This post is part 1 of a 4 part series on Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel.
|Part 1:||Who is Kamala Khan?|
|Part 2:||How Does a Kamala Khan TV Series Tie Into Marvel’s Cinematic Universe?|
|Part 3:||Kamala Khan Casting Rumors|
|Part 4:||The Difference Between Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel Explained|
It’s been just over a year since Marvel released the first issue of the new Ms. Marvel. The issue marked the reappearance of Ms. Marvel in the Marvel universe, except this time they introduced a brand new character as her alter-ego. Instead of Carol Danvers who we knew and recognized as the previous Ms. Marvel, our new hero is Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old Pakistani-American high-school student who decides to take the name of her favorite hero.
We’re doing a full blow out feature into Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel starting right here with her origin story. Find out how she got her powers, why she’s important, where she fits into the marvel universe, and get the full scoop on rumors of a Ms. Marvel TV series that could hit ABC next year. Your indoctrination starts now.
So let’s get started with the origin. Exactly who is Kamala Khan and how did she become Ms. Marvel? Well, the story starts out simply.
Kamala Khan was a normal high school teenager in the world of the Marvel comic book universe. She was brought up in a religious Pakistani house-hold, had a great group of friends and absolutely loved superheroes. She even had a fan-fiction site about the Avengers, as any superhero lover would if they lived in a world where that kind of thing was the norm.
Early on, we find Kamala having a conversation with her parents that we’ve all had at some point in our lives. There’s a party down the street and Kamala is begging her folks to let her go. They end up falling into a big argument and as a result Kamala gets sent up to her room and chastised for being disrespectful.
But would that stop you from going? No way! Kamala is going to the party no matter what. Later that night, she sneaks out of the house and makes it to her first “real-party” down by the waterfront of Jersey City. She starts talking to the popular kids, drinks her first screwdriver, everything is going great! Out of nowhere, her friend Bruno starts to worry that she’s getting too drunk, so he pulls her away from the popular crew. Of course, this makes Kamala so embarrassed and she storms out of the party to walk home.
As she makes her way through the city she notices that it’s unusually foggy. Kamala carefully makes her way through the mist until she starts to feel light headed and falls over into the middle of the street. Too much vodka right? Not exactly… Suddenly Kamala is hit by a beam of light. She looks up and sees a vision of her favorite superhero, Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel.
Kamala knows that the vision isn’t real, but she has a conversation with it anyway. “You left your home, you disobeyed your parents, and your ignoring your own culture just so your classmates think you’re cool.” says Captain Marvel. But Kamala explains that she doesn’t want to follow her family rules. She grew up in Jersey City, not in Pakistan like her parents. It’s the classic teen struggle that we’ve seen time and time again, Kamala’s lashing out against her family because she’s determined to be her own person. But she doesn’t know exactly who that person ought to be.
So the vision of Captain Marvel asks her… what do you want to be? And Kamala responds, “I want to be beautiful, and awesome, and butt-kicking and less complicated. I want to be you. And with that the vision fades away. Kamala is alone on the street, the fog begins to clear, and suddenly everything darkens around her.
The next thing we know, Kamala is punching her way out of a cocoon. She realizes that she looks and sounds just like Carol Danvers as Ms. Marvel… and then… Boom! She vomits and changes back into her 16-year-old self. A second later and she’s Ms. Marvel again, then Kamala again. She learns that she can control her transformation. Not only can she change forms, but she bend and stretch her body like Reed Richards in Fantastic 4. She can make herself giant, or shrink down to the size of an insect. She starts to wonder, why her? Why did she get all of these powers?
Let’s take a step back. Kamala’s origins are deeply connected to the broader Marvel Universe. Remember the fog? It turns out this wasn’t fog at all. The haze was actually Terrigen mist. What is Terrigen mist? In the Marvel Universe, the Inhumans (a branch of humanity living in a space fortress called Attilan) need the mist to activate their powers. For more on Inhumans – we covered their origins in depth, here. Kamala must have had latent Inhuman genes, so when she was exposed to the mist, her powers were activated.
This whole process is called Terrigenesis. In the MCU we actually see this happen in the ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series. Check out our article where we highlight every link between Inhumans and the MCU here. And, if you want to see Terrigenesis in action, this clip from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the best depiction of the process on film.
Last question. Why was the city covered in Terrigen mist? As the story goes… in the “Inhumanity” storyline, Thanos sets off a Terrigen Bomb in order to destroy the Inhuman’s space fortress. As a side-effect, a huge part of the Earth ends up being covered in Terrigan mist, which leads to the creation of hundreds of new super powered people, including Kamala.
Marvel is trying to draw a parallel here between Inhumans and Mutants (like the X-Men). Since Marvel does not own the film rights to mutants, and has an Inhumans movie coming out in 2019, you’ll start to see them play down X-Men comics, in favor of Inhumans. The Terrigen bomb is an important catalyst that allows Marvel to bring more Inhumans into the fold.