‘Ms. Marvel’ takes on new style compared to its predecessors

Ryan Ranc, Life & Arts Reporter

High schooler Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) is a big fan of the Avengers, more specifically Captain Marvel. When her parents don’t allow her to go to AvengerCon, a convention celebrating Earth’s mightiest heroes, she calls on her friend Bruno Carrelli (Matt Lintz) to help her sneak out. After their successful arrival at the convention, Kamala discovers her true identity. The first episode of “Ms. Marvel” premiered on Disney+ on June 8 and will continue weekly until the end of the season.

Right out of the gate, “Ms. Marvel” sets itself apart from previous Marvel shows and movies by establishing a flashy and colorful style that utilizes Kamala’s drawings as a storytelling device. This first appears in the opening when she narrates a YouTube video about the Avengers and her drawings appear animated. This later comes back when she and her friend bike past a wall, and their conversation is animated in Kamala’s drawing style on it. Another cool instance of stylization comes in the texts between Kamala and Bruno. As they text back-and-forth, their conversation lights up as neon signs on the front of a store rather than just through their phones. These nondiegetic images help engage the audience in a visual treat that gives off a childlike sense of wonder.

The story leans heavily into the teen element of the character Kamala, conceptualized through the lens of teenage frustration. Every obnoxious and sad moment is amplified by the writers to create the hormone-induced emotional outbursts many people experience in their high school years. Millennial and Generation Z audiences will also appreciate the constant jokes about having to decide their entire future while simultaneously taking high school classes. As of episode one, all of these elements combine to make a Marvel show unlike any other. It’s humorous, heartfelt and does not feel like the typical superhero show despite it still leaning into the typical Marvel story beats.

Vellani plays Kamala to perfection. She’s witty, relatable and expresses her teenage feelings and motives with excellent care. Through her first-ever acting role, Vellani brings a level of professionalism that makes it appear as if she has been in tons of shows and movies. It will be exciting to watch her character’s journey through the rest of the season.

“Ms. Marvel” offers a surprisingly refreshing and unique take on a Marvel show that still follows the tropes of Marvel superheroes. As the show progresses through the upcoming weeks, audiences should cross their fingers and hope the show remains as compelling and fun as this first episode.

4 ½ superhero cosplays out of 5