Disney+’s premiere of Marvel’s first Muslim character to lead their own comic book made history this past week. According to Comicbook, Ms. Marvel received a nearly perfect Rotten Tomatoes score of 95% fresh from critics, securing the highest rating of any Marvel series from the Kevin Feige-led Marvel Cinematic Universe. Boasting an audience score of 89%, it was one percent short of tying Marvel’s highest-rated release to date: Ryan Coogler’s (Judas and the Black Messiah, Fruitvale Station) 2018 Black Panther.
“Ms. Marvel is a genuinely fresh addition to the MCU — both stylistically and substantively — with Iman Vellani ably powering proceedings with her super-sized charisma,” reads RT’s Critics Consensus according to Comicbook.
Vellani stars as Kamala Khan, a smart Pakistani American sixteen-year-old girl whose days consist of balancing the pressures of high school and expectations of immigrant parents alongside her fantastical obsession with superheroes, specifically Captain Marvel. As she struggles to find her true voice amidst these two worlds, Kamala stumbles into becoming a superhero herself, imbued with cosmic powers that will change the trajectory of her New Jersey life forever.
Just hours after its Wednesday premiere, the series was simultaneously review-bombed on IMDb, with one-star reviews totaling a whopping 1,400. Comicbook reports many naysayers on the site launched their hate toward the changes to the main character’s powers in the show. In the comics, Khan’s abilities are attributed to her being an Inhuman, and she can stretch and widen her limbs to enormous sizes, similar to the powers of Marvel’s Fantastic Four leader, Reed Richards.
The series has taken liberties with her powers, just like the MCU has done with characters in the past. Rather than being Inhuman, Kamala receives her powers from a family heirloom she finds in the attic. And instead of her limbs stretching, she releases cosmic energy which can be welded to form specific shapes.
Comicbook reports the review-bombing of the Ms. Marvel series is eerily similar to how many disgruntled fans reacted to another Marvel property. Brie Larson’s (Room, Just Mercy) Captain Marvel was met with a scourge of bad reviews to the point that RT was forced to delete 50,000 poor reviews from the page. At one point, 25% of all the film’s reviews were one-star.
New episodes of Ms. Marvel stream every Wednesday on Disney+.