Marvel’s latest Disney Plus series, Ms. Marvel, is the latest show on the streaming platform to fall victim to review bombing.
Ms. Marvel tells the story of Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American Muslim teenager who gains superpowers and sets out to follow in the footsteps of her hero, Captain Marvel. It offers bright, highly stylized fun in a distinct break from previous Marvel series such as Moon Knight and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Unfortunately, some viewers have resorted to review bombing to attack the series.
A Vocal Minority
Ms. Marvel deliberately sets out to tell a more youthful story. It is a series about a teenager for teenagers. It is also a series that sets out to tell a story set amongst America’s South Asian migrant community, not to preach, but simply to tell a story from a corner of society that has not often been represented on screen and has never before been represented in superhero films and TV series. This seems to have been enough to anger some viewers.
“It’s really rubbish, it’s quite literally a children’s show,” said one reviewer, who didn’t quite seem to understand Marvel’s target audience. Some of the previous Marvel TV series have, of course, aimed to attract a more adult audience, but that was never going to be the mission statement for a series about a 16 year-old girl navigating her high school years.
“Please stop bowing to the woke mob and make something genuine. Focus on your fans, not social issues,” said another reviewer, who seemed to have forgotten about the time Marvel Comics introduced the X-Men as an allegory for the struggle against racism and other social prejudices. Or the time Marvel introduced the world’s first Black superhero, the Black Panther, whom Stan Lee hoped would help counter negative stereotypes around people of African heritage. Or the time Captain America punched Adolf Hitler on a comic cover, before America was actually at war with Nazi Germany.
Others who jumped on the review-bombing bandwagon parroted the popular complaint about the change to Kamala’s origin and superpowers. The creators of the series – including the character’s original co-creator, Sana Amanat – have previously explained the change was made to better integrate Kamala in the MCU. Originally, she gained her powers from exposure to Terrigen Mist, activating her latent Inhuman abilities. Given fans’ poor response to the MCU Inhumans series, the Inhumans’ role in the MCU has been reduced and it made more sense to give Kamala an origin and power-set that will tie her more closely to Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau, alongside whom she will appear in The Marvels.
The full origins of Kamala’s powers are not explained in Episode 1. Her powers are activated after wearing her grandmother’s bangle, but why Kamala’s grandmother owned such an item and why it has granted her superhuman abilties appear to be amongst the series’ central mysteries, to be resolved over the coming weeks. To complain about this after a single episode feels a little unfair and impatient.
Despite the review bombing, the majority of repsonses to Ms. Marvel from both critics and fans have been overwhelmingly positive. At the time of writing, over 40% of reviewers have given the series a 10/10 rating on IMDb, while well over half have given it at least 8/10. Heroic Hollywood’s own review of Ms. Marvel is available to read now and deemed the series to be “full of heart, hope and fun.”
Here is the synopsis for the new MCU series:
Marvel Studios’ “Ms. Marvel” is a new, original series that introduces Kamala Khan, a Muslim American teenager growing up in Jersey City. An avid gamer and a voracious fan-fiction scribe, Kamala is a Super Hero mega fan with an oversized imagination—particularly when it comes to Captain Marvel. Yet Kamala feels like she doesn’t fit in at school and sometimes even at home—that is, until she gets super powers like the heroes she’s always looked up to. Life gets better with super powers, right?
Ms. Marvel stars Iman Vellani, Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Rish Shah, Matt Lintz, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Fawad Khan, Mehwish Hayat, and Farhan Akhtar. Episodes of the series were directed by Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah, Meera Menon and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, with Bisha K. Ali serving as the head writer. Marvel’s Kevin Feige is involved in the series as an executive producer.
Ms. Marvel is now streaming on Disney Plus, with new episodes released every Wednesday. Stay tuned for all the latest news surrounding the Disney Plus series and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more original video content.