Jersey City students flying high over representation in new ‘Ms. Marvel’ series
The world is captivated by superhero movies these days, and the latest hero taking center stage in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is taking up residence in New Jersey.
“Ms. Marvel” was released on Disney+ on Wednesday. The teenage heroine from Jersey City balances saving the world with getting her homework done and maintaining her culture.
"It expands what we think is possible. I did watch the show at 3 a.m. last night and my first takeaway was our students are going to feel invincible. Any young person that watches this is going to feel invincible,” says McNair teacher Holly Smith.
The show features Coles Academic High School, which is based on McNair Academic located in Jersey City. Students say the series and the comic book it is based on, capture the essence of the community.
"I get excited because I'm like, ‘Oh my God that's us. That's our school, I go there.’ I can relate to that,” says sophomore Barbara Gochis.
Students at McNair have made posters and murals featuring Ms. Marvel over the last few years.
First appearing in Captain Marvel No. 14 in 2013, Ms. Marvel – also known as Kamala Khan – is a Pakistani American teen making her way through high school while juggling the challenges of being a superhero. The series is set in Jersey City.
"I'm a brown girl from Jersey City, and like, I didn't think I'd ever get that representation,” says senior Vedanti Patil. “But seeing myself represented in the trailer and in the comic, how she deals with like her family dynamic, kind of juggling between two things.”
The six-episode series is now available on Disney+ with plenty of references to Jersey City.