Ms. Marvel continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the Disney+ lineup. The show continued this week and it dove a bit more into the backstory of Kareem AKA the Red Dagger and ClanDestine. One of the more interesting ways Marvel have chosen to tweak the characters of this story to help tell their lesser characters have a more important role. Several Twitter users called this technique “reclaimed” and it is so fitting for what’s actually going with the product.
Marvel has so much content buried in their history that trying to pin down every reference and every listing one could find if they were to dive deep enough into Marvel lore, and the ClanDestine fall into this group. What was meant to be a throwaway comic has instead been repurposed as something unique and important to Karach’s own people. The very armor that the Red Daggers bestow upon Kamala as she learns more about
Caught in the middle of all of this in the last episode, Kamran tries to make up for his familial misgivings once his mother rescues him from jail, but boots him from their squad because he had the gall to warn Kamala of their attack ahead of time. Kamran sacrificed his own connection to his mother, for whatever that relationship seemed to be worth. How this evolves Kamran into a hero of his own remains to be seen, there’s something extremely likable about the way these costumes are built from the history of Karachi. It’s these little incorporations that came from the history of Kamala’s people and the show is stressing the importance of this.
Episode 4 also deals with Nakia finally realizing that Kamala Khan is the powered being everyone is talking about. The show handles Nakia finding out exactly as you’d imagine it to have gone down in the comics. Nakia is miffed, but only because it’s so damn cool. But they do not have time to focus on any of this as Kamala and Kareem spend most of Episode 4 trying to prevent The Noor from realizing their evil plans by taking her to meet Waleed, played by the ever amazing Faran Akhtar. Not only is Akhtar a Bollywood staple, but he’s a badass as Waleed. Unfortunately for Waleed, he appears to meet his end in a sacrifice to save
At the end of the episode, we’re taken to a place we’d been going to since Episode 1. The start of this show, we were told of a story that took place before the Partition that led to something during the Partition. So, wouldn’t you know it, just as the four Unseen circle Kamala and grab her wrist, everything has brought Kamala back to that moment during the Partition. Literally. Kamala staggers back and realizes that she’s no longer surrounded by the Unseen back in the present, she’s back at the train station exactly as the Partition is happening and we’re left with the cliffhanger that next week will be spent in the past. I can’t wait.
And that’s what I mean when I say that they’ve really done some interesting things with this show. Rather than just changing Ms. Marvel’s powerset — which they have done — Disney+ and Marvel Studios have committed time and brainpower to figure out how to take some of these things that lightly tie in and give them a bit more impact. Similar to what the rumors suggest they’re doing with Namor, making him more Mexican/Aztec and telling his story through that lens using other pieces that also went with the original story, but now in completely new and exciting ways.
Ms. Marvel really was in a tough spot prior to her release. Moon Knight was not as well received as Marvel would’ve liked. Many of the newer MCU shows have struggled to get off the ground as well as incorporating characters and villains that they didn’t introduce until the very last second, the MCU was in need of an overhaul on how it was doing. The team saw small things like ClanDestine and thought to themselves “what if I can take this concept and do so much more with it, maybe give it a second more popular life. It’s worked and it’s worked well. If Disney can continue doing more of this, I’ll be having fewer worries and more laughs.
Ms. Marvel airs new every Wednesday exclusively on Disney+ streaming service.
Kane Webb covers video games, comics, and film/tv for BSO and The Marvel Report. He also covers the USC Trojans for Athlon Sports. He is an entertainment journalist and you can follow him for more on Twitter: @FightOnTwist.