Forget about Spider-Man - if Marvel Studios wants to inject some new life into and broaden the fan base of it's cinematic universe, they need to greenlight a "Ms. Marvel" film ASAP!
I'll admit a mere month ago, I would NOT have felt this way.
First, I have always been a fan of Carol Danvers AND Marvel's original Captain Marvel. So I did not like Carol giving up her "Ms. Marvel" title - which I feel accentuated her gender in a good way that truly made her "Marvel's Wonder Woman" - and which had history behind it. Nor did I like that Carol would be the fourth major Marvel character - and third with her own ongoing to be named "Captain Marvel".
I thought the name change made her less unique.
Then, when I saw the covers of the new "Ms. Marvel", I thought, "This looks silly. Couldn't they have named her something BESIDES my longtime, beloved character?"
I also thought they were making the character Muslim simply to be politically correct and "check off another box" on their diversity list.
I am happy to say could not have been more wrong.
G. Willow Wilson gives the Kamala Khan "Ms. Marvel" character an authenticity and a freshness that people have responded to. I feel that, if they allow her to be involved with the production of an eventual movie, people will respond to that as well.
1.) Kamala would be (possibly, depending on how/if they bring Spidey into the fold) the first teenager to headline a film in the Marvel Cinematic universe! Think about it. All of the main Marvel heroes headlining films so far have been adults. There has been no "Nova" movie starring Richard Rider. No "New Warriors" film. No Richard Powell as "Darkhawk". No "Runaways". Plus, "Young Avengers" would liklely feel too derivative for movie audiences at this point.
2.) Part of the appeal of "Ms. Marvel" so far has been the emphasis on her interacting with her family and the struggle between pleasing them and doing what kids her age do AND doing the right thing with her newfound abilities. That would differentiate it from the espionage tales of "Captain America", the fantasy/mythological epics of "Thor" and Tony Stark's adventures as "Iron Man". Seriously, how much screen time do they they actually get with Peggy Carter, Jane Foster and Pepper Potts in their films? A huge part of what makes "Ms. Marvel" fresh on the page is the fact that she spends so much time dealing with her family and culture. speaking of which...
3.) Having a Muslim character written so intelligently, respectfully and authentically can't help but break down barriers while being entertaining at the same time. "Ms. Marvel" eschews stereotypes while educating people about the Muslim faith in an entertaining way.
For example, the first page of the first issue has Kamala drooling over a BLT in a local convenience store. "I just want to smell it", Kamala says, while looking at the sandwich like forbidden fruit - which of course, it is, since Muslims don't eat pork, then adds hilariously, "Delicious, delicious infidel meat".
Her friend Bruno adds to the scene by saying, "I'm gonna start charging you for smells...Either eat the bacon or stick to your principles. Chow or chow not, there is no smell".
Here friend Nakia/"Kiki", is a bit more strict and - unlike Kamala, wears a headscarf.
This again shows that all Muslims are not the same, which everyone should know - but it would be cool to get that message to the masses in a big-budget superhero film.
4.) Zoe Zimmer is Kamala's Flash Thompson - and more complex. The bully in high school has been done a thousand times in films. However, it really hasn't been done i a superhero movie since Flash Thompson in Dam Raimi's first "Spider-Man" film.
Even then, Flash - both in the comics and on film - is basically an unquestionable jerk.
Kamala's friend (?) Zoe Zimmer is more complex.
With one breath, she is complimenting Kiki, saying "Your headscarf is so pretty, Kiki. I love that color."
Then, with the next, she is asking, "But I mean...nobody pressured you to start wearing it, right? Your father or somebody? Nobody's going to, like, honor kill you? I'm just concerned."
When Kiki responds, "Actually, my dad wants me to take it off. He thinks it's a phase", Zoe then, seemingly sincerely, "Really? Wow, cultures are so interesting."
These are such rich, intelligent, fresh characters. It would be great to see them on the big screen. Especially Kamala's compassion and optimism which, brings us to...
5.) Kamala has the innocence of youth and sees the good in everyone. In a way, she is the anti-Wolverine.
For example, when Bruno says he hates Zoe, Kamala responds, "But she's so nice."
Kiki touches on Kamala's youth and possible naivete by saying, "You're such a baby, Kamala. She's only nice to be mean."
Kamala innocently replies, "But she's so adorable and happy!"
To which Kiki hilariously retorts, "You are not allowed to defend Zoe Zimmer. Even your sad nerd obsession with the Avengers is less irritating."
Which leads us to..
6.) Kamala may resonate even more with moviegoers than Spider-Man. Because not only does she feel like an outcast from her peers and the world at large, she's the first hero I can remember who deals with that by reading comic books and writing fanfic! In short, she idolizes the same characters moviegoers are familiar with! This makes her relatable in a unique way.
7.) Her powers are unique and still not totally defined.
8.) For that reason, an origin movie would be necessary - but fresh!
9.) Unlike most superheroes, Kamala's family life takes up a decent part of the book. Having a living, breathing father, mother and brother differentiates Kamala from Spider-Man, the Hulk, Batman, Superman and countless others. Again, these familiar situations would allow her to resonate more with most audiences - especially younger demographics.
10.) That her father is strict but a bit more open to the American way of life than her presents a multi-layered conflict - and again rejects Muslim stereotypes by showing even Muslims in the same family are different in how they believe and act to things. You know, like basically everyone else.
11.) By idolizing the Avengers, but specifically Captain Marvel, she would be a natural to sin off from the upcoming "Captain Marvel" film. At the same time, her being an Inhuman would allow her to fit in/ spin off nicely from that franchise.
12.) "Ms. Marvel" already has a huge and growing fanbase that would be thrilled to see her hit the big screen. Seriously, Kamala Khan has been a huge hit that has exceeded Marvel publishing's expectations from Day One.
Seriously, her fist issue of her series is now on it's SEVENTH printing! Kamala Khan's second "Ms. Marvel" issue is on it's FOURTH printing! Meanwhile, issues 3-5 are on their second printing.
Moreover, right from her first issue, Kamala's "Ms. Marvel" topped the digital sales charts for comics- a sure sign the youthful fanbase she was targeted for was responding.
Also those - like me - who were a bit older seem determined to play catch up with Kamala's "Ms. Marvel". Her first trade paperback collection topped the sales charts for October and took second place on the "New York Times" best-seller list for October, as well.
Add it all up and I am confident a "Ms. Marvel" film with Kamala Khan will be a huge hit.
Hopefully Kevin Feige and company feel the same way.