The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend Ms. Marvel

The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel has just finished its first and likely only season.  I’ve stated before that it was kind of a hard show to review due to the fact that I had no interest in it, and that hasn’t changed. But since the episodes were only a half-hour long, I was able to power my way through it.

I can give it this much.  I didn’t hate it.

The Ms. Marvel character is a derivative, of a derivative, of a ripoff.  

In 1939, Bill Parker was disgusted by another derivative and ripoff character known as Superman.  Parker thought that Superman was simply an amalgamation of ideas and characters stolen from various pulps and he was perfectly right about that.  What he felt was needed was a team of six characters whose powers and abilities were based on the heroes of classical mythology.  The rough outline had six kids living in an orphanage and through wizard magic, or something, would each acquire one of these powers.  The wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury.

Parker pitched his idea to his boss at Fawcett Comics.  The editor told him to consolidate the powers into one hero.  Bill Parker did as he was ordered, and Captain Thunder was created.  The editor followed up his good idea with a bad one and renamed Captain Thunder, Captain Marvelous.  The letterer said that that name was not only too fabulous for the 1940s but too big for the word balloons. The lightning bolt on the costume stayed.

Captain Marvel had a back story that was more relatable to young boys and consequently, Captain Marvel started out selling Superman.  That was when the lawsuits started getting filed.  Fawcett eventually gave up under the constant pressure of DC’s legal harassment campaign and discontinued the title.

DC eventually bought up all of Fawcett’s superheroes but then discovered that the golden Captain Marvel trademark had lapsed. 

In 1966 schlock-meister Myron Fass picked up the trademark and created a complete ripoff of both Superman and the OG Captain Marvel called, of course, Captain Marvel.  This version was an alien android with the power to dismember himself whenever he yelled, “SPLIT!”

Meanwhile, Marvel Comics was developing a new masthead character.  Stan Lee had come up with a Kree Warrior named Mar-Vell but he is alleged to have decided that the golden Captain Marvel name would be a great fit and offered Myron Fass a buyout for the trademark. Myron Fass’ Captain Marvel ceased publication at five issues.

Mar-Vell was Captain Marvel until 1987 when a string of replacements started using the name.  If you include DC variants there have been at least eleven of them, although you may be able to come up with more than I did.

Ms. Marvel’s history is only slightly less complicated.  Most of the time she has been Carol Danvers but there were four others including Kamala Khan.  Carol Danvers’s primary job was being easy on the eyes of adolescent boys.

Just about the time that Marvel Comics began its meteoric descent. Carol Danvers was turned into Prison Yard Lesbian Captain Marvel.  Leaving the Ms. Marvel nameplate available.

Ms. Marvel, as is well known is the incredibly terrible, Mary Sue self-insert for her creator Sana Amanat. 

Sana didn’t get her job by being good at writing or having a deep knowledge of comics and Marvel lore.  She was made Vice President of Content and Character Development at Marvel Comics because she was Huma Abedin’s cousin.

Ms. Amanat’s family has bone-deep ties to the Democratic Party.  Deep enough that when Bob Iger was asked to find a job for that family’s useless “creative personality,” he coughed one up for them.  Then he looked at what she could actually do, shuddered at thought of all the damage she could do in the film divisions, and shunted her off to, (the by then completely worthless), Marvel Comics.  Probably assuming that she wouldn’t be able to do any harm there.

Wrong call Bob.

Sana came up with one of the worst characters in the history of comics.  Her iteration of Ms. Marvel is so bad it’s up there with Skateman.

Normally, if you have a bad character that comic book just gets canceled, and that’s the end of it.  But in Ms. Marvel’s case, they just kept renewing her with new comic book lines.  This failed character also got graphic novels published and thanks to the magic of buybacks at B&N, it actually hit the bestseller list.

Ms. Marvel was made the star of the disastrous Marvel’s Avengers, which was a failure of galactic proportions for Square Enix. 

On top of these failures, Ms. Marvel also got a TV series whose trailer I hope you had the good sense to ignore.  

For once there is a more understandable answer to the question of; good lord why do they keep pushing this unpopular character?

Because every time they do, Sana Amanat gets paid huge amounts of money.  This makes Sana’s family very happy with Bob Iger and inclines them to do big favors for him, (also I strongly suspect they get their own Big Guy cut of Sana’s paychecks).  Remember, Bob Iger is planning to run for president and some donations have to be made off the books if he is going to make that happen.”

That is the *past. And the reason I went way overboard on it is that there is so little to talk about when it comes to the TV show.

It’s not even Woke so there is nothing for me to get angry about.  Supposedly there was a much Woker version of it, but Chapek ordered reshoots to take the suck out.  With that accomplished the final product feels like Bend It Like Beckham invaded the Marvelverse.  Kamala Khan is a third-generation Pakistani immigrant.  She is doing the whole brown Muslim girl in a white post-Christian girl’s world thing.  

She is a superhero super-Stan and her absolute favorite is Captain Marvel.  Her life revolves around conflicts with her strict, observant but not radicalized family and the world of 2020s American high school. Her family has very conservative values and they are NOT presented as something that is inconceivably awful. 

Truth be told if I was a conservative Pakistani Immigrant this would be my favorite show on television.  But I’m not.

Kamala’s superpower comes from a bangle she found in the attic.  It’s not as weak a backstory as I thought it would be.  The bangle only works for a very few women in Kamala’s family and it’s rare. Not even once a generation.  Okay, it’s actually better than the superpower the OG Ms. Marvel has. And it’s understandable why Kamala Khan’s family has hung on to it but not overvalued it.

If I’m understanding this right… (I should caveat this by saying I only ever watched this show at bedtime, and I was given to nodding off).  …Then the bangle gives the ability to create hard light.  It is not an overused superpower so it has that going for it.  In practice, it’s more like Green Lantern’s ability than anything else.  

Credit where it’s due, Kamala isn’t just a heroine for the sake of her own narcissism, she honestly wants to do the right thing no matter what.  That kind of does put her in Billy Batson’s shoes. 

The big enemy in this series is an overbearing Federal law enforcement agency and I can also sympathize with that too.

The standout of this series is the lead actress Iman Vellini.  Super sweet kid, I freely admit it.  The Marvel casting directors found a winner here.

She actually had her own Ms. Marvel costume. And I think that isn’t a lie.

If memory serves, Captain Marvel II had its name changed to The Marvels just about the time that Feige found this girl.  I don’t know this for certain but given how unpopular Bree Larson has proven to be there may well have been some idea of giving the new and more likable Ms. Marvel a promotion and just ditching Larson.

If I was forced to choose between this and The Boys, I’d watch Ms. Marvel in a heartbeat.  But I’m afraid that is the lowest form of praise that I know of given how much I detest The Boys.

If you are a Pakistani immigrant, then there is definitely something here for you and I hope you enjoy it.  I honestly do.

But if you aren’t then I can’t honestly come up with a reason for you to see this show.

The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend.

*Van Sciver was wrong. She’s still at Marvel.

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