‘Ms Marvel’: An important step for Pakistani/Muslim representation
The Disney+ TV show featuring Ms. Marvel is the first Muslim Superheroine of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! The show has an impressive teenage superhero narrative and an added flair of cultural diversity. The internet has also been overflowing with discussions about the loveable, relatable characterization of Ms. Marvel.
The show is set in New Jersey, follows the story of a geeky Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan, a long-time Avenger fangirl who stumbles upon her own superpowers. She gains the ability to harness cosmic energy to create light constructs from her Grandma’s magical bangle.
The most amazing aspect of Ms. Marvel and the foremost reason the show must be on every fan’s list is its inclusiveness. Firstly, Iman Vellani, who plays Kamala Khan, a Pakistani immigrant in the United States, is herself of Pakistani origin. Other central Muslim actors featured in the show include, Saagar Shaikh, Yasmeen Fletcher, Rish Shah, Fawad Khan and Mehwish Hayat. To further connect with the Pakistani audience, the makers did their very best to recreate Karachi on sets in Thailand! Furthermore, Ms. Marvel featured songs that you can find in Indian and Pakistani films, performed by singers, dancers and musicians from both countries. Even the costumes worn in the show are authentic to the traditions of South-East Asia. Through this, the show has shined the spotlight on Pakistani and Muslim culture, which is gives representation to a marginalised and often overlooked group of people in media.
Marvel studios has worked on reflecting diverse cultural values in its stories and films for a while now. Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings was a great attempt followed by Moon Knight. But, Ms. Marvel was a serious game changer in the experience of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!