Marvel’s Disney + villain problem continues with Ms. The Marvel finale
The Disney + expansion has completely changed what is possible in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only do fans get a huge amount of content, far more than ever before, but stories are told that would never have had the chance to appear on screen otherwise – and the trend does not seem to stop anytime soon.
As great as it is to have the opportunity for shows such as Loki or The falcon and the winter soldier to exist, the reception for them can vary greatly. When these stories end, the needle generally lands mixed reviews on either side of the positive or negative spectrum.
So what is the cause of this reaction? Well, there are several reasons. However, the core is simple, and it is a trap that even Iman Vellani’s last Ms. Marvel has fallen into: MCU’s Disney + projects have a big villain problem.
Looking back on MCU Disney + villains
Warning – The rest of this article contains spoilers for episode 5 of Ms. Marvel.
For those who feel ClanDestines in Ms. Marvel is a weak set of villains, it is a completely understandable answer to what the show has given viewers. It is also another example of an uncooked last-minute threat and villain being thrown on the board.
Marvel’s Disney + shows love at throwing in villains at the last minute, often without proper character work in the past. A great example of this was the return of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin Hawkeye.
The detective is a massive character who had to carry the weight of the entire series’ conflict despite the fact that he only appeared (and was mentioned) in the last episode. This led to many hasty and undeserved moments and fans scratching their heads about why he was not on screen before.
WandaVision had Agatha, Loki had He who is left, What if…? brought in Infinity Ultron – these last-minute threats made many of these last installments far less satisfying than they should have been.
It’s not always just a sudden entrance either. The falcon and the winter soldier had Flag Smashers well established from the start. The problem? They still did not get the time and effort needed to make them exciting and relatable.
One of the only Disney + series that did not suffer from an undercooked and hurried villain was Moon Knights, which prompted Ethan Hawke’s author Harrow to terrorize his protagonist throughout all six episodes. However, Marvel still managed to tick off for its villain at the last minute by bringing Ammit on the board for the final.
The ClanDestine Problem in Ms. Marvel
When Ms. Marvel started, so it did not seem to be much of an antagonist. The audience was then introduced to the Department of Damage Control (DODC), followed by ClanDestines.
DODC, even up to this point, does not seem to be anything other than government gods. They are not the most interesting of the foils for MCU’s new hero.
As for ClanDestines, they were just sent in this last episode and remain as confusing and underdeveloped as they were when they arrived on stage in episode 3. So who will end up being the big bad for Kamala’s last showdown?
On top of the obvious government confrontation that will take place, Kamran’s role in the proceedings will probably fall into the classic Disney + ‘last-minute bad guy’ trope, as pointed out by Reddit user u / steve32767.
He is currently, much like the audience, confused by his mother’s actions and soon overwhelmed by how he now has green Noor powers. Add to that the fact that he is a wanted man and was almost blown up, he is not going to be so happy.
It will certainly be a quite different Kamran than the one Kamala left before he left the country.
How to fix Kamala’s villain problem
So how could Ms. Marvel have you gotten around the villain problem?
One step would be to slowly introduce ClanDestines in the first two episodes. They did not necessarily need to be a focus, but establishing them earlier would have worked wonders.
Then the show should have let their desire to go home simmer a bit; perhaps introduce the idea in one and wait at least an episode or two before they reach the breaking point; It may also help to strike at another reason or two as to why they snap – perhaps a kind of ticking timer.
After all, as it unfolded in the show, these creatures who have been waiting for decades to travel home to a middle school student snapped because they could not wait another 24 hours. It was hasty, easy and straightforward.
The group as a whole needed to be more concrete. Wanting to go home was simply not enough; it would have been nice to have an explanation behind their strange choice of weapons as well.
Now, when it comes to Kamran, the show has had time to build his character. But if he breaks badly in this episode, as the source material, it will still feel extremely sudden and out of nowhere. The audience has not had much time to follow his journey of dealing with his mother’s betrayal; it is not even clear how he now has powers.
When it comes to DODC, it is difficult to make a government body interesting. Simply put, having something like the FBI as a major villain is simply boring; Finding a way to weave a face or two from the organization directly into Kamala’s history would have helped.
As funny as the two episodes in Karachi were, there is a real possibility that they damaged the whole show more than they helped. That time should have been used better to build the ClanDestine family, the very mythology of Noor himself (and not any ominously vague words), and Kamran’s battle with Najma.
Fans must hope that all the hanging threads will at least be able to bring Ms. Marvel to a satisfactory conclusion when the finale falls on Disney + on Wednesday 13 July.