March 24, 2023

After introducing Moon Knight, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is heading deeper into Phase 4 with another new superhero – Ms. Marvel. The latest series will launch Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan into the MCU. Marking a series of firsts, the origin story created by Bisha K. Ali will revolve around a Muslim superhero and the first South Asian character (she’s a 16-year-old Pakistani-American) to headline a title. Marvel. Kamala is part of the next generation of superheroes and she offers endless possibilities, including a much talked about Young Avengers team. This is a big win for representation and for the future of the MCU. But there’s a lot to unpack before you get there.

Ahead of Ms. Marvel’s June 8 premiere, Filmfare had a chance to watch the first two episodes. The series has references to Shah Rukh Khan, Farhan Akhtar and Fawad Khan in cameos and moments that will touch brown audiences. Here’s everything you need to know about the comic book character and the show:

Meet Ms. Marvel

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Kamala Khan or Ms. Marvel is perhaps the closest superhero. She’s a high school student from New Jersey and an Avengers fan-fiction-writing Marvel geek. She adores Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel. Kamala navigates the life of a brunette girl with conservative parents in the West and the awkwardness of being a teenager when she comes across her superpowers. In the comics, her first appearance was in Ms. Marvel #1 created by Sana Amanat, Stephen Wacker, G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, and Jamie McKelvie. In the comics, his powers kick in after coming into contact with the green Terrigen Mist. She later discovers that her abilities are linked to her Inhuman genes. Much like the character on the page, the live-action version also wears a bracelet as a nod to her cultural heritage. On a meta level, debut actress Iman Vellani is an avid comic book reader and one can immediately see why she’s perfect for the role.

What are Ms. Marvel’s powers in the comics and are they different on the show?

The Kamala Khan we meet in the series will have a different journey. The series changes the source of his powers and powers in general. Ms. Marvel’s ability set is a mixed bag. Her enlargement ability allows her to expand her limbs like Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four, she also has healing abilities like Wolverine, and she can shrink or expand her body like Ant-Man. Plus, she’s a shapeshifter. In the TV show, however, her magnification powers seem to be replaced with glowing purple fists that she throws rather than extending her body parts. She can use them when wearing a bracelet that is part of her costume. The bracelet itself is an important narrative device in the series as it is integrated into her family’s backstory. Without giving too much away, it’s safe to say that fans should expect a deviation from the comics.

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Where does Ms. Marvel fit into the larger MCU?

While this is the biggest question on the show, there’s still no way to pinpoint exactly when the show’s events take place. What we do know is that the coming-of-age show is rooted in the present. Kamala is part of the Avengers fandom that had a post-blip boom, so she’s aware of the events of Avengers: Endgame. The showrunners haven’t revealed when the show takes place, but in terms of timeline, it takes place about 2 years after Endgame which, in the MCU canon, is 2023.

What Does Ms. Marvel’s MCU Future Look Like?

Even before the show’s premiere, it’s already been confirmed that Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan will be joining Captain Marvel in The Marvels’ upcoming adventure. The film will star Brie Larson who will reprise her role as Carol Danvers and Tenoyah Parris who was featured in WandaVision as Monica Rambeau. It will see the trio team up for what will most likely be a cosmic adventure. The series will set up the events of the film and act as an origin story for the young superhero. Speaking of young superheroes, Ms. Marvel’s rumored future is perhaps even more interesting. With a whole new class of new heroes like America Chavez from Doctor Strange 2, the Maximoff twins from WandaVision, Kate Bishop from Hawkeye, and of course, Peter Parker from the Spider-Man movies, the likelihood of Kamala joining the ranks of freshly launched movies super -hero somewhere in the future is high. As mentioned before, the possibilities are endless.

Ms. Marvel will premiere on June 8.

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