Ms. Marvel: Episode One - 'Generation Why' Spoiler Review

The one thing that really stood out for me was that the tone of show was perfect, it felt like a John Hughes movie. Episode one was light, funny, and the family dynamics added the emotional core of the show. While the episode was light on action, I never once felt bored or disconnected because I connected with the characters immediately. The strongest element of the show for me is the characters, I can empathize with all of them, and I don't expect that to change over the next five episodes. Marvel has a great track record with casting and character development; they are not perfect, but they more often than not excelled in those areas. Ms. Marvel has what is probably the best overall first episode of the Marvel Disney Plus series; the only one that can compete is Loki's first episode which was also a lot of fun. Ms. Marvel does not seem interested in setting up a villain, or a world altering event, but it does seem interested in telling a coming-of-age superhero origin story. The simple nature of the first episode is refreshing when compared to an all-action show, I do want some action, but I am more than happy to get a John Hughes inspired Marvel show. 

I think the episode was great, and I specifically liked Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, I think she was fantastic. I also thought the performance by the actors portraying her parents was great, even though I did not agree with them I really liked their characters. The parents were able to be likeable despite being the antagonist to Kamala in a lot of ways. The reason that Kamala and her parents are not seeing eye to eye comes down to lifestyle choices. Kamala's parents want her to be like them, but Kamala is obviously the type that marches to her own drummer and that makes her parents annoyed. Kamala wants to live the life she wants without having to think about what her parents want for her, and I think that is how it should be. However, most cultures place family ahead of the self, and living the life you want would be considered selfish. I will always choose freedom of self over traditionalism, but I can appreciate that if that is how you have been your whole life it might be hard to consider another way. The idea that a Marvel show is exploring these topics is fascinating to me, the story between Kamala and her parents is my favourite part of the series so far. This episode tackled so interesting topics about family dynamics in a very fun way that had just the right amount of weight to make you think, care and laugh. 


The series begins with a really cool animatic sequence where Kamala Khan (played by Iman Vellani) narrates the climatic battle in Endgame painting Captain Marvel as the savior. Kamala uploads the video she made online before being told she needs to get ready for her driver's test. Kamala's driver test ends in failure after she reverses into the tester's car to start the test. While her parents are driving her home she sees an animatic Captain Marvel flying, she doesn't seem upset at failing the test. At school she meets up with her friend Bruno, they are planning to attend AvengerCon with Kamala cosplaying as Captain Marvel. Kamala is called to meet with Mr. Wilson the guidance counselor, Kamala is being told that she needs to focus better. Mr. Wilson asks her that when she goes home, she looks in the mirror and tries to find out who she really is. Bruno works at a convenience store, and after school they hang out there and work on her Captain Marvel costume. Kamala is looking for ideas for a final flourish for her costume, but they cannot figure out what it is. Kamala is looking through a box of junk sent by her 'Nani' (grandmother), and she finds a gold bracelet. Kamala's mother takes the bracelet away saying it is junk, and she has Kamala's brother take the box to the attic. 

Kamala and her mother go on a bunch of errands in preparation for her brother Aamir's wedding, Kamala was going to use wedding errands as an excuse to take the car to AvengerCon with Bruno. Kamala and her mother come home and find Bruno showing her dad how to use a voice operated control system for the house. Kamala asks her parents to attend AvengerCon with Bruno to which they say no because they think it is a party with boys. When Kamala points out the hypocrisy that her parents would not prevent Aamir from going, they become silent and Kamala storms out. Aamir brings her tea, and he says he will talk to their parents about her attending AvengerCon. Kamala's parents come to her room, and they say she can attend AvengerCon if her father brings her, but she has to dress up like Hulk, her father will be big Hulk and Kamala will be little Hulk. Bruno and Kamala come up with a plan to attend AvengerCon. Bruno has also made light-up gloves for Kamala to wear with her costume (that look really cool with those Disney dollars). 

Kamala's plan is very simple, but we see a highly optimistic and dramatized version of her plan in action. Bruno suggests that Kamala use something Pakistani as her flourish, so Kamala goes to the attic in search of the bracelet. Kamala finds the bracelet and a red sash to use as her costume flourish. Kamala's plan comes apart from the beginning as her dinner makes her 10 minutes behind schedule, she falls from a tree branch after jumping from her window, and then her bike gets left behind when they board the bus. Despite all of the setbacks, they make it to AvengerCon where they look around and take pictures until it is time to change into costume. Kamala changes into her costume, but she forgets the gloves that Bruno made for her in the washroom. Kamala struggles, but she eventually opens the bracelet, and places it on her wrist. As soon as she puts the bracelet on a glow moves along her body, and she appears to move into another reality before coming back. Kamala takes the stage, but she is dazed and when she throws out her arms a blue glowing shield comes from her hand. The crowd mistakes her powers for tech, but her blue blasts cause Giant mans head to fall off and roll around. Zoe, a classmate of Kamala's starts to fall, and Kamala throws out her hand and it stretches allowing her to catch Zoe. 

