I began reading Ms. Marvel comics long before Disney began developing the idea for the television show. I found comfort in Kamala Khan’s story and I related to the disconnect she sometimes felt between her faith and her identity. I envied that she had Carol Danvers to look up to and I felt grateful that young girls would now have her. Plus, Lockjaw was her companion and guardian and I couldn’t dream of a more perfect friend. I just finished watching the television series and I loved it. Though it strays from the comic in some ways, I do believe it holds to the spirit and intent of the comic and the character. I look forward to seeing people dress as her, to see little girls confident in their skin and in their faith. I’m glad for the refreshing change in representation and for the emphasis on choice within Muslim families. Kamala does not wear a hijab and her friend does, both making this very personal decision as a reflection of their individual faith. The show does a wonderful job of showing that faith is not monolithic and a group of people who practice the same religion are not all the same, not to be grouped together indiscriminately with their humanity removed because getting to know them takes more effort than vilifying them does, but instead respected for the good they bring to the world. At one point in the series, Kamala hears something painfully true and it’s one of the most relevant sentences I’ve heard in weeks. Her sheikh tells her, “Good is not a thing you are, Kamala. It is a thing you do.” The potential in that is magnificent. First, I think it’s very freeing to realize that none of us are just good, because if that were true, I could find ample evidence to just quit bothering with anything right now. I know I’m not alone in that sentiment, because if good and bad is just a dice roll, then the cruelty of that capriciousness would be virtually unfathomable. Likewise, the knowledge that we’re not automatically good and instead can do good is freeing too. If good is something we do and not something we inherently are or are not, this means that we’re not limited to today. Just in episode one, you’ll feel encouraged because Kamala herself shares what all of us need to hear from time to time. “Sometimes, someone can come out of nowhere and do something amazing.” I do feel I should warn you though, Ms. Marvel delves into real life history and much of the history that makes it into record is the history that hurts. That being said, I do believe you’ll feel better about the world after watching Ms. Marvel. I’m positive I’ll watch it again, because sometimes, we just need our superheroes. It’s ok to need them, because they help us to do good and to escape for long enough to come back, ready to try again.
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