Spider-Man: Homecoming was a welcome injection of youth and energy into the almost 10 years old Marvel Cinematic Universe (whatever the timeline of the universe actually is), and most of the Avengers are also a decade older. With Homecoming, the MCU was able to explore the life-changing impact living in a world where superheroes and alien invaders are real is having on the younger generation. Peter Parker (Tom Holland), who may have met Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) when he was very young in Iron Man 2, became Spider-Man because he was inspired by the Avengers’ heroic example even before Iron Man himself became his mentor.
Looking to Phase 4 and beyond, Homecoming is the first building block to the future of the MCU. As Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told the Toronto Sun, the MCU as we’ve seen it evolve since 2008 is an epic 22 movie arc that will conclude with the currently untitled Avengers 4. After that, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, slated for release July 5, 2019, kicks off the next Phase of the MCU. With some Avengers expected to fall battling Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man is the harbinger of the MCU’s future, handpicked by Tony Stark himself to help usher in what comes next. However, Tom Holland is currently only contracted for 6 movies under the current Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios deal. While that could change, the reality is, Spider-Man can’t and shouldn’t carry the future of the MCU all by his lonesome. The Avengers need more young superheroes on their roster.
Therefore, the MCU needs to introduce Ms. Marvel, and the absolute best place to do it is in the Spider-Man sequel.
Who Is Ms. Marvel?
Ms. Marvel, created by Marvel’s Director of Content and Character Development Sana Amanat, writer G. Willow Wilson, and artist Adrian Alphonsa, is Marvel’s first Muslim superhero to headline her own critically acclaimed and award-winning comic book series. Ms. Marvel is Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teen who lives in Jersey City, NJ. She discovered she was an Inhuman and gained polymorph powers – basically, she can stretch, shrink or “embiggen” her body, similar to the abilities of Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four.
Kamala assumed the Ms. Marvel identity with the blessing of Carol Danvers, the first Ms. Marvel, who has since become Captain Marvel, one of Earth’s foremost defenders. Kamala is also a fangirl; she blogs, creates fan fiction, and is obsessively knowledgeable about her fellow Marvel superheroes, whom she’s since battled alongside as a member of the Avengers. She also formed her own super team of young heroes, the Champions. Kamala has an unshakable moral core and holds true her ideals of what a superhero is and how they should lead and inspire others. This often puts her at odds with her idols, including Carol Danvers and Tony Stark, who have a tendency to come to blows with each other over their ideological differences.
In her dual identity of Ms. Marvel, Kamala tries to balance her adventures as a superhero protecting Jersey City with her family and high school life. Ms. Marvel’s series is both a progressive depiction of a Muslim-American superhero and a canny examination of what it’s like to be a teenage superhero in the Marvel Universe. Ms. Marvel updates the familiar tropes that Spider-Man trailblazed in his original comics created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Kamala is smart, courageous, caring, funny, and struggles with the same issues Spider-Man deals with – that with great power comes great responsibility – but she does so in her own inimitable style.
Next Page: Marvel's Inhumans Problem
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