6 Things I Want to See in the Ms. Marvel TV Show
After a long wait and what was no doubt a lengthy audition process, Marvel Studios has cast Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan for the upcoming Ms. Marvel TV show on Disney+! This is exciting news because I am a huge Ms. Marvel fan and am very much looking forward to this show.
As has been pointed out, this is Vellani’s first major Hollywood role, so we don’t really know how she’s going to pan out as an actor — but I have 110% faith in the Marvel casting process. They haven’t failed us yet. No other casting decisions have been released online yet, but I’ve seen that the show is looking to bring in most of Kamala’s supporting cast from the comics. So there are no individual characters I hope they include because I’m confident they will include all the important ones. So this list is just some fun speculation of other things I’d like to see, like storyline ideas, villains or little details here or there.
Join me after the jump for ideas I’d like to see in the upcoming Ms. Marvel TV show! And feel free to share your own hopes, dreams and ideas in the comments!
6. Simplified origin
So there’s a big elephant in the room when it comes to Ms. Marvel: Inhumans. The basic story is that the Inhumans are this ancient race of super-powered beings who were created by the Celestials experimenting on early cavemen. Ms. Marvel is a descendant of old Inhumans, with enough of their bloodline still in her system that she developed powers when the Inhumans’ Terrigen Mist flooded New Jersey. That’s how she got her powers. It is a complicated as hell origin story. Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider, he becomes Spider-Man. Tony Stark builds a special suit, he becomes Iron Man. Kamala Khan carries an ancient bloodline of an entire sub-species of humans and accidentally gets exposed to their magical gas.
This is going to be a hard origin to explain to new TV viewers. How do you do Ms. Marvel without getting into the weird, complicated history of the Inhumans and Terrigen Mist? The recent Avengers video game tried to do it, but the whole storyline in that game is based around Inhumans, because they’re an entire race of people, not just this one lone, cool superhero. Heck, there have already been attempts to bring the Inhumans into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Agents of SHIELD did a big storyline on it, but that got swept under the rug. Then Marvel tried a whole separate TV show about the Inhumans, and that has gone down as the worst part of the greater MCU.
So how does the MCU introduce Ms. Marvel with such a complicated origin? Honestly, I have no idea. It’s such a tough origin story to adapt. Maybe Marvel could leave the origin of her powers a mystery? Nothing would derail the Ms. Marvel show more than also trying to make it an Inhumans show. So one of my biggest hopes for this show is that they find a way to keep it simple.
5. I’m not sure about villains
Honestly, I also don’t know what to do about villains for the show. Ms. Marvel has her own rogues gallery from the comics, but they’re not…very good? Her first villain is The Inventor. He’s got a pretty solid M.O. in that he builds all sorts of robots, big and small, and he kidnaps apathetic and disenfranchised Gen Z kids to turn into batteries to power his machines…but he’s also…a talking bird man? And I believe the bird man was a failed clone of Thomas Edison, only with a bird head? It was really weird and just not memorable. Then there’s Doc.X, a sentient computer program that builds itself off of her World of Battlecraft game, but he’s a computer program and therefore not a physical threat.
Ms. Marvel does have some villains I like. There’s Basic Becky (technically her name is Lockdown), a teen girl who got too wrapped up in the Civil War II storyline and let what little power and authority she had go to her head…but there’s no way the show could do the full Civil War II storyline, so they’d have to come up with another origin for Becky. There are a couple of Inhuman villains who could work, from the physical threat of Kaboom to the more psychological threat of Kamran (the cute boy from above, the son of an old Khan family friend who seems like the perfect match for Kamala…until he reveals that he’s an asshole). They might be the best bet, having gotten their powers just like Kamala…though again, it’s a pretty complicated origin to explain.
Another option would be grabbing random, more marketable villains from the comics! Uh…Kamala could fight…the Beetle? Maybe? Screaming Mimi? I’m sure there are some better choices out there somewhere…
4. The Zoe/Nakia storyline
Based on casting announcements, I’m very confident that both Zoe and Nakia will be in the show. They are two of Kamala’s classmates, and they have a really fun subplot throughout the early issues of the series. Nakia is Kamala’s best gal pal, while Zoe is the skinny, blonde, popular girl that teases Kamala, and yet with whom Kamala is really jealous. Throughout the course of the story, Kamala and Zoe find common ground as they both realize that neither is exactly who they thought the other was, and they become better friends. Zoe eventually comes out as queer and reveals she has a huge crush on Nakia — but Nakia is not queer and has to let Zoe down easy. It’s a really nice storyline that has nothing to do with Kamala Khan or superheroics. And this show would do well to have really nice storylines and subplots for Kamala’s friends. The world can’t revolve around her.
Also, Zoe’s ex-boyfriend eventually goes on to become a super-villain. So that could solve the villain problem…several seasons down the road, though.
3. Homemade costume
As is usually the case with homemade superheroes, they also have homemade costumes. That’s what Ms. Marvel does in the comic, and I hope they do the same for the TV show. She specifically makes her costume out of a burkini in the comics and in the video game, so I think that would also work in the show. There’s no need for Kamala to get hooked up with a fancy pants Stark costume anytime soon — though at the same time, they shouldn’t go the Iron Fist route of never having a costume.
2. Rich Muslim traditions
For me, personally, part of the pleasure of the Ms. Marvel comic has been its look into the average home life of a Muslim immigrant family. I’m as white as they come, and I grew up in a middle class, Christian American community and lifestyle. So reading Ms. Marvel was a really great look into an entirely different family/religion dynamic, especially since both the writer and the editor were Muslim and were drawing on their own lives and families to enhance the detail and realism. Kamala Khan herself followed the basic Peter Parker angle, of being a dorky, relatable young person. But the Khan family was a very well done look into a culture different from my own — while also highlighting the things that make all of us human. So I hope the show does not try to tone down the Muslim immigrant stuff inherent in the Khan family and Kamala’s home life.
1. Six seasons and a movie!
Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige has already said something along the lines of Ms. Marvel playing a role in the movies at some point in the future. Will she get her own stand alone movie? Maybe! We can hope, right? And we can definitely hope that she’ll get multiple seasons of her TV show. I’m pretty sure the likes of WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier are only one season mini-series. But something like Ms. Marvel could last many seasons as we watch Kamala grow into an awesome hero, with cameos and guest spots in future movies. They still plan on making Captain Marvel 2, right? It’s all gonna work out great!