The continuation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the television realm picks up with the debuting Ms. Marvel and the story of the teenager Kamala Khan. Tackling Jersey City, the series picks up with the sixteen-year-old girl Kamala who is obsessed with the Avengers, doodling, dreaming in her fantasies in school, and also struggling to learn how to drive. Accompanied by some unique graphics fit for school distractions and a good duo of friends in gadget making Bruno and Nakia, Ms. Marvel hits the ground running and is another proven mark of Marvel’s ability to produce even more young stars in the film and television industry with the casting of Iman Vellani as its star.
Kicking off with another failed attempt at passing her driving test (by conveniently reversing into the instructor’s car), Kamala’s story begins with her free spirit on full display in her strict but loving Pakistani-American household. She has been at the butt of many incidents at school such as a dodgeball incident and a nice chemistry disaster that ultimately leads to her, her family, and her teachers confronting her with the coming of age storyline of figuring out her young life. After broaching the topic of attending the Avengers with her best friend Bruno to her parents, she is denied due to the nature of these events. After a difficult exchange with her parents and her persistence to rep her favorite hero Captain Marvel, she is denied the chance to go.
Despite this, Kamala hatches a plan with Bruno to attend the convention by sneaking out of the house. Upon the completion of this covert operation of hers, the duo of pals gets to attend the AvengersCon and prepare for the Captain Marvel cosplay competition. At the convention, Kamala recognizes that the popular girl Zoe has also entered herself in the cosplay competition. However, taking note from her friend Bruno, she has taken on some apparel from her Pakistani heritage by adorning her grandmother’s bangle that inadvertently gives her cosmic superpowers that she accidentally displays at the convention, wrecking the set and also placing Zoe in danger. Fortunately, Kamala is capable of saving the life of her popular counterpart. After returning home later than intended, she encounters her mother and experiences a harsh conversation about refocusing herself and setting herself on a course to accomplish a meaningful place in life. Yet, Kamala goes to sleep with the positive reaffirmation that she has obtained superpowers.
On the heels of other strong installments in the MCU’s television world such as Loki and Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel encapsulates brand new aesthetics and also youthful energy into the cinematic universe with its in-depth portrayal of Jersey City through a wishful teenager’s eyes. Additionally, Vellani as an essential newcomer to the acting realm displays poise in her role while also redirecting attention away from Marvel tropes through the lens of another young superhero to be with real-life issues. While the episode serves primarily as a backdrop for exposition on the character, her family’s lives, and the setting that this new hero will be taking on, “Generation Why” proffers a brand new approach to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the Avengers Con and the opening scene depicting the events of Avengers: Endgame do signify the connection with the past Marvel projects, it is keen on developing a new branch to the media that audiences have come to familiarize themselves with. So long are the days for cheap pops of returning A-listers to the superhero world and now it is time to refocus and develop a unique narrative around an impending brand new hero.