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WARNING: Spoilers for Ms. Marvel below.
Since its premiere, Ms. Marvel has been an absolute delight and easily one of Marvel’s strongest series as it continues to expand its universe on Disney+. While its predecessor, Moon Knight, took a much more contained approach to story-telling and eschewed virtually all connections to the MCU, Ms. Marvel went the opposite direction by dropping a game-changing reveal in its series finale: Iman Vellani‘s Kamala Khan is a mutant.
Granted, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness technically had the first appearance of mutants in the MCU, it occurred in an alternate reality and not Earth-616 where the Marvel movies take place. The Ms. Marvel finale makes Kamala the first confirmed mutant in the MCU, which is a pretty huge deal. It’s also a head-scratcher for fans of her best-selling comics who have already seen Kamala’s powers altered for the series.
In the books, Kamala is an Inhuman, so making her a mutant is another significant alteration to the character. However, Ms. Marvel co-creator Sana Amanat has revealed in a post-finale interview that Kamala was supposed to be a mutant when she was first introduced in the comics. Via The A.V. Club:
As we were trying to figure out these elements, we as creators were also trying to put her in a box. There’s something really interesting about dismissing all the “What is she?” questions. As a nerd and fan, I loved being able to throw down that mutation line and letting people make of it what they will. But we always knew we would land on this, and it was an idea we had in the comics that we weren’t able to do. It was nice to be able to do that here. Although again, what the mutation terminology means here is a question I’ll throw out to the world.
As for why Ms. Marvel couldn’t be a mutant in the comics, Amanat doesn’t get into it, but it all goes back to a pre-merger fight between Marvel Studios and Fox, who still owned the X-Men at the time. In the early 2010s, Marvel Comics made a concerted effort to push the mighty mutants into the background and essentially replace the X-Men with the Inhumans. It didn’t work. The X-Men are such a beloved comics stapled that Marvel relented and brought them roaring back.
However, that creative decision resulted in characters like Ms. Marvel being classified as an Inhuman, which Marvel seems to be course-correcting in the Disney+ series. As for what Kamala’s new mutant status means, fans will have to wait until she makes her big screen debut in the Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels, when it hits theaters next year.
All episodes of Ms. Marvel are now streaming on Disney+.
(Via The A.V. Club)