Ms. Marvel Episode 1: Five Cliches and Peculiar Things in the Asian Superhero Series

Superheroes are everyone’s fantasy (spare me, please). Marvel and DC have been at the forefront of creating swashbuckling champions with cosmic powers. The two production houses are, by far, the reasons why the smart age of humans is ready to believe in invented tales of fantasies.

The latest offering from Marvel is about a Female superhero, coming from Asian roots, who’s ready to conquer the world. Ms. Marvel stars Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan (and Ms. Marvel), and the show is streaming on Disney Plus (Hotstar) from June 8th, 2022.

I have already written a blog about the series, which was my Ms. Marvel review. Now, I have tried to bring five points that, in my opinion, feel banal and peculiar from the outset.

Of course, I am judging the plot but in a positive manner. I don’t aim to be a harsh critic though sometimes I might sound like one. Fine then, here’s the blog.

This Blog contains spoilers about Ms. Marvel Episode 1

Conservative Muslim Family

Yes, it’s a no-brainer that most Muslim families are conservative when it comes to females. Teens are not allowed to step out of the house after dawn, wearing tight and revealing dresses are considered a sin, and several other boundaries are set straight from birth.

That’s what ‘usually’ happens, and such prospects have been used in stories on numerous occasions. In Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan is not allowed to go outside during dark hours, she is not considered wise in the household, and her outfits have to hold parental approval.

I would call it a ‘textbook cliché’ in Ms. Marvel. The makers have taken the easiest approach to set things up. But wait, it’s just a shred of criticism, nothing else. No offense to the dudes at the helm of things at Ms. Marvel.

Who Calls Their Daughter by Her Full Name?

Okay, so this one was absolutely peculiar. In the early scenes from the first episode of Ms. Marvel, Kamala has to go for a driving test. She is in her room, editing and uploading a video on YouTube, when her ‘mother’ calls her from downstairs.

In a usual scenario, how would a mother call her daughter or son? She would use their first name or a nickname or a sarcastic sobriquet. I don’t think any mum would call her children using their full names.

For instance, my parents have never used my full name to call me, even when they were angry or irritated. I haven’t seen much of it in movies either. However, in Ms. Marvel, Kamala’s Mom shouts, ‘Kamala Khan’ when she has to pull her downstairs. Come on, it’s not a school announcement!

Let me tell you why the makers must have committed this blunder. So, Ms. Marvel is a new series, and the creators wanted to subtly introduce the name of their lead character. They chose to make another individual in the series call Kamala’s name to introduce her to the audience.

However, in my opinion, choosing her mother to do the same seemed too superficial. Not sure about you, but I found it strange.

The Best friend

Why is there always a best friend in every story? There’s mostly a female best friend for male leads and vice versa. Eventually, one of them falls in love with the other, and the rest is mellifluous drama. Isn’t it?

I’ll put it straight. Bruno will fall in love with Kamala or, at least, have strong feelings for her after a point in Ms. Marvel. I can even say that it will be a one-sided affair. Why? Because bro, she is going to save the world; do you think she will have time for these things? Let the friend die indulging in unrequited love.

However, I strongly hope my prediction goes wrong. Yes, I mean, who wouldn’t want to witness something fresh. Go and make both of them superheroes so we can call it super-love (no, be unique).

The best friend part is another ancient cliché used in Ms. Marvel.

Everything’s Predictable

When the plot surrounds the hidden aspect of ordinary people turning into superheroes, a lot rides on the mystery factor. However, with the evolution of the fantasy genre, things have become more unsurprising.

You’ll always find the protagonist an insignificant individual to others. Be it their parents, siblings, or colleagues at school, for everyone, they are a nobody. The best example is the string that began with Captain America or Indian movies like Krrish or Minnal Murali.

Every time, the ‘to be superhero’ didn’t exist for others. Expect no changes in Ms. Marvel either. Kamala Khan is a teenager, unimportant to her schoolmates, teachers, and family.

A writer always wants their star to be under the clouds before coming under the radar. It helps in making such characters relatable to the audience. And unless the viewer feels for the person, storytelling is useless.

However, repeating the same things, combined with a ubiquitous process, is like telling the viewer, ‘please skip to the climax.’ But wait, wait, wait… isn’t the climax all about the protagonist realizing they have superpowers?

Should you skip watching then? Well, read my Ms. Marvel review to make an informed decision.

The Secret Source of Power

If there are external powers, there has to be a source. Agreed! But what I don’t understand is the concept of a secret something. Come on, you can do other things instead of using objects like masks, grandma’s leftovers, pencils, wristbands, etc.

Ms. Marvel shows Kamala Khan wearing a dated wristband, probably of her grandmother’s, which turns out to be the source of her extravagant energies later on.

There needs to be a change when it comes to deciding the source of power for the protagonist in the superhero genre. I know it is a real hard nut to crack, but creative minds can pull off anything.

Otherwise, we already believe the cliched secret source of power, given the presentation and story are intriguing.

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