When Does Ms. Marvel Take Place?

A transcription of this video is available below!

As easy as it is to place Ms. Marvel’s historical settings, it’s deceptively tricky to pinpoint it’s modern day timeframe. Despite a bevy of evidence placing the series at the start of the New Jersey school year, there are several points of interest anchoring the show to different times of the year, like an early Spring festival or the Muslim Eid holiday. Today we’re going frame-by-frame through Ms. Marvel to give you all the evidence you need to place the show on your timelines, and I’ll explain my reasoning for where I place the series on mine. And then we’ll dive into the historical nature of the series, and how that helps add serious depth to the MCU Timeline as a whole.

Welcome to Geekritique. My name is Dakota. This video is one of a multi-part series known as When Does the MCU Take Place. For more info on when other titles take place in the MCU, we’ll leave a link to our playlist in the description. We’re going to be digging into future titles as they release digitally, so if you don’t want to miss out on the most in-depth video essay breakdowns of the MCU Timeline on YouTube, don’t forget to subscribe for more! If you enjoy this video, and you want to see it succeed, don’t forget to throw a like my way. It really helps out the channel.

So where do we begin? We’re given a ballpark estimate as to when Ms. Marvel occurs thanks to Disney+, which places the show chronologically last on their MCU timeline, at the time of recording this. I say ballpark estimate, because the Disney+ timeline is hit or miss when it comes to placing titles on their timeline, especially in Phase 4. For instance, take our last two videos in this series. We found an abundance of new evidence that Moon Knight takes place in late Spring 2024, a whole year earlier than Disney+ suggested it occurs. On the flip side to that, Disney+ seems to have actually correctly placed Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on their timeline, which surprised many, including myself. So we need to take the Disney+ placement of Ms. Marvel with a grain of salt. They claim it occurs after Hawkeye, a show occurring in Christmas 2024, so 2025 will be our go to year as we explore its timeline.

In an interview with The Direct, writer and producer Sana Amanet claimed the series occurs one to two years after Avengers: Endgame, which we know canonically occurred in October 2023. In fact, in AvengerCon, on the memorial wall for Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff, we can see the the Battle of Earth occurred in October 2023, so Ms. Marvel confirms Endgame’s timeline placement for us. Thus a 2025 date for Ms. Marvel works perfectly, as it’s at least a year and a half later. Are there any dates or proof in the series that back up Ms. Marvel occurring in 2025?

Yes, there’s a few things that point us in that direction. Notably, a banner for the Coles Academic High Volleyball team claims they were State Champions in 2024, so it stands to reason we’re at least in the following year. And the Halal street vendor, featured multiple times, has a vendor license good from 2024 to 2025 and a sanitation grade issued on March 14th, 2025, so the show should occur after that date. March 14th, 2025 will actually be my 10th anniversary with my wife, so maybe I’ll treat her to some street halal.

There’s also a few aspects of the series that undermine the 2025 setting which we should point out. Most notably we see the Statue of Liberty is green and undamaged. Back in November 2024 there was an incident with Spider-Man, that menace, where he brought down a giant shield that was being erected, destroying much of the platform that Lady Liberty is supported by. And we know the renovation process also included a de-oxidation, returning the statue to its original copper tone. But in Ms. Marvel, supposedly shortly after No Way Home, we see no indication that any of this occurred. But we also don’t see Avengers Tower, despite the fact that it should show up in the skyline several times, so I’m gonna chock these continuity errors up to sheer laziness. There’s also a date featured on the Islamic Hijri calendar in the mosque of 6/26/1442, or the 26th of Jumada II, 1442. This translates to the filming date of February 8th, 2021, so we can disregard that altogether.

We’re going to stick to at least mid-March 2025, based on the street halal date. This is a good start. But what does the setting and filming tell us about the time of year? There was a lot of on-location shooting for the show, offering us an abundance of autumnal foliage and some mid-winter trees; even trees with holiday lights wrapped around their trunks. This makes sense, as the show’s principal photography occurred in Atlanta between November 2020 and Winter 2021. Secondary photography ran through May 2021, mostly of overhead shots of Jersey City. We didn’t make it clear in our When Does Multiverse of Madness Take Place video, but foliage isn’t always the best determining factor for when a show or film is supposed to take place – sometimes it’s simply the unavoidable time of year the production gets the opportunity to film. Like we said, both fall and winter foliage are showcased in Ms. Marvel, but only one can be correct as not enough time passes in the show for it to be both. And Kamala interacts with a pile of Fall leaves. So let’s tentatively call it Fall 2025 as we examine more aspects of the series to determine its timeline placement.

