Activist Malala Yousafzai has celebrated the representation shown in Ms Marvel of a Pakistani immigrant family in America, expressing how rare it is for her to watch a character on TV who reflects her own life.
Today, the release date for MCU’s latest superhero series arrived on Disney Plus, introducing viewers around the world to 16-year-old Avengers enthusiast Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), who was the first Muslim character in the Marvel comics to front her own series.
The show introduces Kamala’s family – with members of the cast including Zenobia Shroff as Kamala’s mother Muneeba, Mohan Kapur as her father Yusuf and Saagar Shaikh as her brother Aamir – and features scenes centred on her Muslim faith.
Following its premiere, numerous fans around the world have been sharing how much it means to them to see their identities represented in Kamala, including Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala, who has campaigned for female education for years both before and after being shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012.
In a statement shared online, the 24-year-old wrote: ‘It is not every day that I turn on the TV and find a character who eats the same foods, listens to the same music or uses the same Urdu phrases as me.
‘What a joy to see Ms Marvel reflect the lives of a Pakistani immigrant family and reveal a young superhero whose powers connect to her heritage. Thank you, Marvel and Disney Plus, and most importantly, Ms Marvel. Malala.’
One fan responded to Malala’s message by writing on Twitter: ‘This is what it is all about. #RepresentationMatters.’
‘Literally got chills while reading, what an amazing compliment for the show and the character,’ someone else said.
Another person who felt emotional by the season’s premiere tweeted: ‘#MsMarvel is amazing. I love it. I actually cried when I heard an old Bollywood tune in the background.
‘I always thought I knew what representation was to me. We have a long way to go for South Asian rep in cinema, but this, this warmed my lil Pakistani heart.’
‘Y’all I’m so excited ms marvel is finally out FINALLY a marvel superhero who represents ME I love to see Pakistani queens,’ someone else wrote.
The first episode of Ms Marvel saw the titular superhero head to a fan event called AvengerCon, where chaos unfolded after she developed her newfound powers.
Meanwhile, the first instalment ended with an intriguing post-credits scene, teasing the obstacles Kamala may have to now face as an enhanced individual.
Ms Marvel is available to watch on Disney Plus with new episodes released on Wednesdays.