Why ‘Ms. Marvel’ Was Bad

Shad Engkilterra
3 min readAug 13, 2022
Feet up and getting ready to watch a marvel show
Photo by Clément M. on Unsplash

“Ms. Marvel” is Marvel’s weakest offering so far. Now, I know what you’re thinking: What about “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “The Incredible Hulk,” and “Hawkeye?” How about “Thor,” “Black Widow,” or “Eternals?” How about “Inhumans?” This isn’t a ranking article. Yes, “Inhumans” was unwatchable; I tried. I might try again in the future, but for now, I couldn’t even get through it. This is about why “Ms. Marvel” lacked the punch of other movies or series. So, what made Ms. Marvel bad?

Disclaimer and Warning

This article has spoilers in it. Continue reading at your own risk. Also, it’s important to note: If you loved Ms. Marvel, then please go on loving it. Not everything Marvel does is for everyone, and it may have found the plot points that you were looking for in a story relatable to you and your life. I applaud you if you were able to find joy in watching Ms. Marvel. It’s probably better if you stop reading now. I don’t want to lessen your enjoyment. The rest of the article continues after the trailer.

Pacing Problems

“Ms. Marvel” starts off slow; oh, so slow. How long did it take to get to any action involving her powers? I didn’t count, but it seemed like forever. A slow start would be better if they had built strong characters, but it seemed all so trite: an overbearing mother, a fun-loving dad, a love triangle with the best friend who gets left out…

Nothing evolves, and in spite of it being too slow, it was also too fast. There’s no training montage and no fighting montage. She gets her powers, they have one scene where she learns them, and then she all the sudden knows how to fight against beings that are hundreds of years old and have been fighting for most of those years. They use super-cool and super complicated weapons that take years to master; yet, she was able to defeat them while protecting her family at a wedding. Maybe the bangle gave her the ability to fight? But honestly, even Kate Bishop had to learn to fight, and she spent years fencing, learning hand-to-hand martial arts, and shooting a bow and arrow. We don’t get that with Ms. Marvel.

The resolution at the end also comes too quickly. There is so much teen angst and rebellion, but when Kamala Khan has her Ironman moment and declares who she is, everyone in the family and in the audience shrugs. The family had already learned the secret; the audience doesn’t care. It failed to hit like Tony Stark’s revelation, even as a parody. Before they knew who the superhero was, the mother called her a big shame on the family.

In the Details

Maybe the scariest part of the show is the lack of consequences for the government invading a sacred space. In the end, the agent loses her job, but that was for a different transgression. Imagine a government organization breaking into any other church and the public outcry that would engender. Instead, the mosque is treated like the Branch Davidians. A surprise raid, which the Mosque wasn’t so surprised about. After all, the government was after a possibly Muslim superhero; it only made sense they would search the mosques. Would you like a cookie?

The Good Stuff

Just because there are some bad things about the show, doesn’t mean it was all bad. The parents are good parents. The dad is funny and caring. The mom is overbearing, but it comes from a place of love, and she can change her mind on decisions when given a chance. Plus, Zenobia Shroff is amazing as Kamala’s mother.

What about the Other Shows?

I liked the first few seasons of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” It was working with a TV budget, so I cut it some slack. Not every Marvel story has to be about the superpower.

“The Incredible Hulk” was great. It had an arthouse style to it that is different from other Marvel films, harkening back to the TV Show. The beginning was beautifully crafted. It was only the Abomination at the end that made it les than what it could have been.



Shad Engkilterra

Earned a Master’s in Creativity and Innovation from Malta U., author of “Disneyland Is Creativity” and other books, other works available at www.penguinate.com.