Ms. Marvel has high expectations ahead of it now that Marvel Studios has a number of series under its belt. The MCU's Disney+ offerings have had a near impeccable track record so far, earning favorable reactions from critics and fans alike. WandaVision, Loki, Moon Knight, and more delivered exceptional stories on the streaming service, so it's now up to Kamala Khan's solo show to meet that high bar once again.
Not only that, but Ms. Marvel has been subject to criticism and controversy in the lead-up to launch, largely stemming from the alteration of the titular hero's powers. Figures at Marvel Studios, like President Kevin Feige, have done their best to reassure fans, though some are still skeptical about whether the show's rendition will match the heights of the comics' portrayal.
Will Ms. Marvel be ranked amongst the best of the best MCU movies and TV shows? Audiences now have a bit more insight into how the series stacks up to what's come before.
First Reactions to Ms. Marvel Released
Ahead of the Disney+ series' release on June 8, members of the press shared their reactions to the first two episodes of Ms. Marvel.
Laughing Place described the show as being the MCU's take on Mean Girls, saying Iman Vellani is "perfect" in the lead role:
"Ms. Marvel is charming, hilarious and just a ton of fun. Iman Vellani is perfect as Kamala Khan and the rest of the cast delivers on every level. This show is Marvel meets Mean Girls."
Charles Murphy of Murphy's Multiverse found the pilot episode surprising "in the best ways," stating that teenage fans will "fall in love" with Ms. Marvel:
"The Ms. Marvel
pilot episode caught me by surprise in the best ways. It’s as close as we’ve come in the MCU to comic book pages coming to life. It’s inventive, bright & a ton of fun. My strong feeling is that teens are going to fall in love with this show. I know my kids will."
CineXpress's Fico Cangiano described the first two episodes as "a fun, witty & colorful introduction" to Kamala Khan's story:
"Iman Vellani is marvelous as young Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel. The first 2 episodes are a fun, witty & colorful introduction to her imaginative teenage coming-of-age story. Style & tone reminded me of Mitchells Vs. The Machines. So far, so good. Looking forward to the rest of it."
Mary Maerz of Murphy’s Multiverse had “meh” expectations going into the series, but got more excited for Kamala Khan’s future after watching the first two episodes while also saying she’s “optimistic” about the change to the young hero’s powers:
“I got to see the first 2 episodes of Ms. Marvel. Had meh expectations, but so far it is wonderful. It’s the first thing to actually get me excited about The Marvels. Iman Vellani is perfect as Kamala Khan, and I’m feeling optimistic about the changes to her origin/powers now.”
Collider’s Maggie Lovitt felt like the show “doesn’t quite know what it is yet” after the first two episodes, but remained hopeful that it would find its footing as the show goes on:
“I’ve seen the first two episodes of Ms. Marvel! The series feels like a lighthearted departure from previous series; filled with clever editing, smart dialogue, and teenage woes. It doesn’t quite know what it is yet, but hopefully it’ll get there soon. Iman Vellani is fantastic.”
Comicbook.com’s Jenna Anderson believed that Ms. Marvel is “the best-constructed MCU TV show yet,” and is ready to see even more of the series:
"The first two episodes of Ms. Marvel are so wonderful! This feels like the best-constructed MCU TV show yet, while also perfectly capturing Kamala’s world in the comics. The aesthetics and MCU connections rule, and the cast is unbelievably charming. I can’t wait to see more."
Film critic Zach Pope praised the stylish visuals of the show, ultimately calling it a “delightful surprise:”
“Ms. Marvel is a Delightful Surprise. The first 2 episodes establish a stylistic coming of age story visually/story wise that was AWESOME.. Kinda reminded me of Dope in some ways. Iman Vellani Ms Marvel is one of your next favorite Marvel Heroes! Very happy to see the rest”
FandomWire's Reilly Johnson thought that for what the first two episodes lacked in action, they made up for with relatable characters and Iman Vellani's charisma:
"Had a chance to watch Ms. Marvel Ep 1-2 for FandomWire! While it seems targeted at a younger audience, it's charming & enjoyable so far. Characters are relatable. There isn't much action yet, but its lead's charisma keeps things flowing. Interested to see what happens next!"
