ByJerome Maida, writer at
Jerome Maida

Part of the genius of G. Willow Wilson's "Ms. Marvel" series - and why it would make an outstanding choice for a film - is the unique way it addresses a demographic often neglected in both comics and film - Millennials.

Even though slightly younger than the technical term for a Millennial - which is "a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000" - the most recent issue of the new "Ms. Marvel" series, #10, shows that she relates to them on issues that resonate with them - and puts a nice twist on them to boot.

Whereas most of popular culture focuses on how we neglect the elderly and some shows and movies push tired environmental issues, "Ms. Marvel", as usual, takes a different tack.

To sum up the plot, Kamala Khan, as Ms. Marvel, tries to rescue a bunch of kidnapped teens she thinks are being experimented on...until she finds out they WANT to be where they are and are "doing this for the greater good".

She is told that they are "discovering" through their experiments that "human beings produce their own electrical fields and tons of usable body heat. Especially teenagers, because these are the years of maximum growth or something - that's what the Inventor{the main villain of the story} says>"

"If we could harness that energy, we wouldn't need to kill each other over oil and fry the planet and melt the ice caps and stuff".

The "hostage" then says stuff that should resonate with the younger demographic that is starting to go to theaters in decreasing numbers:

"We're parasites, basically. Kids are, I mean."

This is a strong statement, but it touches on a society in which it is increasingly likely for kids to think that way. Millions of them are talked about as an inconvenience before they're even born and if our foster home population is any indication, and the amount of "throw-away babies", then millions are still at least partially brought up to feel that way.

Then the "hostage" says:

"The planet is overpopulated. We're an extra generation - we shouldn't even be here. But we can do this - we can give our lives to something good."

Again, for at least half a century we have been told that the world in overpopulated. Yet we have added millions of people in the meantime and more people in the world are healthier than ever, due to medicine and greater access to food, among other things. Yet there are extreme environmentalists who still pronounce over and over that mankind is a "bacteria" on the Earth.

So why wouldn't some young people feel that they are a burden? Or feel guilty for existing?

Ms. Marvel then tries to get the "hostages" to wake up by challenging their thinking:

"Seriously? This is the solution? We're supposed to roll over and become human batteries so the adults can max out their air conditioners and credit cards without worrying about the future? "

To which the "hostage" responds:

"If we don't do something major - something like this - there won't BE any future."

Then, Ms. Marvel realizes she's heard enough and stands up for the "hostages", herself and all the young people who are increasingly dismissed as narcissistic, soft and "The Lamest Generation":

"Okay. Real talk time. I get it. I do. The media hates us because we read on our smartphones. The economists hate us because we trade things instead of buying them (I read that article in the Pedantic Monthly for school the other day.)"

"Just because they're old doesn't make them right. We're not the ones who messed up the economy or the planet. Maybe they do think of us as parasites, but they're not the ones who are gonna have to live with this mess - "

Later, The Inventor - the villain of the story - gets Ms. Marvel into a rage as she states:

"You've brainwashed a bunch of teenagers into thinking they're worth more as cheap electricity than as people."

To which, The Inventor retorts:

"On the contrary, Ms. Marvel. They've been told their lives are cheap since the moment they were born. I simply gave them a way to turn themselves into something of value."

Again, this is strong social commentary that can be interpreted in many ways, but is definitely a sign that these characters and this story are relatable to young people.

But before you think the story is all words, Ms. Marvel leaps into action and The Inventor temporarily neutralizes her powers and is about to deliver a possible killing blow, he states:

"This is what heroism comes down to, Ms. Marvel. In the end, you're all alone."

Kamala Khan's response couldn't be more beautiful if it was spoken by Peter Parker:

"Y-you're wrong. A hero is somebody who tries to do the right thing even when it's hard.There are more of us than you think."

After getting out of that jam and seeing The inventor escape, some of the young people STILL want to buy what he's selling!

Says one:

"We know he looks terrifying, but he's got a point. The world is basically melting. Canvas bags and hybrid cars ain't gonna cut it. We've gotta do something drastic.

Then Ms. Marvel again demonstrates that what makes her so compelling is not her cool powers, but her inspirational nature, saying:

"Yeah, we've gotta do something drastic. But not this. This is not saving the world. This is admitting the world is over. This is saying our generation will never matter. But we have to matter. If we don't, there is no future worth saving."

Ms. Marvel then convinces them of their own individual self-worth and they all agree to go after The Inventor.

This is a great character written extraordinarily well. She would make a tremendous addition to the Marvel Cinematic universe and would draw in a whole different range of demographics.

It's a no-brainer.

Let's hope Kevin Feige is thinking the same thing.


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