When Ms. Marvel debuts in the MCU, Kamala Khan will have different powers, helping her to break her ties to one of Marvel’s biggest mistakes.
Disney+’s upcoming Ms. Marvel series changes the powers of its eponymous superhero, Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), as confirmed by the Ms.Marvel trailer. This could also be a move away from Marvel’s biggest flop of recent years, Inhumans. Scheduled to be released in June 2022, Ms. Marvel will introduce Kamala Khan as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest young superhero. Kamala, a Pakistani-American Muslim teen, will protect Jersey City en route to Ms. Marvel joining her hero, Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), in 2023’s The Marvels.
Released in 2017, Inhumans is infamous as a gigantic misfire for Marvel Television. Based upon the characters created in Fantastic Four by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Inhumans were part of a Marvel Comics initiative during the 2010s to scale back the X-Men because the mutants’ film rights were then held by Fox. Marvel Comics emphasized the Inhumans in publishing and this led to Marvel Studios initially announcing an Inhumans film as part of Phase 3 before quickly removing it from the film slate. Instead, Inhumans was turned into a disastrous Marvel TV miniseries starring Anson Mount as the Inhumans’ king, Black Bolt, Serinda Swan as Queen Medusa, and Iwan Rheon as the villainous Maximus. A subpar production compared to Marvel Studios’ hit movies and the Netflix Marvel shows, Inhumans proved to be an epic failure for Marvel Television and it’s unlikely considered canon by the mainline MCU.
However, Ms. Marvel’s powers and comic book origin are intrinsically tied to the Inhumans and this is something that has been intentionally changed for the MCU. In the comics, Kamala Khan is also an Inhuman who gained her abilities when she inhaled the Inhumans’ Terrigen Mists. The comic book Ms. Marvel is a polymorph, i.e. a shapeshifter who can “embiggen” her body parts to give her enhanced strength, speed, and invulnerability. But the series trailer shows her creating an “embiggened” fist of crystalline-like energy, as well as using other entirely new powers, which proves that the MCU Ms. Marvel’s powers have been changed. This switch accompanies the fact that Kamala’s MCU origin has also been changed so that she is no longer an Inhuman, since the Inhumans don’t canonically exist in the MCU movies and Disney+ series.
Ms. Marvel’s Power Change Avoids Mr. Fantastic’s Movie Problem
Another likely reason why Ms. Marvel’s powers are different in the MCU is that her polymorphic abilities would seem too similar to Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. The superhero quartet’s long-awaited debut in the MCU is in development and Mr. Fantastic is recognized as the foremost hero with stretching powers in the Marvel Universe. Reed Richards’ stretching is also a problematic ability to get right on-screen (as evidenced in every prior Fantastic Four movie) and clearly, the Ms. Marvel TV series has wisely avoided trying to make it work for Kamala Khan. Opting instead to alter Kamala’s powerset in the MCU means sidestepping hassles with not only Inhumans, but also Fantastic Four.
How Ms. Marvel Is Changing Her Comics Superpowers
While Kamala Khan’s signature giant fist still appears in Ms. Marvel, it looks to be made of energy rather than her own atoms stretching and growing. She can use this same energy in other ways as well, such as a surface to step on high above the ground, a force field, or other kinds of blasts. Likewise, rather than stemming from exposure to the Inhumans’ Terrigen Mists, Kamala’s Ms. Marvel powers come from a bracelet of yet-unknown origin, which the trailer shows her putting on. It could be that this artifact will provide another link to Captain Marvel in the future. While the MCU Kamala Khan’s power and origins are distinctly different from her comic book counterpart’s, however, it won’t take away from how cool and important of a character she is, and should actually help her when it comes to fitting into the MCU.
Considering Inhumans is a failure that Marvel Studios’ films and Disney+’s TV series will likely never formally acknowledge as part of the MCU, changing Ms. Marvel’s powers and origins makes a lot of sense. Kamala Khan is poised to become one of the most prominent new heroes of MCU Phase 4 and beyond and there is currently no upside to adapting her comic book ties to the Inhumans. While MCU fans are clamoring for Netflix’s series like Daredevil and ABC’s Agents of SHIELD to be formally recognized as part of the mainline MCU, there’s no such desire for Inhumans. There’s far too much at stake with Ms. Marvel to saddle Kamala Khan with a link to Inhumans, and it’s a smarter move to alter Ms. Marvel to better suit the MCU, which means a brand-new origin and powerset for Kamala Khan.
Next: Ms. Marvel’s New Powers Avoid Inhumans & Fantastic 4 MCU Problems
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