As someone who was a comics-obsessed teenager in a similarly unpopular friend group, watching Ms. Marvel brought back fond memories of my cringey teenage years. I was excited to watch Disney+’s latest Marvel show since I was excited to watch it as a fan of Kamala Khan’s first comic run, but what impressed me most was how accurately they wrote Kamala’s charmingly dorky love of Marvel. This dynamic is fun in and of itself, but is made all the more intriguing given Marvel characters are real in her universe.
Whether you’re such a Captain Marvel and Avengers fan, or a teenager going through that weirdness moment of our lives, having school and self discovery problems, or if you’re a Muslim and see yourself in Kamala. Or all of it! There’s something relatable for everyone in #MsMarvel pic.twitter.com/QrU11VeCCu
— Captain Marvel NEWS ✵ (@CaptMarvelNews) June 8, 2022
It’s hard to make a character who is genuine and passionate about something nerdy without making them annoying, obnoxious, or a bit of both. In the first episode of Ms. Marvel, Kamala comes off as a geek, but not an insufferable one. She loves the Avengers in the same way that many of the show’s viewers do. She cosplays, draws, writes fan-fiction, and has a room plastered with Captain Marvel merch. Each of those qualities likely describes a large portion of the viewers tuning in, but it’s the earnestness that this is done with that truly appeals to me.
Kamala isn’t cool, and almost everyone around her (besides her similarly nerdy friends) thinks she’s weird. Still, the joy that Captain Marvel brings her compensates for that, to the point where she’ll defy her parents to be able to attend a convention that’s related to her hero. It’s something that quite a few fans could see themselves doing as impulsive teenagers, and I’m saying that from experience. A 13-year-old Spencer had to beg his parents to let him go to an anime convention because of a similar enthusiasm for One Piece and Final Fantasy. I was practically having flashbacks while watching the show, and I know I’m not alone in that regard.
One scene that especially stood out to me was when Kamala tries on her Captain Marvel cosplay while looking in the mirror, obviously excited about looking like her favorite character. I had just finished high school when Guardians of the Galaxy came out, and I had a very similar moment right before a convention as I first tried on the Star-Lord cosplay I had assembled. When you’re young and passionate about something, and you find a way to express that in a personal way, it’s a great feeling. This show gets that element of fandom, which means it gets a huge part of Kamala’s character.
Kamala is going to be so relatable to so many fans, and she’s already so likable! cant wait for her to meet Captain Marvel pic.twitter.com/MHMHzUgldo
— Robbie SAW DOMINION 3X (@WandasaurusHex) June 8, 2022
Thus far, Ms. Marvel is nailing the titular character’s endearing fandom in a way that many will find relatable and, potentially, nostalgic. As someone with shelves of Marvel comics and collectibles from over the years, I was thrilled to see Kamala’s Marvel obsession portrayed in a way that felt like straight-up déjà vu for an older dork. I’m looking forward to seeing how this love of Captain Marvel transitions into Kamala’s own superhero career, as it feels like watching a likable up-and-comer succeed.
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