‘Ms. Marvel’ star explains why she ‘needed’ the original comics as a young girl

Ms. Marvel
Image via Marvel Studios

Iman Vellani is living every Marvel fangirl’s dream right now, having gone straight from her Avengers-decored bedroom to the front of a Marvel Studios camera as Kamala Khan, the protagonist of upcoming Disney Plus series Ms. Marvel.

Kamala Khan herself is a bit of a daydreamer when it comes to superheroes, holding particular admiration for Captain Marvel. Naturally, Vellani’s love for all things Marvel made her a perfect fit for the role, to say nothing of her experiences growing up as a Pakistani-Canadian Muslim, which greatly mirrors Khan’s journey as well.

In the Disney Plus documentary short A Fan’s Guide to Ms. Marvel, Vellani opened up about the importance of representation, and how her own attachment to Ms. Marvel comics as a child helped shaped her love for superheroes, and ultimately made her feel less alone.

My parents would give me $20 of allowance every month. I would spend it on comic books. Then one day I picked up a Ms. Marvel comic cuz it was just like, I’ve never seen a Brown person on the cover of one. And I read it, fell in love with her.

She was just so captivating and fun. She had problems that I had. She had boy troubles and she had problems in school. Iron Man helped her with her physics homework. She was a kid and it showed. Growing up with little to no representation, I needed that. It was basically Marvel comics saying, ‘Hey! You’re not alone!’

Ms. Marvel releases to Disney Plus on June 8.