Writer Tariq Raouf praised the series for the positive Muslim representation that it brings to the MCU, while also highlighting the exceptional music:
"Ms. Marvel is an epic, game-changing series for Muslim representation in the MCU. By the time the second episode ended I was already begging for more.
Iman Vellani is a standout as Kamala and I cannot wait to see her in the rest of the series. AND THE MUSIC IS SO GOOD."
On the opposite side of the spectrum, The Middle Geeks' Swara Salih was a bit more critical of how the series handled its depiction of Islam, but had high praise for Vellani in the lead role:
"Iman Vellani is fantastic as Kamala Khan. She brings all the vivacity, passion, and awkwardness for which we all love Kamala. She does her best and constantly perseveres. Iman will have an outstanding future in the MCU and beyond... Ms. Marvel's portrayal of Islam is honestly a mixed bag. There are nice moments of resonance, but also indications of Kamala's Muslim community being too conservative and "holding her back." Instead of dealing with external societal issues, it's all internal, at least for now."
The Wellesley Times' Maryam Ahmad had similar thinking, feeling as though the conflict of Kamala Khan as a Muslim girl could have done with some more nuance:
"So far, the series seems to be setting up the big conflict as that of Kamala with the norms of her community. But it’s too close to the “Muslim girl just wants to be free of rules” for my liking. I would like to see more nuance there as the series progresses... Overall, I like it!! I’m also so so excited, for myself and kids like my sisters, to see Ms. Marvel on screen. She inspired me to write because I saw myself in her, and to tell stories that others could see themselves in too. Now I get to write about her!!"
Desi Geek Girls' Preeti Chhibber has "never felt so seen" after watching Ms. Marvel's premiere, and also called out to Marvel to put Iman Vellani "in everything:"
"I've seen the first episode of Ms. Marvel and spoiler free - I love this show. It is everything I could have wanted. I say this a lot about our girl Kamala Khan, but I've literally never felt so seen. But like me... specifically. Iman Vellani is a DELIGHT. Put her in everything."
Comic Book Resources contributor Ashley Saunders reassured skeptics that the changes to Ms. Marvel's powers "still captures the heart of who she is as a person," while also requesting for AvengersCon to become a reality:
"Ms. Marvel is EVERYTHING I wanted. Iman is PERFECT as Kamala. After two episodes, I can't wait to see what happens next. For those worried about the power changes, it works & still captures the heart of who she is as a person & a hero. Also, can we have a REAL Avengers Con?"
Radio Times' Sci-Fi & Fantasy Editor Huw Fullerton wasn't a fan of the reference humor related to Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but overall enjoyed the first two installments:
"Saw the first two episodes of Ms. Marvel this week and I thought it was great - I didn't massively care for the in-jokey Avengers fandom stuff but once it gets past that it's very charming. Looking forward to seeing more (ep 2 especially good)."
The Wrap's Brandon Katz thought that the reworked powers for Kamala looked "GREAT," while praising head writer Bisha K. Ali for the show's exploration of the lead hero:
"Ms. Marvel: Enjoying the high school sitcom style. Head writer Bisha K. Ali has crafted a self-assured identity w/ relatable family dynamics, setting up a clear arc for Kamala to discover her true self. Her powers look GREAT & the animation FX flourishes accentuate the story."
Will Ms. Marvel's Near-Universal Acclaim Extend to Viewers?
Right out of the gate, Ms. Marvel has received overwhelmingly positive responses from critics and early viewers alike. Universal praise has been given to Iman Vellani's perfect casting as Kamala Khan, proving that Marvel Studios' casting has done it once again.
From the sounds of it, critics have been mostly won over by the changes to Ms. Marvel's powers. Some diehard fans of the original comics may still be hesitant, but it seems that the adjustments will still tie into Kamala's story thematically even if her origin has been switched up a bit for the MCU.
The point of contention now seems to be around the Muslim representation in the series, with some appreciating the efforts of Marvel Studios while others were hoping for a bit more. As only the first two episodes have screened so far, it is possible that some of these criticisms could be addressed as the show goes on, similar to how Oscar Isaac's Moon Knight was criticized for its lack of Jewish representation only to include this aspect of the character later in the series.
Fans can make up their own minds once Ms. Marvel launches on Disney+ on June 8.