The Marvel Cinematic Universe is all a buzz lately, with a number of new releases set to hit Disney+ before the end of the year, including the unique Moon Knight series. In Phase Four of the MCU, we are seeing a surge in women representation on-screen. From the Black Widow solo film to the upcoming sequel to Captain Marvel, The Marvels, women are taking charge of the MCU. That said, we have yet to see any young teenage girls involved in the MCU, but there’s a first for everything. Along with the up-and-coming She-Hulk series comes the new Ms. Marvel series set to launch in June 2022 on Disney+.
Ms. Marvel is really 16-year-old Kamala Kahn, a teenage girl who just wants to fit in with her family and her peers in Jersey City, New Jersey. But when she suddenly gains the ability to walk on air, create her iconic fist, and also a shield with the help from her bracelets, she is thrown for a loop. Ms. Marvel follows young Kamala as she struggles to balance the cultural pressures around her with her duties and responsibilities as a superhero. This series is going to break new ground in the MCU and here are just a few reasons why.
MCU’s First Muslim Superhero
Over the years, a lack of representation for people of color within the media has become a growing concern, but thanks to the efforts of movements like Black Lives Matter, more and more racialized people are receiving the on-screen representation they rightfully deserve. Ms. Marvel AKA Kamala Kahn breaks new ground as the first Muslim Pakistani superhero to enter the MCU. With the Muslim population growing in North America, it’s unfortunate that it’s taken this long for the Muslim community to finally receive a hero of their own. That said, with the MCU adding Ms. Marvel to their roster not only in the Disney+ series, but also to the Captain Marvel sequel The Marvels, the Muslim community is receiving a superhero voice for the first time. As an added bonus, those who watch Ms. Marvel and are not Muslim will be given a greater understanding and appreciation of Muslim culture.
Shows the Influence of Strong Women Leaders
Ms. Marvel gets her name from Captain Marvel, her favorite Avenger and role model. Kamala Kahn’s obsession with Captain Marvel is actually what leads her to become Ms. Marvel in the first place as she gains powers, taking inspiration from Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel was the first woman-led solo superhero film in the MCU. The inspiration that Kamala finds in Captain Marvel is symbolic of how most young girls feel when they finally see a woman superhero as the lead character rather than just an after-thought who helps out a little. Women representation, especially in the superhero genre of film, has become more important than ever. Young women and girls are impressionable, whatever they see they have a tendency to admire, as Kamala does with Captain Marvel. Thanks to the release of a number of female-led superhero films, girls are seeing a more diverse range of roles that women can play in life.
Ms. Marvel’s Pakistani Cast and Crew
The show has caused a great buzz in Pakistan with many speculating that quite a few Lollywood stars are set to join the cast, including Fawad Kahn. This is yet another first for the MCU. Similar to Black Panther, the first Marvel film to have an all-Black cast, Ms. Marvel’s cast is Pakistani, the first film in the MCU to do so. With the MCU delving deeper into cultural representation, the youth are learning why representation is so important. In order for a community to feel heard, they must be represented in the media, whether that be TV shows, commercials, or films, it’s crucial to have representation so that every community is able to maintain agency. With an all Pakistani cast, they are telling their own story without any whitewashing in between, as seen in Doctor Strange with Tilda Swinton being cast as a traditionally Asian character. Fortunately, Hollywood is now learning from its mistakes and has managed to give us all hope with the release of Ms. Marvel.