Wonder Woman's resounding success has undoubtedly opened doors for more female superheroes to make their live-action debuts. However, it was Marvel's Jessica Jones that proved how brilliantly a female comic book character could transition to the small screen. The show created by Melissa Rosenberg won great acclaim for its gritty, crime-noir feel and dark storyline. Now, it appears that Marvel is shifting gears to something more lighthearted, this time working with ABC rather than Netflix.
Recently, Marvel TV's SVP of Original Programming, Karim Zreik, stated that while Marvel is keen to push several female-driven superhero projects forward, it's already begun a developing a project with ABC. Although Zreik decided not to give any major details about the show, he did say that it was very Jessica Jones-esque. So, what could this mysterious project be about? There's one Marvel hero who could be in the running.
Ms. Marvel: An Intro
Although Ms. Marvel has in the comics since 1979, the most popular version (save for Carol Danvers, who later became Captain Marvel), is 2014's breakout Pakistani-American Kamala Khan. Khan, an immigrant to America, got her power (the ability to elongate her body parts and change shape) through the Inhuman Terrigenesis process, and has since then become the superheroine known as Ms. Marvel.
Kamala Khan is the comic book company's first high-profile Muslim superhero, something that separates her from the rest of her #Marvel counterparts. The teenage superhero won fans' hearts as the lovable and troublesome teenager always yearning to prove herself. So much so, in fact, that her debut comic series was dubbed the "No. 1 digital seller" for Marvel.
Why A Ms. Marvel TV Series Makes Sense
If you bar the fact that a version of #MsMarvel was actually pretty close friends with Jessica Jones — and that Carol Danvers was set to appear in Jessica Jones back when it was being optioned to ABC — there's still evidence that supports why a Ms. Marvel show could be Marvel's next TV project.
First of all, #KamalaKhan being a person of color (and a Muslim) fits in with TV's push for diversity. At a time when Hollywood is finally opening its doors to women of all shapes, races and faiths, Ms. Marvel's inclusion to the live-action world can only serve to remind the world of how far-sighted Marvel is. It will also certainly dispel notions about Marvel being racist and sexist (given how few non-white and female heroes exist within the #MCU). Ms. Marvel could allow the comic book company to tackle another minority (Luke Cage's focus on race was greatly commended) and thus branch out to explore a different culture. If need be, Marvel can also take the show to a more political arena, tackling real-world issues such as racism, sexism and Islamophobia.
Ms. Marvel also fits tonally with ABC's primetime slate of shows. Whereas #JessicaJones was decidedly too dark, Ms. Marvel is light and comedic, which aligns with Karim Zreik's recent comment about what he wanted to see next in Marvel shows:
"Comedy is something we really want to go into."
Kamala being a superhero obsessed, fan-fiction writer is also quite easy to relate to, which is something Marvel is always looking for when adapting a comic:
“If you don’t have a character the audience will relate to, you don’t have a show. There are no super powers without a character.”
If Ms. Marvel sticks to its bright comic book roots it can make a show that will attract a whole new crowd, given that Ms. Marvel is essentially a YA hero. This also fits with the current trend of young superheroes taking center stage, with Spider-Man: Homecoming dominating the box office and Marvel's Runaways, Cloak & Dagger and DC's Titans set to debut next year.
Given how obsessed Kamala is with Captain Marvel, a Ms. Marvel series can also continue Marvel TV's trend of being in the MCU without actually being a part of it (though a crossover with Peter Parker certainly would be fun given their strong rapport in the comics). Inhumans have been a strong presence in the ABC slate of Marvel shows, with a major storyline in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and now a show of their own. Kamala's latent Inhuman lineage could allow for ABC to further explore these characters and build a universe of their own in the same vein as The CW's Arrowverse.
Most importantly, a Ms. Marvel show would encourage "younger girls get into comic books" and "bring in new fans." Let's not forget that a live-action adaptation of Ms. Marvel has previously been teased by Marvel's ex-CCO Joe Quesada. Back then, asked if we could ever see a Ms. Marvel movie, Quesada said:
"Who knows where Ms. Marvel’s going to end up? You can be sure that, somewhere down the road, she will be a part of the future of Marvel in other media."
Needless to say, a Ms. Marvel TV show that aims for audiences of all ages could certainly work, especially if it uses comedy and retains Jessica Jones's Nancy Drew-esque sleuthing to showcase a kick-ass new superhero. Although it's hard to say if Ms. Marvel is the project that is currently in the works, one can't deny that Khan would make an excellent addition to Marvel's live-action superhero world.
What do you think? Could Kamala Khan be Marvel's next TV superhero?