Avengers: Endgame set up the introduction of the MCU's Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel. Marvel Studios has confirmed that it's currently working on a Ms. Marvel series to stream exclusively on Disney+. The show will introduce viewers to Kamala Khan before she migrates over to the movies.
Created back in 2013, Kamala Khan is a popular teenage hero with the power to manipulate her body on a molecular level. She can shrink and grow, stretch and constrict, and some alternate-universe versions have even demonstrated the ability to shapeshift. Marvel Studios has been openly discussing the possibility of bringing Ms. Marvel into the MCU for almost a year now, and at the D23 fan expo 2019, Marvel president Kevin Feige announced that these plans are becoming a reality.
Back in April 2018, Feige revealed why the studio was taking its time with Kamala Khan. "We wanted to get Captain Marvel out there first," he explained, "so that there is something for a young Muslim girl to get inspired by." It was an interesting statement, not just because it confirmed Marvel will take a comic-book-accurate approach; it suggested that Marvel would wait for the right moment to bring in Ms. Marvel. They needed Carol Danvers to be carefully positioned as a major, inspirational hero before they could move on with the spinoff. And that's where Avengers: Endgame came in.
Captain Marvel Didn't (Quite) Set Up Kamala Khan
Carol Danvers' story began in Captain Marvel, but that film didn't quite do the job. It introduced the MCU's version of Captain Marvel, a USAF test pilot who was exposed to Tesseract energy and became the most powerful superhero in the movies. But it was essentially a prequel, set in 1995 and retconning its titular hero into the history of the shared universe. As a result, Captain Marvel's initial impact had to be subtle; although she had a profound influence on Nick Fury and the Avengers Initiative, the public had to be left with no idea she even existed. Captain Marvel ended with Carol Danvers heading into space, and there's currently no evidence she returned until after Thanos snapped his fingers and erased half the life in the universe in 2018.
All this meant that Captain Marvel couldn't possibly serve as setup for Ms. Marvel. Marvel Studios has always been clear that the MCU's Kamala Khan would be a present-day character, with Kevin Feige noting Ms. Marvel hadn't been born yet in 1995. Given that's the case, there was no reason for a teen in the present day to be inspired by a forgotten superhero from 1995.
Captain Marvel Returned To Earth During The Blip
Avengers: Endgame radically changed Captain Marvel's reputation on Earth - and it was actually done with an impressive degree of subtlety. Nick Fury's pager signal brought Carol Danvers back to Earth shortly after the snap, and the film implied that she remained in constant contact with the Avengers during the five-year time period Marvel now call "The Blip." In fact, a careful reading of the script suggests that Carol returned to Earth several times during that period, and may even have been a constant presence. Black Widow was expecting Captain Marvel to come back for what seems to have been a scheduled visit, and she'd clearly been discussing personal matters with War Machine.
The clear implication is that Captain Marvel felt a sense of responsibility for helping her homeworld during the Blip. At the very least, she stayed in touch with the Avengers and visited fairly frequently; more likely, she became recognized as a high-flying superhero on Earth, potentially a source of hope for the public in an incredibly difficult time.
Captain Marvel's Role In Avengers: Endgame Could Inspire Kamala Khan
Avengers: Endgame saw Earth's heroes successfully reverse the snap, but it was a close thing. Earth's Mightiest Heroes don't seem to have ever told the public everything; Spider-Man: Far From Home revealed that everybody believes Steve Rogers sacrificed himself as part of Thanos' defeat, suggesting knowledge of time travel has been kept secret. But satellite images will surely have given a sense of the fearsome forces the Avengers had to take on, including the phenomenal threat of Thanos' Sanctuary II. That means the public will likely know just who brought down Sanctuary II, and by extension will be aware Captain Marvel was a major player in the final battle.
Captain Marvel's reputation on Earth will never have been greater. The world may be mourning its fallen heroes, but it will also be celebrating those who are still alive; as far as the public is concerned, Carol Danvers was surely essential in Thanos' defeat. It's no longer hard to imagine a young Muslim-American girl being inspired by a high-flying superhero who can bring down a starship, who served as a symbol of hope during those five years of sorrow, and who ultimately helped to put the universe to right.
Kamala Khan Would Add Further Depth To Endgame's Blip
Interestingly, Avengers: Endgame could bind Kamala Khan's story into the MCU's overarching narrative. It's possible she was one of Thanos' snap victims, and that she returned to learn that she - and half the world - had been saved by the Avengers. But a better approach would probably be to make her one of the snap survivors, someone who lived through the Blip. Her childhood would have been marked by grief and trauma, and she could have clung to the hope offered by this new, powerful, and potentially mysterious superhero. All Kamala's pain would have been transformed to joy when the snap was undone and her friends and family returned. In the comics, Kamala Khan has always been known for her relentless positivity, and why wouldn't she be positive in this scenario? As far as she's concerned, her heroes have literally conquered death itself.
Ms. Marvel would become a fascinating window into the post-Avengers: Endgame MCU. So far, Marvel hasn't fully examined the impact the snap would have on everyday citizens; how they'd coped with their grief, and what it would have been like to suddenly see their loved ones come back from the dead. Spider-Man: Far From Home explored that a little, but not to any major degree. Frankly, that kind of story is better told in a TV series, with Marvel given the time to explore the emotion that drives the narrative. And that makes Ms. Marvel perfectly timed for this moment in the MCU.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022