It’s only been three years since Avengers: Endgame but it seems like much longer as every time we turn around there is a MCU movie or TV series with no end in sight to what it all means. I think the biggest mistake was using the word “Endgame” as it signifies an ending. But since the Blip, there’s been an oversaturation of the franchise.
That sucks for Ms. Marvel becaused it seemed to be different like WandaVision but turned out to not even focus on the titular character. With each episode running 50 minutes with credits, it’s over four hours for an entry that shouldn’t have been as long as two. And jumping ahead of myself, but this is another filler entry that is going to set up a bigger entry. In this case, it’s The Marvels as we get an appearance from Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel.
The first couple episodes had a lot of promise as it focused on young Kamala Khan (Iman Velleni), a 16-year-old Pakistani-American living in Jersey City and dealing with her family’s strict behavior, even her parents can be okay at times. Kamala is also a big fan of Captain Marvel even though her parents can’t understand her fascination.
When she sneaks away with a friend, Bruno Carrelli (Matt Lintz), to an AvengerCon, she dresses as her favorite Avenger, but she has a special family heirloom, a golden bangle, as part of her costume. She finds out the bangle gives her special powers and so does the Office of Damage Control because it’s present day and everyone has a cell phone video to upload of Kamala showing off her superpowers at the convention.
But from here the series dragged on. Kamala trains with Bruno but keeps everything hidden from her other friend, Nakia Bahadir (Yasmeen Fletcher) as she gets a crush on a high school senior, Kamran (Rish Shah). But it’s revealed that Kamran’s mother is Najima (Nimra Bucha), someone from visions she’s been having. Najima is part of the Clandestines who are a group of djinns. All this mixture of Muslim and Southwest Asian culture at first gave the series an unique look that caught the series some criticism from the very biased white supremacy fanbase.
This is ironic because Marvel comics have always been about inclusion and focusing on the racial injustices in the world. Captain America punched Adolf Hitler at a time in which America wasn’t supporting him anymore but they weren’t saying anything against the Fuhrer. And the X-Men has always been about the Civil Rights Era and and the lasting effects of McCarthyism. And while I commend the powers that be from keeping this be a superhero version of The Namesake, they really stretched the plot out in the middle of the series.
Vellani is a very good young actress and her screen presence gave the series a freshness as it was geared toward a younger audience. But as the series went on, I felt it moved from her perspective to a lot of backstory about how India and Pakistan were formed after the end of the British colonization. I really felt this strayed from the beginning of the series. Yes, Kamala’s parents are a little strict. But I got the feeling her mother and father, Muneeba (Zenobia Shroff) and Yusuf (Mohan Kapur) were just being regular parents of a 16-year-old. They even offered to take her to the convention with a few provisions, one being what she wore. This along with Kamala and Nakia always being late to the mosque prayer meetings and then critiquing the service even though they knew the elders could hear them gave the series something a little special.
But the rest of the series went haywire with characters flying all over the world and even jumping back through time. What is it with time travel and the MCU? There’s even some connection with the Ten Rings. Of course there is. What all does it mean? Well, they got to set up The Marvels, of course and whatever else bigger entry they have in the pipeline.
WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier were both groundbreaking in that they told longer stories that couldn’t fit the two hour-plus time frame of a regular superhero movie. And I liked how the former mocked TV formats while the latter worked like the old-fashioned espinoage thrillers from ther 1970s-1980s. But then, there was Loki and all problems started from there. Hawkeye and Moon Knight seem to more reasons of Marvel just milking every character they can for a series or movie. I’m sure at the rate they’re going, Greg who was in three panels back in a Spider-Man comic from 1978 will have his own series or at least a nice two or three episode character arc in another series.
I think I read somewhere at the current rate, Disney and Marvel has enough material to do movies and TV series on every character through 2050. And my question is why? Not every character needs their own huge movie. I would argue they go back and maybe make a TV movie on Disney-Plus like they used to with the old Hulk series. But I’m sure there’s a lot of problems with that I’m not going to get into with one celebrity wondering why Doctor Strange gets a feature movie available in IMAX while Nova or Wonder Man is reduced to a 90-minute flick only available on Disney-Plus. And you probably know it’s a set-up for a bigger movie the way Ant-Man set up Captain America: Civil War and this one is setting up The Marvels.
In another a month, She-Hulk will premiere on Disney-Plus. The fourth Thor movie is out in theaters and we’ll have the third Guardians of the Galaxy in less than a year. A lot of fans have speculated this is all leading up to the Secret Wars. Or that Dr. Doom will be the next Thanos supervillian to be defeated. Since Jon Watts walked away with the proposed Fantastic Four movie, The Office fans may have to wait a little longer to see John Krasinki return in another universe as the Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic to appear in his own franchise.
Part of me wonders how much longer the fans will continue to turn out especially since they are divided with how Taika Waiti handled the latest Thor movie. While some people say the Infinity Saga took 11 years, I say it didn’t really start until the first Avengers in 2012. And still every movie was able to flow with some purpose. I’m thinking Black Widow being moved around due to Covid and Eternals being a huge disappointment left the MCU in a rut it’s trying desperately to get out of.
It’s time to shit or get off the pot and get started toward a destination.
What do you think? Please comment.