Kamala and Bruno run away before Kamala gets in trouble, but they get home late (almost 2 hours) and Kamala's mom is waiting in her room for her. Kamala and her mom argue that Kamala needs to stop fantasizing and focus on family and grades. Kamala lays in bed staring at a Captain Marvel poster and trying to understand how her powers work as credits roll. There is a mid-credits scene featuring an appearing by a Damage Control agent (Cleary), who appeared in Spider-Man: No Way Home. In the scene the agent is notified about what happened at AvengerCon, agent Cleary sees cellphone footage and says bring her in as the episode comes to a close.


As good as I found the episode to be, I have one issue and for me it is a big one; I do not like how they are handling Kamala Khan's powers. Marvel has changed how Kamala's powers work and how she got them, for some this will be a non-issue, but for me it is hard to see her use her powers and not get annoyed. In the comics Kamala Khan is an Inhuman, she got her powers after being exposed to terrigen mist. In the series Kamala only exhibits powers after putting on the bracelet her grandmother sent her, and that to me is a massive change in her origin story. There is also the difference in what her powers appear to be; in the comics her body can change shapes (she is known for making a giant fist), in the series her powers appear to be an ability to create blue energy projections that can make shapes. Those are fundamental differences from the comics, and the only reason I can see to change the origin and power set is because Marvel does not want Kamala to be Inhuman. 

The Inhumans were supposed to make their MCU debut via a movie that was announced, but for some reason the television side of Marvel got their first. The Inhumans first appeared in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series where one of the main characters was revealed to be Inhuman. Then the Marvel television department made an Inhumans series, but the series lasted one season, and it debuted to poor critical reviews and low viewership. I get the understanding that Marvel might be reluctant to use the Inhumans but we did just see Black Bolt (the leader of the Inhumans) make an appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Multiverse of Madness even used the same actor (Anson Mount) that played Black Bolt in the now defunct television series. If they are willing to show Inhumans exist (albeit in another universe) in the MCU, then why can they not exist in our universe. I spent the beginning part of the article talking about how I found the tone of the show to be something fresh and fun, but I spent the last two paragraphs complaining about one issue I am struggling to get past. This is a fantastic debut episode for Ms. Marvel, my issues seem to be among the minority so I will leave it at that for episode one.

I do not get the feeling that Ms. Marvel will turn into a save the world type of show, and I think that is a great idea. Ms. Marvel reminds me a lot of Spider-Man: Homecoming; both feature our hero in high school trying to balance their double lives. In Homecoming, Peter was trying to balance being Spider-Man and being Peter, but Kamala is trying to live the life that makes her happy while also trying to please her parents. I can only imagine how much harder it will be for Kamala to please her parents now that she has powers. Kamala's mother kept saying she was living in a fantasy world, but now that fantasy has become a reality. The Captain Marvel sequel is titled The Marvels, and it will feature Kamala along side Carol Danvers. Knowing that Kamala will be in the film, I get a feeling that Carol Danvers will be making an appearance in Ms. Marvel before the season/series is over. The stakes of the show might be smaller than all previous Disney Plus Marvel shows, but a character first story has suited Marvel, and I think Ms. Marvel embracing a teen coming-of-age story is a good thing. 

I am going to give 'Generation Why' a 9/10 since it was a fantastic debut episode that was a lot of fun and had a lot of heart to it. Kamala is an interesting character because as we see her mother is not wrong that Kamala is living in a fantasy world, but Kamala is also creative, and that creativity will serve her well. The visual style of the show was also phenomenal, I really liked how they blended Kamala's fantasies into the real world. Ms. Marvel is off to a great start, and I hope it stays interesting over the final five episodes. If I can get past my issues with Kamala's powers and their origins than I think I could really enjoy the series, but I hope Marvel addresses the decision to change the origin and powers. The family dynamics of the Khan family will be a central theme of the show, and I think it was a wise decision to base the season/series around this. I think Ms. Marvel will be a key part of the Young Avengers group that appears to be forming in phase four. I will try to keep an open mind about Kamal's powers, I think Marvel has more than earned the right to make changes as they see fit. Ms. Marvel feels like a fresh new entry into the MCU, and I think they found a young star in Iman Vellani to bring Ms. Marvel to life.

Thank you for reading my review and let me know what you thought of episode as well as if you believe in Marvel's phase four so far.

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