Of course, there’s many more dates and lines of reasoning that place Ms. Marvel in Fall 2025 as opposed to other months, which we’ll dig into very shortly, but first let’s explore examples where fall doesn’t make sense. A major curveball to the Fall setting is the Eid celebration in episode 2. “Is it Eid again?” “Yeah, the lesser one.” There are two Eid holidays, Eid al-Fitr, which lands on March 30th, 2025, and Eid al-Adha, which lands on June 6th and 7th, 2025. Both work as potential dates for the series as they occur after the March 14th, 2025 date on the halal vendor. Which Eid is she referring to? According to writer Sana Amanet, “It’s a bit of a joke. The Eid after Ramadan is always the one that’s a big deal cuz everyone had been fasting for a month and we partied and got presents. My cousins and I used to joke that Eid al-Adha was the lesser one cuz we didn’t get any gifts/money. Just some goat.” So this event is meant to depict Eid al-Adha, which brings us to the first week of June 2025.

Holidays are important determining factors in timeline placements. They center a story around an important time of year, and help us slot events chronologically before and after them, especially if the story doesn’t hint at other times of the year. It’s how we were able to place Shang-Chi in early April 2024. But while this depiction of Eid al-Adha is important to the show’s nature of showcasing Muslim-American life in Jersey City, it actually becomes problematic for the narrative structure of the show around it. This is a very rare instance where I don’t believe a holiday or celebration can be used in determining a title’s timeframe, and I’ll explain why in a moment, but let’s first run with the possibility that the show does occur in June 2025 for a bit.

The Jersey City school year is very similar to the New York City school year featured in Spider-Man: Homecoming. It begins in early to mid-September and runs through mid to late-June. If Eid al-Adha falls on June 7th, that means Kamala and her friends are just weeks away from finishing their school year. Does this work with the narrative of the series? Well, this could explain where Kamala and Muneeba found the vacation time to head to Karachi in episodes 4 and 5, if Kamala was indeed on Summer break, but… we see school is still very much in session when they get back from their trip. Here we see Bruno wearing his CalTech sweater, likely on one of his last days at Coles Academic High, but not because he’s going to California for the summer. Remember, he didn’t apply for early admission into CalTech, he applied for “the early immersion program at CalTech.” According to this poster it’s a program only available to seniors, so we know it’s Bruno’s final year in high school, and early immersion programs are meant to train students for college courses and credits during their academic year in high school. Why would Bruno be joining an early immersion program in California if he has only days or weeks left of the school year? It doesn’t add up.

There’s other examples of an early-summer not working as well. Kamran, for instance. He transfers into Coles Academic high school as a Senior. “You’re that new senior, right?” It would be highly irregular to transfer into a new school on the last month of your high school career, if the school board would even allow such a thing. This is coupled with the fact that Kamala, upon being brought into Mr. Wilson, the school counselor’s office, a week before Eid, is told she needs to course correct and get her head in the game for the future. He claims “well I hear you had a hectic couple of weeks,” which leans more to the fact that this is early in her Junior year of high school, as opposed to later. In fact, we see Mr. Wilson going over her grades from Freshman and Sophomore year, but not for the current school year, meaning they likely haven’t been totaled for a report card or even for a progress report at this stage.

In fact, pretty much everything in the school leans towards this being early in the 2025 school year. There’s posters in the hallway for voting for student presidents, something that would happen early in the fall. Posters read “This Fall: Fight the Flu,” Homecoming, a September 9th D&D club car wash fundraiser, a bake sale on September 19th, a canned food drive between October 16-25, “We are popping into high school,” “Make this year great!” All of it is very indicative of a Fall, or early-school year setting, which just doesn’t work with Eid in June. Outside of school, other props and posters have a similar Fall timeframe. Kamala’s computer has a couple folders named “Video Ideas September”, CalTech is now accepting Fall applications for their early immersion, Subway ads for an October 20th apprenticeship program, there’s even a September calendar in Circle Q. The weight of the evidence heavily leans toward an early school year, so how can we make sense of that Eid placement in Autumn?

Intent. What was the intention of showcasing Eid if this is a Fall show? This is an instance where the showrunners were clearly more interested in highlighting and normalizing Pakistani and Muslim-American culture for the general audience than they were for getting everything correct or logical on the timeline. And they did an excellent job of shedding light on a culture that a large percentage of Marvel fans have no prior knowledge of. “Bismallah.” Between moments of worship, time spent in Karachi, familial dynamics, wedding dances, and more, it’s clear one of the writers’ primary goals was to represent a side of the world many are unfamiliar with through the eyes of Kamala Kahn. And what better way to showcase that than a holiday? But there are no major Muslim holidays in Fall. So they chose Eid. It doesn’t work with the timeline, but time is only one facet of storytelling. And I can’t fault them for choosing representation over continuity in this case.

