'Ms. Marvel' Disney+ series should take inspiration from G. Willow Wilson's Hugo Award-winning volume 'No Normal'
The Ms. Marvel we meet in 'No Normal' is an inexperienced teen just trying to watch out for the community, a truly "friendly neighborhood" hero, and that is exactly the kind of grounded narrative the Marvel Cinematic Universe needs right now
'Ms. Marvel' is easily the most popular character to be introduced in Marvel Comics in recent years and that is in no small part thanks to the Hugo Award-winning origin story crafted for her by G. Willow Wilson. The storyline, collected in the volume 'No Normal', is a fun high school story that mixes drama, action and comedy in a fun mix which could serve as excellent source material for Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel's upcoming Disney+ series.
'No Normal' is first and foremost an origin story but instead of getting bogged down with exposition and character establishment, the volume allows Kamala to find her feet as a hero at her own pace and lets the reader slowly but surely fall in love with this highly relatable character. With 'No Normal', we see some of the same things that made the early adventures of Spider-Man so appealing to readers, which is most definitely not a bad thing.
Marvel obviously won't just recreate the storyline beat for beat in the Disney+ series but Wilson's work on the character could provide a good heading for how the show eventually turns out. Either way, the writer is quite overjoyed that the character she co-created is getting to take the leap from page to screen.
“[Ms. Marvel] was very much a comic book lover’s comic book for people who’d grown up with superhero stuff,” Wilson told Polygon. “So my ambition, and all of our ambitions, I think, for this character, never transcended that. It was always about the comic books. Even metatextually, she’s a comic book fan within a comic book! So to see that all resonate to such a degree that, ironically, we ran before we could walk, is really kind of crazy. It’s just amazing, and I’m so happy that this character has resonated with so many people. She’s going to get even more fans once she’s on the screen, and it’s just incredible to me to have been a part of that. It was not something that I would ever have had the temerity to dream up for myself.”
To be honest, the odds were not really in Kamala's favor when she was given her own series. Marvel has faced quite a bit of backlash over what has been perceived by some as a forced attempt at bringing in diversity.
There was always the risk that the publisher's first Muslim superhero could end up being their last but the way 'No Normal' integrated Kamala's Islamic heritage into her daily life as a regular American teenager actually helped attract fans from across the board. While we do get to see Kamala get her powers and become a superhero, we also see her struggle to navigate romance, high school and strict orthodox parents.
There are no world-ending catastrophes or alien invaders in this part of Kamala's journey, though there would be plenty of those later on. The Ms. Marvel we meet in 'No Normal' is an inexperienced teen just trying to watch out for the community, a truly "friendly neighborhood" hero, and that is exactly the kind of grounded narrative the Marvel Cinematic Universe needs right now.
We don't have a release date for 'Ms. Marvel' yet but the series will hopefully be available on Disney+ sometime in 2021.