Ms. Marvel episode 1 is a shot in the arm for the MCU: an irresistible sugar rush with good vibes to spare.

After a slam dunk Phase 3 climax with Avengers: Endgame, there was a shift as Marvel seemed to understand that in a lot of ways they had to start from scratch by building new corners inside their established universe

We got spinoffs for Wanda Maximoff, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, Loki, and a Black Widow prequel. Soon enough, it was time to start introducing new lead characters. Shang-Chi was warmly received, the Eternals not so much.

Then, the Disney+ arm of the MCU round-housed us with the ambitious-but-divisive Moon Knight earlier this year, and even some hardcore Marvel fans started wondering if Phase 4 was getting a bit messy.

The second Disney+ series to dish up a new MCU superhero this year is Ms. Marvel, but pre-release anticipation for this one was a little muted. Far from the dark and more complex nature of Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel perhaps looked rather too earnest and wholesome in comparison

Well, I’m halfway to ancient and I loved every minute of this first episode. For my money, this was the best Marvel Disney+ pilot of the lot.

I can’t speak for others outside the target audience range, but I’d be at least mildly surprised if the majority fired up Disney+ this week, checked out Iman Vellani’s portrayal of the show’s central character, and had anything other than “I’ve only had Kamala Khan for one episode

Ms. Marvel is just immaculate vibes all around. From the soundtrack, which begins with The Weeknd’s uplifting banger “Blinding Lights” over the Marvel ident (did you spot Moonie this time?)

Kamala’s origin story is a joyful one because she’s already so enamored with that superhero life, and we’ve seen so many MCU projects by now that we’re all there with her. As fellow Den of Geek editor Alec Bojalad quite succinctly put it, Ms. Marvel is “a fun superhero origin story for MCU fans, about MCU fans, and starring an MCU fan.