Speaking to Nerdist, the head writer for Ms. Marvel, Bisha K. Ali had this to say about intent. “I think the way that we’ve approached it with such reverence, and with care, and with respect is firstly because of our intention, which we said at the beginning. And I’m very intentions-based. I’m obsessed with the idea of niyat (the Islamic concept of setting right intentions before beginning something). My mom was always really strong on niyat and asked, what are your intentions? So I think about niyat a lot when it comes to the show.”

And we know niyat, or intent was important, as Eid isn’t the only celebration showcased in the series. When Kamala visits her grandmother Sana in Karachi, there’s a scene where Sana is overlooking the Karachi rooftops and we see a number of kites being flown. This most likely pictures the Basant Kite Flying festival that brings in the Spring season. We know this isn’t Spring, but the intent is notable. I believe the festival in this context is symbolic of Sana’s being drawn between her Pakistani nationality and India, her country of birth. She discusses how she still hasn’t figured out where she belongs after all these years, and interestingly Basant is a festival that began in India, but was a tradition carried over to Pakistan through Partition. The festival is banned, for a number of reasons, but many continue celebrating it anyway. Along with safety concerns, one reason it may be banned is that many Muslim consider it to have a Hindu or Pagan root, yet another cultural divide. In this case, the intent of what the celebration symbolizes to the character of Sana is more important than actually setting the show in the Spring.

So going back to whether or not we can set Ms. Marvel in June because of Eid, I can’t fault anyone for placing the series there for obvious reasons, but the majority of the series narrative structure revolves around a Fall setting. Considering the post-credits scene also takes place during the school year, that strikes home the idea that this show can’t have taken place in the last few weeks of school. And I know there are some of you out there rolling your eyes because it’s a difference of 3-4 months, max, but as we’ve seen in 2024 in the MCU, a lot can happen in that timeframe. Placing it as concretely as possible is important. And here at Geekritique we place the series in September and October of 2025, with the show elapsing a little more than a month. We’ll leave an exclusive link to the updated timeline png for our patrons on Patreon in the description.

We’re not done however, as we still have to discuss the historical flashbacks that we’re thrust into throughout the show. But while you’re still with me, please don’t forget to like and subscribe if you enjoy this video.

“To understand how all this began, we must go back to a pivotal moment in the Indians struggle for independence. Back in 1942.” On August 8th, 1942, Mahatma Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement during the All India Congress Committee, which demanded an immediate end to British rule in India. Within hours, Gandhi and nearly all of the Indian National Congress were imprisoned without trial, and over the course of the next few months tens of thousands of Indians were imprisoned because of their involvement in the Quit India protests. This would begin the widespread riots throughout the country that within a month and a half would destroy 500 post offices, 250 train stations, 70 police stations and 85 other government buildings. We know that the 1942 depicted in Ms. Marvel is a response to the Quit India Movement, as Hasan holds pamphlets that explicitly say Quit India. And this could possibly explain why the Temple or structure we first visit in 1942, where Kamala’s bangle is found, is in ruins.

Aisha leaves that temple, and finds Hasan promoting the movement, and later follows him to his home, where he summarily invites her inside, where they fall in love. This all likely occurs during August or September of 1942. The following scenes, of Aisha pregnant with Sana and later with Sana in the crib, happen at the earliest in 1943, or possibly 1944.

“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to light and freedom.” With those words on the eve of August 15th, 1947.” And so begins the Partition of India, the greatest refugee crisis in history, outside of World War 2. The country of India is divided on the lines of faith, with Muslims moving their livelihoods to the newly defined Pakistan borders, while non-Muslims moved to the redefined India. 10 to 20 million were displaced in the timespan of a few months, and an estimated 200,000 to 2 million lives were lost in the struggle.

This is where we pick up our tale in episode 5. Partition has already begun by the time Najma finds Aisha, and Aisha gets Hasan and Sana to pack up their belongings and head to Pakistan. Sana says, “it was the middle of Partition. It was a hot Summer night.” According to the Partition Museum, “the tumultuous wave of migration largely ended by 1948.” And if it was a hot summer night, this scene would need to be a late August or September date. The moon featured prominently here is a waning gibbous, which best falls in line on September 6th after Partition began. So let’s say the date that Aisha was killed, and Kamala was sent back in time to help Sana and Hasan get on the train to Karachi was September 6th, 1947.

3.1% of the series occurs in 1942. 0.78% occurs in 1943. 6.91% occurs in 1947. And the large majority, 89.21% occurs 78 years later in 2025.

Thank you so much for watching. If you learned something today, please click that like button, and subscribe for more content just like this. There’s no shortage of Marvel content coming down the pipe, so there’ll be plenty more where that came from. Stay tuned for more in-depth timeline breakdowns like this! Check out our recent video on Thor: Love and Thunder, or check out our Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness video! Thanks guys, have a good one.

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