different Stray of Abilities
The episode takes place shortly after Kamala discovers she has powers. Half of the episode is about her trying to figure out how to control her new abilities. It’s a contentious issue with comic fans as the show has new powers for Ms. Marvel. In the comics, she has the ability of a polymorph which allows her to change her size and elongate her limbs. It works with the context of being a teenager and a superhero. You’re dealing with your body changing and trying to grapple with it. In the show, Kamala’s powers come from her grandmother’s bracelets and she can project hard light, similar to DC Comics Green Lantern.
It’s vastly different, but I’m intrigued by this change as it could relate to Kamala’s journey. We’ve been getting tidbits that her grandmother is a disgrace to the family, but never a full reason. Whatever it is brought great shame to the family that her name becomes like Voldemort. But, it sparks something in Kamala that will set her on the hero’s journey. There’s a lot of good mystery that involves her new abilities. How does it tie into her family and why is there great shame? While different, it does make me more invested in the show.
Characters & Performances: New Arrivals
We’re finally introduced to Kamala’s other best friend, Nakia, played by Yasmeen Fletcher. I’ve always loved Nakia as a part of Ms. Marvel’s supporting cast and Yasmeen beautifully brings her to life. She’s strong, complex, instantly likable, and has great chemistry with Iman. The scene with Nakia talking about her hijab in the bathroom is so well done. The whole monologue sent chills through my skin and made me love her more.
We also get presented with Kamala’s crush, Kamran, played by Yasmeen Fletcher. He effortlessly has this charm and like Kamala, we also get enchanted. Yasmeen is just so smooth and we can see why she would be into him. When they’re at the cafe together, you can tell they have chemistry.
At the end of last week’s episode, we were surprised by the appearance of Agent Cleary who was introduced in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Even now he had one scene in the movie, you just hated this guy. Now he looks to be an antagonist for the show and it’s a great choice. When he’s interrogating one of her classmates and trying to twist her words, you can’t help but be furious. Arian Moayed brilliantly achieves the level of being so despicable that you can’t stand him, but admire what a great job the actor is doing.
Cinematography & Sound: Hard Light
As mentioned before, Ms. Marvel’s new abilities are fascinating on not just from a story perspective, but from a visual one as well. The visual effects on the powers are really well done. They look similar to Captain Marvel’s in terms of looks and function. This cosmic energy feels complex and stunning all at the same time. When she creates these constructs, there’s a lot of detail in them. Especially when she creates platforms for herself and other people. This results in a thrilling sequence where she rescues a kid from falling off a tower. The beauty of the glowing platforms against the night sky really helped to make everything stand out.
Editing & Pacing: Times Flies By
The pace continues to be great as time just flies by with each episode. Not once does it feel like the momentum is getting dragged down or I’m checking my phone. Instead, I was disappointed when the hour ended because I wanted to spend more time with Ms. Marvel. We still get that stylish flare with the edits as they do a fantastic job on expressing Kamala’s imagination. The little sequence she imagines after her interaction with her crush is memorizing.