It's fair to say that the success of #WonderWoman has paved the way for other female superheroes to make their way to the big screen. With so many of their female characters being used by Sony and Fox ─ #Disney owned Marvel studios are pretty far behind in making badass female superhero films. However, the studio is planning to release their highly anticipated Captain Marvel film starring Brie Larson in 2019.
More female superhero films are, of course, always welcome, but one has to wonder if Captain Marvel really is what Marvel should begin its foray into superheroine films with, especially since Marvel owns such popular and critically acclaimed properties such as 2014's Ms. Marvel series.
Who Is Ms. Marvel?
#MsMarvel is a moniker that has been adopted by many superheroes appearing in Marvel comics since 1979, including Carol Danvers, who eventually becomes Captain Marvel (and is the star of the aforementioned #CaptainMarvel movie). The most recent (and perhaps the most important of them all) has been the Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan who, in February 2014, became the first Muslim character from Marvel to headline her own comic book series. Khan immigrated to America with her family from Pakistan when she was a kid and has since lived in America.
Unlike the previous incarnations of the character, Khan — created by Sana Amanat, Stephen Wacker, G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona — is a teenager who is fun-loving, witty and obsessed with nerdy things such as Tween Mutant Samurai Turtles (a play on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). She's also more relatable given that she's passionate about social media, writes fan fiction, plays video games and follows superheroes (she's a proper superhero fangirl but loves Captain Marvel). She's also unique as she's the first Ms. Marvel to obtain her power through Terrigenesis (the Marvel Inhuman power transfer process), and consequently becomes a polymorph, obtaining the power to lengthen her arms and legs and change shape.
Why A Ms. Marvel Movie Will Work?
A Kamala Khan-centered movie will give Marvel two of the most successful trends of this summer: female superheroes and YA heroes. The success of Wonder Woman and #SpiderManHomecoming has proven that both topics can work wonders, and Ms. Marvel easily provides the best of both worlds. A Ms. Marvel movie in the same universe as our teenage Peter Parker would allow for some fun moments, especially since the duo has proved so popular in the comics. Additionally, introducing Ms. Marvel to the world will make explaining the #Inhumans (and the Terrigenesis process) easier, and could pave the way for further exploration of Inhuman characters.
Why Ms. Marvel Works Better Than Captain Marvel?
It wouldn't be wrong to say that #Marvel has generally been ahead of the curve over its competitors. Its shared universe has allowed for great storytelling, made Disney billions in revenue and has made its characters (even the ones that weren't quite popular) into household names. However, when it comes to superhero movies led by women, it's still quite far behind.
While DC is planning to release the first ever supervillain team-up movie featuring a trio of renowned female characters (Gotham City Sirens), Sony's Marvel is producing a movie on a character generally considered a Catwoman rip-off (I'm looking at you, Black Cat). Aside from Captain Marvel, Disney's Marvel Entertainment has no immediate plans for any other female superhero movies.
Furthermore, all of the upcoming #DCEU and Marvel movies with female leads are based on Caucasian characters. If Marvel produces a Ms. Marvel movie, it will prove once again that it really is ahead of its competition, creating the first female-led superhero featuring a colored character since 2009's disastrous Catwoman film. Kamala's status as a practicing Muslim superhero will also differentiate her from her peers, and pretty much everyone else in the comicbook universe, adding some much needed diversity to the generally white #MCU.
A Captain Marvel film, aside from putting more women in the forefront, really has no purpose. Carol Danvers is a beautiful, blonde superhero who's inherently perfect and whose biggest problem in life is her quest for identity as a female Avenger. While all that is great, it still stands to reason that Ms. Marvel — who has always felt (and been) different — would be a much better role model for children.
In the Ms. Marvel comics, Kamala is shown battling her inner demons, and because she's an immigrant (something that could allow wonderful political commentary) — and a colored one at that — her search for identity is far more interesting. Unlike Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel has to confront more real-world issues (including: sexism, racism and Islamophobia).
There's also the fact that Ms. Marvel is a teenager, and boy does that have its own set of problems. Considering all that, it really feels like Carol has had life much easier than the teenage Marvel.
Ms. Marvel: The Real Superhero
Ms. Marvel is also the Marvel's most critically acclaimed comicbook of recent years. It was nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award, won the Hugo Award, and has even been called Marvel's “No. 1 digital seller” by creator Sana Amanat. Even former President Obama praised her, calling her "a real superhero."
Ms. Marvel's role in TV or films has been teased by veteran comicbook writer and ex-CCO of Marvel Entertainment Joe Quesada. By forgoing Ms. Marvel in favor of character with more sex appeal (and less personality), Marvel's really missed an opportunity to showcase a vibrant, three-dimensional character unlike anything else on the screen. Still, until then, we can keep our fingers crossed that this brazen superhero somehow cameos in the upcoming Captain Marvel film.
So, Marvel fans, what do YOU think? Should Kamala Khan finally get her moment in the sun? Sound off below!