When Marvel relaunched the Ms. Marvel comic five years ago, there was more than considerable interest. One site said ‘this may be the most important comic published in 2014‘. Casual onlookers might have wondered why – after all the original character of that name was more a staple of the 1970s and 1980s era of the publishing giant and was the previous heroic persona of Carol Danvers who’d gone on to greater heights assuming the name of another heroic mainstay, Captain Marvel.
The 2014 relaunch (actually the fourth incarnation of a character with that title) was with a different alter-ego and one with a much wider significance… because it would be Kamela Khan, a young Muslim girl from New Jersey caught between the expectations of her family, the stereotyping of her faith and the challenges of balancing her already conflicted teenage years with a sudden raft of incredible powers and responsibilities to juggle. It was obvious to many that this was a title that was to speak to more than the traditional derring-do of latex and radioactivity – it would be a cultural snapshot with burdens of its own. Thankfully, Ms. Marvel thrived in the glare of publicity and its launch team, Sana Amanat, G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona delivered a much-praised and applauded comic which many felt was a needed and unique entry into the Marvel universe and comics representation in general.
Now the Hugo Award-winning character will be making her live-action debut on the Disney+ platform, the news of her her arrival launched tonight as part of the D23 Expo happening this weekend. It is not clear yet how the character will fit into the bigger Marvel Cinematic Universe (though it’s confirmed she will) or when the show itself will debut. Casting and writing is still a work in progress. But with the likes of the already-announced The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (late 2020) WandaVision and Loki (both early 2021) and Hawkeye (late 2021) being lined-up for Disney+, the choice to include Ms.Marvel somewhere in that line-up seems to be a further statement of intent for the new platform.
Other shows that got surprise announcements at the event included plans for a She-Hulk series and a Moon Knight series. The former character is Jennifer Walters, cousin of Bruce Banner and a fan-favourite for her acerbic humour and the latter is Marc Spector, Marvel‘s answer to the Batman character, but with a paler costume and more mystical origin.