by Miller C. Lashbrook
In this blog post I am going to attempt to break down, just exactly what is going on with Ms. Marvel, her powers, and her origin in the Marvel Cinematic Universe now that the series has wrapped with episode six. With that being said the rest of this post will contain spoilers for the finale, so read with caution.
Let’s start with Ms. Marvel’s comics origin as a starting point. Kamala Khan was introduced in the comics in the aftermath of the Infinity event. During this event, a “Terrigen Bomb” was dropped in New York. This bomb did many things, but the primary thing that it did was reveal and transform anyone with latent Inhuman genes. In the comics, Inhumans are an off-shoot of humans who were long ago experimented on by the Kree. These experiments granted these Inhumans superpowers when exposed to the Terrigen Mists. Kamala was one such Inhuman that transformed when the Terrigen Bomb was dropped. This transformation granted her “stretchy” powers that allowed her to stretch, grow, and even shapeshift. Her comics never really focused too much on her being an inhuman, but it is part of her history.
Now, we flash forward to about a year ago when production began on the MCU Ms. Marvel series. There were rumors and scoops coming out that the MCU would be changing the origin of Kamala’s powers; that her powers would have something to do with Djinn and her Muslim heritage. Then concept and promotional art came out that seemed to confirm this, showing her using purple energy powers rather than stretchy ones. There was definitely a group of fans of her character (either from the comics, or the Avengers game) who did not like this change to her character. When the trailer came out it affirmed that her powers were in fact being changed. Marvel Studios in interviews ensured that this change was done with her comic creators help and that it was done to tie her story more in with her families heritage and past.
Now we fast forward to the show itself. This is where things get complicated, so I am going to cover this by going over the information we learned about Kamala’s powers across the six episodes.
- Her powers appear when she puts on the bangle from her grandmother. This grants her access to purple, crystalline, light construct powers.
- Bruno calls her powers “hard light” based
- Bruno tells Kamala that the bangle is not the source of the powers, but it rather unlocked something already in her.
- Najma reveals to Kamala that she, her friends, and Kamala’s great-grandmother Aisha are beings from the “Noor Dimension” who have been called Djinn by humans. They call themselves ClanDestine.
- Najma believes that the bangle has the ability to open a gate back to the Noor Dimension.
- It is revealed in a flash back that the bangle is part of a pair, that it was found on a blue arm in a tomb that had the Ten Rings symbol.
- Kamala’s grandmother confirms that Aisha’s descendants (including Kamala) are all part Djinn.
- The Red Daggers reveal that the Noor Dimension is trying to bring its light to Earth and take over.
- The bangle allowed Kamala to travel back in time to 1947 and create a paradox by helping to save her own grandmother.
- When she returns from the past, the bangle opens a portal to the Noor Dimension. This portal kills the ClanDestine who try to pass through it. As Najma is killed by the light she says her son, Kamran’s name. This grants him access to powers that appear to be very similar to Kamala’s (but green).
- Kamran cannot control these powers and they are hurting him.
- Finally in the stinger at the end of episode six, Bruno reveals that he took a closer look at her DNA after her brother asked if her could have powers. Bruno reveals that Kamala is different from her family, that she has some sort of “mutation”. The melody of the X-Men: The Animated Series plays as he says this.
- In the end credits scene the bangle glows and then Kamala teleports away. Carol Danvers appears in her place.
Based on all of this information, Kamala is quite the intersectional and complicated character in the MCU. It would appear that she is descended from beings of the Noor Dimension, who do not inherently control the Noor. She is also a mutant and her mutation was triggered by the bangle (in the comics usually mutations are just triggered by stress or puberty in mutants). The bangle itself seems to have powers of its own like teleportation and time travel.
There are a pair of bands in the comics called the Quantum bands (usually wielded by Quasar) that allow the user to create light constructs. There is also something called the Nega-Bands which can teleport someone to the Negative Zone. I think the bangle is supposed to be a combination of these two items. I think maybe for simplicity the MCU is going to reveal that Inhumans and Mutants are two sides of the same coin, that both groups get their powers from a mutation, but the Inhumans require outside stimuli to trigger the powers.
At the moment I suppose we will have to wait and see what Kevin Feige says on the matter, maybe next week at San Diego Comic-Con, or maybe we will learn more next year in The Marvels.