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Disney Drops Trailer For First Muslim Superhero Ms. Marvel

Disney continues to crack new ground in underrepresented superhero representation.

Kamala Khan's "Ms. Marvel" will soon be coming to a theater near you—sorry—your home TV screen. Disney/Marvel dropped the trailer earlier this week.

The trailer pays homage to its comic book inspiration in a very obvious way, with speech balloons invoking the classic Marvel comic books. Ms. Marvel was given her own "Ms. Marvel" series that premiered in February 2014. The show's trailer introduces viewers to Kamala, a Muslim, Pakistani-American high schooler from New Jersey. This is Marvel's first Muslim superhero character. One could say it's definitely about time, but at least it's finally happening.

The music in the trailer has a very synth vibe straight out of the early '90s or even late '80s. It's a clever use of retro sounds that appeal to the youngest generation. Everything has a return, right? The music in the trailer reminded me of "Stranger Things." 

More than just the music, the trailer's introduction to Ms. Marvel shows a high school kid just trying to fit in, and dreaming of becoming the very superheroes that have brought us to this point, watching this show. Without the allusion to her soon-to-be-found superpowers, this could easily be a trailer for a remake of "She's All That." I'm being told this movie was already remade recently. (Come on, Hollywood.) 

Anyway. The title character is Iman Vellani, and it's clear by the very coming-of-age trailer that it serves as her origin story. She spends a lot of the trailer doodling and daydreaming of being like the Avengers, particularly Captain Marvel, who we see her emulating in the trailer. 

Representation Matters

There is a less than subtle line that Kamala says at one point in the trailer.

"It's not really the brown girls from Jersey City who save the world." 

Indeed. Since "Iron Man" first dropped in 2008, Marvel's universe of comic book characters has slowly increased in its representation outside of the white male (savior) role. There is the obvious point that all of this has happened too slowly because it's true. This has happened too slowly. Still, there is reason to celebrate happening when it does. A Muslim woman (or girl in her origin story) is probably one of the most marginalized and unempowered demographics in the world of American entertainment. 

When I found out my first child was going to be a girl back in late 2014, I was ecstatic. I remember we had settled on her name "Elena" after a lot of conversations. A few months before she was born my wife texted me excitedly that Disney was having its first Latina princess character. I was astonished and giddy when I found out the name of this character was "Elena of Avalor." My daughter would at least grow up somewhat represented. Not more than a year or so later, I went to see "Rogue One" in theaters. As a Star Wars fan since childhood, I could not hold in my excitement when the male protagonist was named "Cassian Andor" and he was played by a Mexican actor (Diego Luna) using his native Mexican accent. 

I can't imagine the excitement someone must feel when their particular group is finally being represented. For their sake this time around, I hope Marvel does a great job with Ms. Marvel. I will be excited to find out on June 8th, when it premiers on Disney+.