Episode 4 of Ms. Marvel introduced one of Kamala’s earliest allies from the comics, Kareem, aka Red Dagger. The show didn’t wait long, however, to make it clear that the MCU’s version of Kareem was more than a street vigilante, making him a part of an ancient organization of Pakistani heroes who have guarded the people against unseen threats.
Kareem, and his mentor Waleed, end up playing a major role in Kamala’s journey to Karachi, educating her about the Noor Dimension from the secret lair. It’s here where the audience becomes aware that the Red Daggers on screen have been upgraded significantly and could possibly play a much larger role in Kamala’s story than in the comics. In an exclusive interview, we asked Aramis Knight, who portrayed Kareem, about the changes to the character.
I think we’re lucky to kind of be the baseline for who these characters are. Because the comics are quite new and there aren’t a lot of them, there’s not so much to go off of. Now, I kind of feel like these characters are being created by us, which gives us a lot of creative freedom.Aramis Knight
Knight went on to explain how being on set and working with Farhan Akhtar to develop an idea of who the Red Daggers were informed how he portrayed the character.
And you’re 100% right that Kareem is shaped by his background, everybody is, and his background is dedicating his life to this society. Being able to work with Farhan and being able to wear the costume and be in Red Dagger HQ, there was like a lot of physicality to it and it wasn’t difficult at all.Aramis Knight
Though we only saw Waleed for a short time and Kareem for just a bit more, it’s safe to say that the adaptation of the character from the comics, while significantly different, was well-thought-out and well-executed in the series. What role, if any, Kareem will have over there rest of the season remains to be seen, but he’s certainly fulfilled his role as a protector of the people. Episode 5 of Ms. Marvel will stream next Wednesday on Disney Plus.