Ms. Marvel’s debut series concluded today, and while the finale isn’t perfect, it successfully leaves fans wanting more.
Ms. Marvel finished its six-episode run today on Disney+ today, and it definitely went out on form. As one of the few new MCU characters to appear during Phase Four, the show had a big task on its hands.
And thankfully, while the show occasionally misses the mark in some aspects, Ms. Marvel has successfully managed to establish a great new superhero, while leaving some doors open for the future.
There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to Episode 6, so let’s get into it.
Warning: this Ms. Marvel review contains spoilers for the finale…
Ms. Marvel grows into her costume – finally
Throughout the series, we have watched Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) learn more about her powers and become the superhero she was meant to be. Through this, she has learned more about her heritage, about the Noor dimension, and how to walk on air without falling.
While the end of the series likely isn’t Ms. Marvel’s final form, the episode feels like it completes Kamala’s transformation. We see her use her powers successfully to win against multiple opponents, along with showing some classic comic iconography of her using her powers to form two large fists, which is a nice hint at the way her powers have changed from its source material.
There’s also a hint that her powers are somewhat different from the other djinn. While this makes for a great hint at future X-Men MCU tie-ins, it also answers the question of why Kamala has been able to do more with her powers than her ancestors have. And it also provides some individuality to Kamala, showing that her superhero alter-ego is not just determined by her heritage, but by her own sense of self as well.
Ms. Marvel keeps hold of its roots
Her family has become a lot more involved with Ms. Marvel’s escapades. Not only did her mother Muneeba (Zenobia Shroff) find out about the Djinn last episode, but now her whole family knows. This makes sense; in the MCU pretty much no one has a secret identity anymore, save for Peter Parker after No Way Home.
It does feel like some lost potential however, as the idea of a teenager sneaking out to fight crime would no doubt bring an element of fun and tension to the series. Plus, the idea that parents as strict as Kamala’s were in Episode 1 would then change so much that they’d willingly watch their daughter go under gun fire in Episode 6, seems pretty far-fetched.
But disregarding all that, the scene where her family reveals that they know is undoubtedly hilarious. And Muneeba being the one to make Kamala’s costume is a very sweet touch, as is the scene where her father (Mohan Kapoor) reveals that her name means “Marvel”, inspiring her superhero title. Unlike some of the series’ other emotional scenes which can often feel heavy-handed, these ones feel organically wholesome.
Ms. Marvel’s villains reflect real world dangers – or do they?
While we discussed who would be the potential villain of the finale, it seems we have the answer: the D.O.D.C. Or at the very least, one of them.
The D.O.D.C – Department of Damage Control – have been on Kamala’s tail throughout the series, and the finale follows the events of last episode’s climax, that being their attack on and search for Kamran (Rish Shah). Because both “enhanced individuals”, Kamran and Kamala, are of Pakistani heritage, naturally the D.O.D.C begins to border on Islamophobia.
They barge into mosques once more – much to the nonchalance of its inhabitants, who unfortunately expect this kind of treatment – and Agent Deever (Alysia Reiner), who is leading the search states that this is what happens when powers go to “the wrong kind of people.” She later explains that she means kids, but we all know what message is underlining her words.
The show has obviously been dealing with themes surrounding Muslim culture throughout its entire run, and on the whole it has done a resonating job of it. Although, the fact that Agent Deever is told by Agent Cleary (Arian Moayed) to stop attacking Kamala and Kamran, only for her to keep pushing anyway, makes it feel like the series is going more for a disappointing “Bad Apple” trope rather than challenging the structural forces of discrimination. The show also makes a point of white police officers being allies to Kamala and her community’s plight, which is a whole other can of worms in this day and age.
Ms. Marvel falls back into fun, but doesn’t turn away from tension
One thing that Ms. Marvel’s final episode brings back is the zany drawing style and quirky planning montages of the first episode. And it was definitely missed, as this style was what made Ms. Marvel so captivating to watch in the first place. It was a shame that this aspect wasn’t as prominent in the rest of the series, but hopefully they can reinstate it more if the show is to get a second season.
The finale’s main action scene is also very fun and inventive. As our heroes plan to defeat the D.O.D.C. Home-Alone style in the high school, we are joined by Zoe (Laurel Marsden), who has become a very entertaining if slightly obnoxious character.
The action then successfully manages to build into something tense, which has arguably been lacking in a lot of the series – not necessarily by accident, the show is a more light-hearted affair. But the moment where Kamran almost sends a D.O.D.C. truck flying into a crowd of civilians is a genuine jump-out-of-your-seat moment.
Kamran’s whole situation in this episode feels tense and complex. While he and Kamala share another romantic moment, they also begin physically fighting with each other at one point, as Kamran mourns his mother’s death and feels like he will never fit into this world. Throughout the episode, you’re never quite sure if he’s going to suddenly turn on our heroes, making for a battle scene that feels personal. This also sets up potential for Kamran’s place in the story going forward. He seems good-intentioned for now, but will he follow the path of his comic book self? We’ll have to wait and see.
Ms. Marvel aims for small-scale – sometimes to its detriment
Granted, sometimes the show ignores potential moments for great tension. The moments between Ms. Marvel and Kamran could have been pushed further, and while the final battle is great, it leaves the episode before it feeling too small and anticlimactic.
Now, we don’t want to be too critical of Ms. Marvel’s small scale. This lighter tone has given Ms. Marvel a unique identity, and it allows Kamala to be fully developed as her own character, rather than immediately placing her into large-scale Avengers adventures.
That being said, what actually happened to the Clandestine? Are they just gone? Was the portal that dangerous if it could be closed so easily? Kamala even suggests to Kamran at one point that Najma (Nimra Bucha), the leader of the Clandestine, walked into the portal to protect Kamran, which doesn’t feel at all reflective of what actually happened.
The tension between Kamala and Nakia (Yasmeen Fletcher) also isn’t fully resolved. It all feels somewhat open ended, and not necessarily in a “We’ll wrap this up in a future film” kind of way.
Ms. Marvel leaves a portal open for more stories
But thankfully, there have been some great hints at what is to come in Ms. Marvel’s future. Often MCU tie-ins can be forced, but these moments feel more intriguing than shoehorned in.
It will be exciting to see how the future adventures of Ms. Marvel play out, and how she – and the show’s light-hearted tone – will fit into the MCU’s wider atmosphere.
Ultimately, if Ms. Marvel appears in any future MCU projects, you can bet that we’ll be there to watch her.
Ms. Marvel is available to stream in full on Disney+