The Marvelous Mrs. Marvel

Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Online Jerks

If you've paid any attention to the news reports and rumors swirling around the Marvel Cinematic UniverseWhen it first began in 2008 with a little film called Iron Man no one suspected the empire that would follow. Superhero movies in the past, especially those not featuring either Batman or Superman, were usually terrible. And yet, Iron Man would lead to a long series of successful films, launching the most successful cinema brand in history: the Marvel Cinematic Universe. then you've probably seen more than one report about how Bree Larson is out as Captain Marvel after her next outing, The Marvels. "Oh, it's no longer Captain Marvel 2! Marvel clearly is firing her!" Yes, firing the star off a movie that has just wrapped filming, that they'll need her to go around and to all the junkets for. I'm sure that's the case.

In case you couldn't tell from my sarcastic tone, I don't really expect the rumors to bear any fruit. Maybe, yes, Larson may leave the role. It's no doubt that she seems an odd fit for the Marvel franchise, being far more outspoken than most of the actors they have in their stable, as well as very political. But the character of Captain Marvel, as written in the film series, does seem like a solid fit for the actress, and her film made over a Billion bucks, which is more important to Disney than any other consideration. If Larson leaves the role it'll be because she wants to.

Of course, despite the logic of this there are still fanboys out there calling for her head. They see the upcoming release of Ms. Marvel, and the new trailer, as evidence that ol' Cap Mar will meet her end soon. I have my doubts about that, too. That's not how it's worked in the comics and while the MCU does play around with continuity a bit, using elements of the main universe along with the Ultimate Comics line to populate the stories of the franchise, but the movies have never diverged so far from the comics as to position someone new in a role that isn't already in that role in the comics.

Now, you could point to Tony Stark dying in the movies as evidence that they could kill and promote other characters. Thing is no one has been promoted to take the place of Ironman. The closest we have is an Ironheart series starting up, but she'll get the name Ironheart and she's a character that does exist in the main comics. The MCU won't kill a Billion Buck Darling until the actress is ready to leave and, even then, Ms. Marvel is going to remain Ms. Marvel until such time as she takes on a new role in the comics first. Marvel is cautious like that.

I honestly don't get the hate for Bree Larson. Her performance was a little stiff, yes, and the character is abrupt, sure, but that's just how she's written. Captain Marvel is the survivor of some deep, emotional trauma. She has shit to work through, and the movies tries to honestly depict that. Sure, the feminism was a tad heavy-handed, and damn is Captain Marvel way too powerful in the MCU, but those decisions stem from more than just Bree Larson. The suits approve all that crap way about Larson's pay grade. MRA asshole want to paint Larson as the "issue", but she's just a cog in the machine like every other Marvel actor and actress.

All that being said, the new Ms. Marvel show does look pretty cute. There is a lot of nodding towards Captain Marvel, the character, with new heroine Kamala Kahn (Iman Vellani) being a fan-girl of the powerful heroine. She wants nothing more than to be like her idol, a dream made true when she gets a magical gauntlet that gives her some super powers (although nothing to the scale of Captain Marvel).

The trailer for the show takes an interesting angle. It absolutely looks like it's playing in the same kind of fertile high school storytelling that Spider-man: Homecoming setup. Kamala is a street-level hero with street-level powers. She's a "Friendly Neighborhood Ms Marvel" for the high school set, and, gotta say, it seems like that nailed the style and tone pretty well.

More to the point, though, this looks like a very women-friendly seres. Setting up their character they way they have, Ms. Marvel can tell stories of high school from the female perspective, creating another avenue in the MCU that hasn't been really explored before. If Captain Marvel explored trauma from a female perspective, writ large on a grand scale, Ms. Marvel will tap into another form of the female experience, while also giving some superhero delights.

Naturally the vocal fanboys are already trying to tear down this TV series as well. Even before the trailer debuted they were kvetching about Kamala, jumping on every tiny tidbit to try and find trouble in the shoot, to show that this series was going to be "a total failure". What it really comes down to, no matter what excuses they say, is that they don't like a female-led show, and they also hate that Kamala is up-front about being as Muslim. Those are two very verboten topics among the MRA idiots.

But, you know what? Fuck 'em. This show looks amusing, with its fun on-screen drawing and comic-book sensibilities. It's got a tone we haven't seen before in the MCU and shows that Disney and Marvel are more than willing to experiment. They're also willing to reach out to broader demographics (than just the angry white men, at least in the MCU -- the less we talk about the fuck up that is Star WarsThe modern blockbuster: it's a concept so commonplace now we don't even think about the fact that before the end of the 1970s, this kind of movie -- huge spectacles, big action, massive budgets -- wasn't really made. That all changed, though, with Star Wars, a series of films that were big on spectacle (and even bigger on profits). A hero's journey set against a sci-fi backdrop, nothing like this series had ever really been done before, and then Hollywood was never the same. the better). I welcome this, and I think the show could be really good.

Does it bother me that they made some changes to Kamala's power-set? Not really. Her powers in the comics were derived from her being an Inhuman, but considering how Marvel Television screwed up the Inhumans (via the failed movie/series The Inhumans) it's absolutely no surprise Marvel has decided not to use that origin for her story. Better than make it some kind of techno-magic gauntlet that give Kamala her powers and move on. She still seems to be ale to do her characteristic big fists and cool flexibility so, hey, I think they've probably nailed it the best way they could.

Ms. Marvel comes out sometime after Moon Knight and I'll be there to watch it. I mean, I have to because I review all this shit for the site. But, like, with how good this trailer is I woulda been there anyway. Let the Marvel women be, guys. Go find some other fandom to shit on.