BSO Review: Ms. Marvel: The Finale, Post Credit Scene and The Future – BlackSportsOnline
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BSO Review: Ms. Marvel: The Finale, Post Credit Scene and The Future

After six episodes, Ms. Marvel has officially hit its season finale. How much of a finale this actually was will be a central focus of this review, but I’ve also decided to adjust my own review metrics for the Disney+ shows. For too long I’ve held them up to the same candlelight as their silver screen counterparts. The impetus for this was originally borne out of the fact that WandaVision was nine episodes. It felt and was pushed as a movie on TV. Disney+ has since abandoned that form of marketing and, I think, for good reason as it was causing some confusion for critics like myself on how, exactly, to approach our reviews of these stories. 

In the end, Disney+ shows have much more in common with TV than they do with movies. The stories are shorter and aren’t as meaningful as global stakes while still being very meaningful with familial and neighborhood stakes. They’re substantially more formulaic than their film counterparts, as well. Leading into Ms. Marvel, the MCU Disney+ shows had a bad habit of revealing the villain or the real villain on episode 5/7, depending on the length of the show. They rarely had the same camaraderie and feel as their film counterparts either. While it didn’t undergo wholesale changes with Ms. Marvel, the show was very much a breath of fresh air from what we had been seeing. 

For Ms. Marvel, the stakes were lowered since her real story is set to be told in the upcoming The Marvels film that serves as a sequel to the Captain Marvel franchise. The film will also feature Monica Rambeau becoming Photon/Spectrum in an official capacity, so we knew that Ms. Marvel was going to be focused around New Jersey and Karachi. The show did a wonderful job with both. I mentioned something similar on Twitter when I said that I thought I wanted to see more of New Jersey in the show, but once I saw Karachi, I decided I would prefer to see more of that knowing Jersey will always be there for Kamala Khan. That helped me frame the micro-focus on the show into a different context for me as I thought out my review. 

But the villains… How do we talk about the villains in this show? Can we even call them that? I guess Najma was technically the villain, but the Veil, which was supposed to be worse, turned out to sorta look like a giant cosmic color-changing exploding butthole that Najma just sorta stopped by running right up to it, standing in front of it, said “Kamran” and, uh, turned into a collapsing blue crystal or goo or something. It sure was something and I’ve read a lot of comic books. What that is, I’m sure I will find out one day. But for now we’re going to focus on how that ending might not have been one of Marvel’s finest decisions, even when it has meaning in The Marvels. It’s still gonna be a bad scene even then. 

To add insult to injury, the sixth episode really felt like a giant add-on since the main plot had been resolved, but now there’s this B-plot with Sadie ‘Karen’ Deever and her so overly aggressive Islamophobia that I got to be honest, it felt like a bad imitation of a racist person by a racist person. This is absolutely not about the actress playing Deever, the wonderful Alysia Reiner, but about her portrayal as a Damage Control agent looking for that one case that finally life them the hell out of whatever personal rut they seem to be in, so they push and push and push until they’re finally doing the very things they swore to stop. That’s Deever in a nutshell, but she’s proud of it. Even boasting to Imams that she doesn’t care and has the Patriot Act on her side. 

I don’t know if Marvel’s decision to only have Deever “relieved of duty” at the end of things was intentional to illustrate that these people usually get away with everything no matter how many lives they ruin and all it ever seems to cost them is a job, and even then it’s temporary. It was an odd way to end a battle with the final villain of the show. But to have an overly racist villain only lose their job even in a fictional space, had to really piss some viewers off. It certainly left me scratching my head. I don’t get it. Maybe it’s commentary that Marvel did on purpose, but I’m of the mindset that these are the kinds of things that get overlooked when you’ve gone through the issues Ms. Marvel had. I guess sometimes you don’t get time for a focus group that would say, “uh, could Deever get more of a comeuppance for those of us who know this shit all too well?”

Either way, Ms. Marvel’s biggest feature was its family and her connection to her family. The parents were loving and I’ve seen many of my South West Asian and Non-Asian friends comment that it was wonderful to see an Islamic family that isn’t just a stereotype of strict, detached and focused on anything but their children. These are the stereotypes that need to be smashed to shit and it’s wonderful that Kamala got a story free of that form of prejudicial story-telling. I’m told the show did not get Nakia right, but I don’t know enough about that to comment on it, so all I’m going to say to avoid upsetting anyone was that she really didn’t remind me of the Nakia I know and loved in the comics. 

I’ve saved this part for near the end because I want to resonate with readers before I close out. My favorite part of this show and it is not by a small margin, but my favorite moment of this series is when Kamala’s mother Muneeba is the one to buy and gift Kamala the classic Ms. Marvel outfit, but that her father then explains how Kamala got her name and how she’s always been their own perfect “Ms. Marvel.” I cannot explain how much that stood out to me as a viewer and a comic fan. I thought it was a perfect change from the comics and actually brings the character even closer to her family. Absolute kudos to the person(s) to first suggest that idea in the writer’s room. It’s amazing. 

As for where the show goes, we already know. We will definitely be getting a season two because of the importance and overall popularity of the character. We also know she will be a main character in the upcoming The Marvels film to be released in theaters on July 28th of 2023, so it’s possible and maybe even likely that Kamala gets her second season and it leads right into The Marvels. This probably won’t happen, but let a fan wish. I love the character, but I think Season Two will need to make some significant changes. I’m not going to suggest any at this time because I wanted to see what the intended audience has to say about their own needs before addressing my wants, but it seems fairly universal that it’s a good show bordering on great with some tweaks. I also can’t wait for The Marvels, so Kamala Khan is in good hands right now. 

Oh, you thought I wasn’t gonna talk about the thing, huh. You just thought I was gonna skip right over that famous diddy, didn’t you. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about or didn’t catch it, during the One Week Later scene at the end of the actual show, Kamala’s best friend Bruno laid some atomic news on Kamala. Bruno told Kamala that after he compared her to the rest of her family, she still had something different in her than none of them have; a mutation is how he refers to it. These words are immediately followed by a very, very low sounding intro that fans of a certain 90’s Marvel Comic TV would recognize on any street corner of the planet if they heard it. That’s right, baby. They hit Kamala with the dun-na, dun-na, dun-na dun, dun, dun from X-Men: The Animated Series back in the 90’s. 

The song has been forever associated with the Children of the Atom and could mean they’re making Kamala a mutant rather than an Inhuman? I dunno and I don’t know how I feel about it either way. I like the Inhumans. I know a bunch of people hate them and think they’re a poor knock-off — and they are — but I rather enjoy them and what they can do. I just don’t think they have enough intrigue to carry a full movie whereas mutants easily could sustain any franchise you choose to throw at them. I would also really, really miss the Kamala Khan and Lockjaw relationship and adventures, but I also would very much look forward to frequent Kamala Khan and Wolverine adventures, as they’re just as good and maybe even better. 

However Marvel chooses to tackle this issue, fans need to realize that the theme song tease might just have been Marvel teasing fans, testing the waters, or just plain trolling them before they confirm she’s still an Inhuman. I couldn’t tell them one way or the other because I think every Marvel character is only as good as their writers. The absolute right person can take a daunting and discarded franchise like Thor — Jason Aaaron — and then turn it into an overnight sensation that eventually becomes a film. I’m not discounting the truly legendary Walt Simonson so much as pointing out that Thor hadn’t had anyone of his caliber since he stopped writing about him. Jason Aaron fixed that and the right person could do the same for the Inhumans. Hell, Taika Waititi had to fix Thor on the big screen because it wasn’t resonating. It happens. 





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