Why ‘Ms. Marvel’ Has Different Powers on Her TV Show
The trailers for Marvel’s next Disney+ show, Ms. Marvel, suggest a very faithful adaptation of the popular comic books — except in one key respect. In the comics, Jersey City high school student Kamala Khan becomes a superhero with the ability to enlarge and stretch any part of her body. On the show, she’s still Kamala, and she’s still a New Jersey teenager, but in this version her powers are completely different, and much closer to the energy-based ones of her namesake, Captain Marvel.
So why the change? Marvel chief Kevin Feige explained to Empire Magazine in a new interview that the change was very deliberately based on how and why the character was created in Marvel Comics, versus how and why she’s being introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As he explained
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.
Here is how I interpret Feige’s comments. In the Ms. Marvel comics, Kamala got her powers by coming into contact with this substance called the Terrigen Mists, which is what gives Inhumans (like Black Bolt, Medusa, etc.) their powers. She picks the name Ms. Marvel because she’s a big fan of Captain Marvel, whose original superhero monicker was Ms. Marvel. In the Ms. Marvel show, it seems pretty clear that she is going to get her powers from Captain Marvel, or in some direct way that has to do with Captain Marvel, and that will explain why she adopts that Ms. Marvel name. (In the MCU, there is no Ms. Marvel to inspire Kamala to take that name.
Regardless of her specific powers, Feige promises, viewers “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.” Ms. Marvel premieres on Disney+ on June 8. Here’s the most trailer for the show.
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