Comic Book 101: Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, Explained

Posted 2022/05/23 3 0


With many young superheroes showing up in the MCU, both on the big screen and on the little one, it can be hard to keep track. From Kate Bishop to America Chavez, the MCU is growing, and in the next couple of months, two massive additions with be dropping: Thor: Love and Thunder and Ms. Marvel. So who is Ms. Marvel? Her real name is Kamala Khan and at her core, she is truly every comic book fan. If you were to go to Comic-Con and see any of the multitude of talented cosplayers, she would be one of them because that’s who she is: a fangirl. She loves superheroes, and Captain Marvel is her main interest.

First appearing in Captain Marvel #14 in 2013, Kamala Khan became the first Muslim to star in her own book, Ms. Marvel, in February of 2014. She is a teen from Jersey. Much like Spider-Man, Kate Bishop, America Chavez, etc., she’s just a kid with her life ahead of her when she discovers she is Inhuman and has elongation and shape-shifting powers, very similar to Reed Richards of Fantastic Four fame. The young superheroine can shrink herself, or grow herself, and like Ant-Man, when she does enlarge, she gets a huge boost in strength. She is able to lift over 70 tons at her maximum strength. If all that wasn’t enough, she also possesses a healing factor, which helps when you can make your body rubber.

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Recently, Marvel made the public aware of some changes to Kamala’s powers. Making the announcement just ahead of her official debut certainly was enough to erupt the blogosphere. How do they differ from her comic book counterpart?

Kevin Feige had this to say:

“We adapt the comics; it’s not an exact translation. [Kamala] came about in a very specific time within the comic-book continuity. She is now coming into a very specific time within the MCU continuity. And those two things didn’t match. What we will learn about where those powers come from, and how they come about, is specific to the MCU. You will see great comic splash panels in some of our action sequences. If you want big, giant hands and arms, well they’re here in spirit, if not in stretchy, plastic-type ways.”

In essence, much like in the case of Civil War, Marvel has to change how things happen because the comics and the movies and Disney + shows just aren’t there yet. Since the Inhumans movie was canceled, terrigen mist, the trigger for Inhumans existing in Earth 616 never happened, unless we take Agents of Shield into account, and it is no longer canon. “But Black Bolt was in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness!” That would also be correct, but he is part of Earth-838, so clearly the terrigen mist event happened in the universe, just not where most of the MCU takes place.

Ms. Marvel has had to deal with a lot for being an underaged superhero. One of her biggest hurdles? Being underaged. Kamala’s Law was passed in the comics after an accident left her in a coma. Afterwords, the government got involved, still talking comics here, and mandated that underaged superhero’s had to hang up their tights unless they had a mentor. She was also paramount in the Secret Wars story Last Days. This essentially recounts what she views as the last days of the universe she loves. She had to grow up a lot during these events and make some really tough decisions.

What will change and what will remain the same? All will be revealed when Iman Vellani joins the MCU as Ms. Marvel. The show streams on Disney + starting June 8th.


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