Kamala Khan takes center stage in Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors as Ms. Marvel, and Cort Lane, Marvel’s senior vice president, animation and family entertainment, explains why. The new Ms. Marvel was introduced in the comics not too long ago, following the promotion of Carol Danvers to the rank of captain, and the new character was met with a warm reception. Since then, Kamala has become a popular component of the Marvel Universe, making her the ideal character to lead the new animated feature aimed at younger audiences and girls especially.
Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors is the feature-length follow-up to this summer’s series of animated shorts, Marvel Rising: Initiation. The film is set to premiere Sunday, September 30 on Disney XD and will feature a diverse cast of characters that includes Squirrel Girl, Patriot, Quake, and America Chavez. But leading the way is perhaps the most popular of the bunch, Kamala Khan.
In the film, Kamala is still new to the hero game, which makes her more relatable, says Lane, who spoke with Screen Rant about Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors in a recent interview. He said Kamala’s combination of being a superpowered teen who wants to do good but is prone to making some mistakes parallels the company’s flagship hero in more ways than one. If you haven’t already guessed, those reasons are why Ms. Marvel was chosen as the central protagonist for the new animated feature.
“What it comes down to, and this is going to sound very elemental. The character that boys, and actually up until this point, girls, have connected with most emotionally is Peter Parker. It’s because of his reliability. He's a really normal kid with relatable problems. He's a little awkward, he screws up, and he’s kind of funny. He's figuring it out as he goes. We saw so many connections between Kamala and Peter. And we thought since Peter makes a really wonderful POV character in all of the animation that we do, Kamala could serve very much the same function. She just happens to be from New Jersey and a girl instead of from Queens and a boy.”
Just as a young, inexperienced and fallible Peter Parker holds a certain kind of appeal to a younger audience, so too does a flawed, but good-intentioned Kamala Khan. And Lane says those flaws are part of what makes Marvel’s characters so popular and relatable, whether they’re teen heroes or grown up ones like Tony Stark.
“The character flaws and the mistakes that they make might happen on a different scale. I think the mistakes that a teenager makes in figuring out their powers are very relatable because kids themselves are growing up and making mistakes and figuring out who they are in the world. But, I'll be honest. When we do animation featuring stories with Tony Stark, he has similar stuff, but he happens to be the CEO of a major corporation and leads the Avengers so his mistakes have a different sort of scope. And you see that in the films as well.”
Fans of Ms. Marvel and more will get a chance to see them in action when Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors premieres on Disney XD.
Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors premieres Sunday, September 30 on Disney XD.