It’s the moment some people have been waiting for… And others have been dreading; Marvel Studios has just released a trailer for their highly-anticipated miniseries, Ms Marvel, starring their first ‘Muslim’ superhero, Kamala Khan (played by Iman Vellani).
The series, which is set to premiere on Disney+ in June, tells the story of a 16-year-old Pakistani-American Muslim who dreams of being a superhero – to the point where she’s writing fan fiction about it. And between the ups and downs of a typical teenage life, she discovers that she actually embodies superhero powers just like her inspiration, Captain Marvel (played by Brie Larson).
Vellani opened up about joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and what her character means for “representation”.
“The fact that the show is being made and they’re including this character in the MCU is [what’s important],” the actress told Variety. “I don’t really have to go out of my way and talk about being a Muslim and being Pakistani – It all comes out in the show. People seeing a person like me involved in a project as big as this is, I think, inspiring enough.”
But the real question here is: What does the Muslim community think about it?
Generally, Hollywood portrayals of Muslim characters have been less than impressive. From Netflix characters uttering “Bismillah” before knocking back a shot to Muslim women taking off their hijab the second a mediocre white boy looks in their direction, is anyone surprised that Muslims have completely and utterly lost their faith in this idea of “representation?”
Twitter has been rife with opinions about this latest release though.
“Showed the #MsMarvel trailer to a Muslim Pakistani coworker and she almost broke into tears. She always asked about MCU stuff to show to her daughter and now she has one. This is what it’s all about. Y’all can stay mad. It’s bigger than you,” wrote one user.
“#MsMarvel looks wonderful! I can’t wait to see the first Muslim MCU hero get her time to shine,” added another.
However, others are on the opposite side of the argument.
“Dear @MarvelStudios, As a member of the Muslim community, I don’t want Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel to be a representation of a Muslim girl. We ain’t gonna accept until you use the right way to present our lives. Don’t become Netflix,” said one Muslim.
“Ms Marvel gonna be the first exposure of Islam and Muslims to millions of kids…” wrote another Twitter user.
“My big worry about the Ms Marvel show (apart from the power change affecting the comics) is that if comic fans reject the show Disney see it more as ‘people aren’t interested in a Muslim hero’ rather than ‘people aren’t interested in Muslim heroes being fundamentally altered,'” another added a slightly different perspective on representation.
What do you think? Join the conversation via Instagram: @MVSLIM!