Mindy Kaling revealed recently that she had met with Marvel Studios about working on a movie (or possibly a streaming series for Disney+) about the recently introduced, yet instantly beloved Ms. Marvel to bring the character into the MCU.
Brie Larson has also said that she’d like to see the character get introduced in a sequel to Captain Marvel and Kevin Feige has been very transparent about his plans to bring Ms. Marvel into the gargantuan shared big-screen universe in the near future. So, ahead of the character’s possible introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, here is Everything You Need To Know About Ms. Marvel.
10 She was initially conceived as a female counterpart to the male Captain Marvel
When Captain Marvel was first introduced into the Marvel Comics universe, the character was male (surprise, surprise). Ms. Marvel was initially conceived to be his female counterpart. In the same way that Supergirl is the female counterpart to Superman, and Batgirl is the female counterpart to Batman, Ms. Marvel was created to be the female counterpart to Captain Marvel.
Of course, the Captain Marvel of the MCU is female, but this doesn’t mean that Ms. Marvel couldn’t still join the franchise as a supporting character (or, better yet, the lead character of her own). She could easily be introduced as a sidekick or a protege to Carol Danvers.
9 A few characters have taken on the Ms. Marvel mantle
A total of four characters have taken on the Ms. Marvel mantle over the years. First, there was Carol Danvers, who is played by Brie Larson in the MCU with the Captain Marvel moniker. Then, there was Sharon Ventura, a stunt performer who volunteered for an experiment to receive superpowers.
This would be an interesting origin story to explore in the MCU now, since it’s long been established that superheroes exist and regular people might want a piece of the action. She was followed by Karla Sofen, best known as the supervillain Moonstone. The current Ms. Marvel is a 16-year-old Pakistani-American girl named Kamala Khan, the version Marvel Studios are considering adding to the MCU.
8 She was the first Muslim character to headline a Marvel comic
Kamala Khan was both the first Muslim character and the first Pakistani-American character to headline a Marvel comic. The MCU’s almighty overlord Kevin Feige has made no secret of the fact that in Phase 4 onwards, he plans to make the universe much more diverse.
We’ve seen this in motion already with Sam Wilson becoming the new Captain America and Jane Foster becoming the new Thor, as well as the multicultural Eternals cast, predominantly Asian Shang-Chi cast, and Valkyrie being confirmed as bisexual with a romantic plotline in the next Thor movie, and clearly Ms. Marvel would mark a huge leap in the franchise’s strive for diversity.
7 She has a strong Muslim identity
Kamala Khan’s cultural identity has been a huge part of her characterization from the start. She was first created when Marvel editor Sana Amanat (who, amazingly, presented a Ms. Marvel comic to President Barack Obama at a Women’s History Month event at the White House) told fellow editor Stephen Wacker “some crazy anecdote about my childhood, growing up as a Muslim American,” which led to the creation of a character.
According to Amanat, Kamala grew out of a “desire to explore the Muslim American diaspora from an authentic perspective,” and as a result of this, her superhero costume was inspired by the shalwar kameez and she was deliberately designed to not be “a sex siren.”
6 Despite the religious themes, her stories avoid preaching
Although the Kamala Khan character is a Muslim and her storylines deal with strong religious themes, they’re never preachy. According to the character’s co-creator Sana Amanat, “As much as Islam is a part of Kamala’s identity, this book isn’t preaching about religion or the Islamic faith in particular.
It’s about what happens when you struggle with the labels imposed on you, and how that forms your sense of self. It’s a struggle we’ve all faced in one form or another, and isn’t just particular to Kamala because she’s Muslim. Her religion is just one aspect of the many ways she defines herself.” In many ways, her struggles are universally relatable.
5 She has Inhuman DNA
Just as Peter Quill discovered he had Celestial DNA after initially thinking he was 100% human, Kamala Khan discovered that she had Inhuman DNA. The Inhumans were set to join the MCU with their own movie a couple of years ago, since Marvel announced it to be a part of their Phase 3 slate.
However, the movie never came to fruition (which has been brought up a lot lately, since Marvel announced a shorter upcoming slate than usual, consisting only of movies that are definitely happening) and it became a critically panned TV show instead. Kamala Khan’s introduction into the MCU would reintroduce the idea of Inhumans into the franchise and possibly give them a second chance at that solo movie.
4 She can shapeshift
Kamala Khan’s main superpower is the ability to shapeshift, which comes from her Inhuman genes. Shapeshifting would not be a new concept in the Captain Marvel solo franchise, since she faced the Skrulls in the first one (and it has since been revealed that, for an unspecified amount of time – hopefully not including Tony Stark’s funeral – Nick Fury has really been Talos in disguise while the real Fury commands a Skrull space cruiser), but it’s still interesting when different people use it for different purposes.
She also has a healing factor, which is her secondary power (all the best superheroes have at least a couple of superpowers).
3 She’s from New Jersey (for a narrative reason)
Kamala Khan hails from Jersey City in New Jersey and there’s a very specific character-based reason for this location. Jersey City is just across the Hudson River from Manhattan and it is often called New York City’s “sixth borough,” although anyone who’s seen How I Met Your Mother will know that a lot of New Yorkers don’t see it that way.
And that’s exactly the point. According to series writer G. Willow Wilson, “A huge aspect of Ms. Marvel is being a ‘second string hero’ in the ‘second string city’ and having to struggle out of the pathos and emotion that can give a person.”
2 The character was an instant hit
The Kamala Khan form of Ms. Marvel was an instant hit with audiences, which Marvel Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada has acknowledged as a rarity: “Our readers are the Johnny Appleseeds. They tell us something is resonating, something is hitting a core, and that’s something we should try to cultivate. Another great example of this: Ms. Marvel.”
Quesada added, “If we had put this book out ten years ago, it probably would never have succeeded. Not only did we find the audience, but we had the right people on the book and we had the right editor on the book, the right creators on the book. And now, we have a character that’s very recognizable – very, very quickly. That doesn’t happen a lot.”
1 Carol Danvers is her idol
Carol Danvers is Kamala Khan’s number-one idol. Ever since she began her superheroics, Kamala was watching her closely, dreaming of one day joining her side as a superhero herself – and then she did. In the comics, Carol Danvers was originally going by “Ms. Marvel” and this is when Kamala took a shine to her.
It was only when Carol relinquished the title of Ms. Marvel to become Captain Marvel that Kamala became Ms. Marvel. Obviously, this part of her origin would need to change if Kamala joins the MCU, but her idolization of Carol could (and should) stay the same.