Going into Phase 4, fans have proven more critical than ever of the films and series that have come out of the MCU. This negativity has in part stemmed from legitimate criticisms, but some cases have also come from the growing trend of review bombing - in which a project is bombarded with poor ratings for unsubstantiated reasons.
Moon Knight faced this treatment for its reference to the Armenian Genocide; Eternals was similarly bombarded with negativity for its inclusion of a gay kiss; The Suicide Squad was attacked by fans of Zack Snyder's DC universe; Obi-Wan Kenobi suffered poor ratings for many reasons.
The MCU's latest release, Ms. Marvel, has now become the latest to fall victim to this trend.
Ms. Marvel Faces Review Bombing
Ms. Marvel has faced review bombing on IMDB following the series premiere because of a variety of extreme criticisms despite the overwhelmingly positive critical response.
The Disney+ series currently has a six-star rating - made up of 41.9% ten-star, 28.7% one-star, and a fairly even volume of everything in-between.
One user proclaimed the series offers "nothing except for unnecessary colors and artworks," while criticizing Kamala's modified origin from the comics:
"This show has literally nothing except for unnecessary colors and artworks. The plot is garbage far away from the comic storyline. The origin of kamalas power is literally the worst idea anyone can think of."
Another called it "another mediocre Marvel show," saying that it feels "like an actual Disney show:"
"Marvel this is not what we want another mediocre marvel show but this show feel like an actual Disney show I just want daredevil back and good stories not this garbage."
A review-bomber once again shared frustration with the family-friendly nature, claiming it to be "quite literally a children's show:"
"It's really rubbish, it's quite literally a children’s show. Quite rubbish green screen and horrible concepts, but some features are quite neat if you were a 11-year-old."
One called for Disney to "stop bowing to the woke mob" and "focus on [their] fans, not social issues:"
"Disney is off the mark. Please stop bowing to the woke mob and make something genuine. Focus on your fans, not social issues. It is a shame that Disney is distorting yet another franchise."
A user noted they are boycotting the series because "they didn't even talk about the India-Pak situation," referring to the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan:
"This is one of the worst first episodes I have ever seen. Boycotting this garbage of a show because how they didn’t even talk about india-pak situation."
Once again, a viewer was critical of Kamala getting her powers from the bangle, as opposed to Inhuman Terrigenesis:
"Power from a bracelet is nonsense Inhumans Terrigenesis would be a better idea. People limited by idiotic traditions who do not allow their children to be happy."
Another review-bomber said that "Marvel will be losing [its] audience in India" if they continue to "make these types of cringe series:"
"It’s only for some community, weak storyline, everything is at worst condition, this character is not needed in Marvel Comics. Marvel will be losing his audience in India in recent years.if they make these types of cringe series!!!"
One referred to Kamala's mother as a "selfish a**" for having a super-powered bangle and not helping in the MCU's main crisis:
"So this selfish a** had superpowers in a jewelry box and didn’t help in any crisis this universe endured ? And on top of it they mock actual hero’s who risked there lives when they sit back and did nothing."
Why is Ms. Marvel Being Review Bombed?
Between Obi-Wan Kenobi, Moon Knight, Eternals, and The Suicide Squad, review bombing has become an increasingly widespread trend in recent years. But the review bombings of Star Wars' latest series and Ms. Marvel appears to demonstrate a drastic and dangerous evolution in the trend.
In most past cases, films and series have faced heavy negative reactions for a specific reason or from a contained group - an already harmful concept. Ms. Marvel and Obi-Wan Kenobi's drastic review bombings appear to be for no reason in particular, which represents a significant change in how things have previously been.
Looking at the reviews of Kamala Khan's MCU debut, there appears to be a wide range of reasons for fans disliking the series. Some key reasons included the younger tone and modified origin, both of which could be considered somewhat reasonable, although many reviewers shared hate for the racial representation.
One of the more interesting criticisms came in the premiere's lack of reference to the tensions between India and Pakistan, while Kamala is Pakistani-American. With other reviews saying the series puts Marvel at risk of losing its Indian audience, there's a chance the political situation in the region may be a key factor behind the review bombing.
The first episode of Ms. Marvel is streaming now on Disney+.