Ms. Marvel is here. Well, at least the trailer for the upcoming Disney+ show Ms. Marvel is here. Starring Canadian actor Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan and following her journey from being an ordinary nerd/superhero fangirl to actually becoming a superhero herself, the just-released trailer has a markedly different tone than most of the MCU thus far. For one thing, given that this new streaming show is pretty teen-centered, it has a much more animated (and sometimes, apparently animation) vibe and definitely a lot more high school drama. While we have gotten a bit of that in the various installments featuring Tom Holland as Spider-Man, it sure looks like Ms. Marvel is going all in on the adolescent struggles. Check it out:
The trailer for Ms. Marvel starts off with Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) sitting in what is presumably her high school counselor’s office, trying to get through what seems like the world’s most awkward attempt at an adult bonding with a youth. We then see Kamala getting passive-aggressively complimented for (apparently yet another) t-shirt featuring superheroes, and a quick glimpse of an animated set of devil horns on the lead mean girl of the pack. Whether this means Kamala herself is actually seeing this, or it is just visual shorthand for her feelings, we will have to see. There is also a brief exchange of Kamala explaining how to pronounce her name, a situation deeply familiar to anyone with a Kamal-variant name. Ahem.
It seems as though Ms. Marvel will highly focus on Kamala’s daydreams, as we see sequences of her dressed up like Brie Larson’s character Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers, and definitely a lot of Vellani looking awed and worshipful at the very idea of superheroes. Then, the New Jersey teens slaps on a chunky-looking bracelet and we’re in superpowers territory. While the Marvel Comics version of Kamala has the power to “embiggen” herself and most notably uses it to punch people will a big ol’ energy fist, it looks like the MCU Ms. Marvel has more energy based powers (although we still get a quick look at that fist). In the comics, Kamala received her powers from The Inhumans’ Terrigen Mists (it’s like The X-Men, but not and weirder), while it seems like bracelets might be a reference to the original Captain Marvel’s Nega-Bands.
The Ms. Marvel series is part of Disney’s pivot to using their streaming platform to launch new characters and series between MCU films. It also appears that the company is taking the opportunity to mix up the tone of their offerings a bit. While the MCU has been criticized in the past for having visual and tonal similarities across all their properties, it seems this next stage is changing that. The upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is being promoted as having a horror movie aesthetic (and doubtless, Evil Dead director Sam Raimi was brought in to push that idea), while the Oscar Isaac-starring Moon Knight series seems pretty dark and violent. But for the time being, it looks like Ms. Marvel will be your destination for super-powered high school shenanigans.