By the time it finished, Ms. Marvel had proven to be a different kind of Marvel show altogether. It was fresh and fun, but also featured a religion and lifestyle that hadn't yet been explored in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The story of Kamala Khan as she navigates high school while learning to master her new powers is one that felt grounded, more rooted in the truth of what it's like to exist in a minority culture.
With Kamala and her friends finding ways to deal with her burgeoning powers alongside her flaring teenage crushes, we finally got an MCU TV show that looked and felt more realized than others before it.
Here are our picks for the best characters in Ms. Marvel, how they contribute to the greatness of the show, and why they stand out.
Kamran is always under the highest level of suspicion since he appears out of nowhere and catches the eye of teenage Kamala. It's unfortunate that she develops a huge crush on him.
At school, their friendship flourishes; however, as we all knew when he showed up, Kamran is not who he appears to be.
Kamran is part of the Clandestines—a group trying to get back to their home dimension of Noor—and he's been tasked with seducing Kamala so he can retrieve the bracelet needed to get back home.
However, the group's proposed methods for obtaining the bracelet cause Kamran internal conflict, leaving his role in the show as one that's stuck between doing what is right and doing what is easy.
6. Yusuf Khan
Yusuf Khan is Kamala's father, but he isn't the traditional stern father figure that has frequently come up in previous MCU projects. If anything, he's only there to make Kamala laugh.
His relationship with Kamala is starkly different to the one she shares with her mother. With Yusuf, Kamala experiences no teenage animosity. She loves to see her father act silly and make everybody relax, and he can always be relied upon to defuse any tension in the room.
At the end of the day, Yusuf might not be as important to the overall story as Muneeba, but he ensures that we get to see both sides of the family dynamic for Kamala. She has hostilities with her mother but has nothing but love for her Dad-Hulk father.
Bruno is Kamala's most trusted and loyal friend. He creates all kinds of small gadgets for her while she discovers the extent of her new powers, all while trying to keep her feet on the floor.
Together they share a bond that sticks with us. He's the kind of character who gives her courage when she has none, support when she needs someone to lean on, and direction when she's lost.
Bruno's own life is permeated by absence and freedom, but he still feels like family to the Khan clan throughout the series. Part of that is due to the crush he harbors on Kamala, which has manifested over the many years they've known one another.
Bruno brings an important balance to Ms. Marvel, allowing the series to flow more purposefully and with greater depth.
Nakia is Kamala's other best friend, but her role in the show isn't defined by her relationship with Kamala. Instead, she's at her most resonant when she's serving her religious community to the best of her abilities.
Nakia is the one who's grown up fastest within the trio of friends, and her primary desire is to assume a high-standing role within the Muslim community she dearly loves.
Throughout the show, Nakia doesn't know about Kamala's powers—from her view, she simply thinks Kamala is crushing on a young man. Even so, through her love for Kamala, Nakia often makes selfless choices that help her while simultaneously defining the tone of the series.
3. Muneeba Khan
Muneeba Khan is Kamala's mother—the stern and watchful eye who's ever-present over Kamala, wary of the dangers of the outside world.
At first, she appears to be a strict authoritarian and a foil to almost everything fun that Kamala wants to do, but she's eventually rounded out as we explore the difficulties she had with her own mother growing up.
Muneeba brings an important sense of motherhood and protection to Ms. Marvel. She knows that Kamala has weaknesses in her judgement rooted in the fires of youth, but she also wants to hold tightly to Kamala as much as she can before her baby becomes a young woman.
Aisha isn't only Kamala's great-grandmother, but also the first holder of the bracelet that unlocked Kamala's powers.
She's a woman who ended up lost in the right place, part of a group of people who desperately seek a way back to their own world but can't find it.
Aisha's story is the beating heart of Ms. Marvel. The love she found and the family she birthed worked to soothe her warring soul, allowing her to see that this world was the one she was destined to be part of.
It's her transformation into a mother and a wife that makes her stand apart from the other characters in the show, as she dies to protect her baby and her husband from those that would do them harm.
1. Kamala Khan
Kamala Khan is the anchor for the entire series. She is the eye through which we enter her world of fandom, the soul we resonate with as she endures the intense pressures of the people and place she calls home.
Kamala is everything a superhero should be at heart: upright, kind, strong, and always willing to help. However, her youthful age keeps her from understanding the complexities of the world around her.
It's from here that Ms. Marvel draws its strength, in showing the confusion of a young woman that's amplified by always having to know what's good and right for the betterment of the people whom she protects.
Iman Vellani's performance as Kamala holds the series together and gives it the palpable emotional depth it needs to go forward in the MCU.