What is Ms. Marvel’s origin story?


What is Ms. Marvel's origin story?

It was clear from the trailers that Disney Plus’ Mrs Miracle would make some deviations from the comics, especially in their superpowers. But it’s Kamala Khan’s origin story where the Marvel Cinematic Universe is likely to make the biggest changes.

On paper, the story of how Ms. Marvel got her powers is just weird. And when you zoom out to the level of companies fighting over Marvel Comics’ intellectual property rights, things get even weirder. Here’s why we’re definitely not going to see Kamala’s original backstory on her TV show — and why nobody’s really surprised.

[Ed. note: This piece contains mild spoilers for the first two episodes of Ms. Marvel on Disney Plus.]

Image: Marvel Studios

In his second episode Mrs Miracle makes it clear that the origin of Kamala’s bracelet – a family heirloom from her great-grandmother – will be a central mystery in the show. It may be a few episodes before we learn more about their mysterious ancestor and the nature of this trinket that grants power over hard light constructs.

This mystery could make a person look at how Kamala got her powers in the comics.

How did Ms. Marvel get her powers in the comics?

Kamala Khan pauses confused at a telephone pole as swirling mists surround her.

Image: G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona/Marvel Comics

In her 2014 comic debut, Kamala discovered that she was the descendant of an Inhuman when her superpowers were awakened by contact with a cloud of Terrigen Mist created by the Terrigen Bomb. This phrase might make a person wonder, “What the hell does that mean? And why? Why is it… how, how the.”

Hop in that time machine with me, reader, back to 2011. That was the first time Marvel Studios appeared to be developing an Inhumans project for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Who the hell are the Inhumans? They are a group of Marvel Comics characters originally introduced in The fantastic Four by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Created after the X-Men and before the Eternals, they fall somewhere between the two concepts. Like the Eternals, they are a race of humanity that was genetically modified by extraterrestrial forces in the ancient past and lived on Earth in secret. But where the Eternals were nearly omnipotent and immortal, the Inhumans were driven to live in secrecy by superstitious, violent, and more populous ancient humanity.

In an analogous but much less relatable way to the X-Men, Inhumans were hated and feared. And in 2011, Marvel Comics was on high alert for anything resembling the X-Men.

Yes, we’re going to talk about 20th Century Fox’s X-Men deal

By 2010, the X-Men film franchise, based on an exclusive film license to the X-Men acquired at a bargain basement price following Marvel’s bankruptcy in the 1990s, was an established moneymaker for 20th Century Fox. And Marvel Entertainment’s notorious head, conservative billionaire Ike Perlmutter, was reportedly angered by the idea that Marvel Comics was still publishing what he saw as de facto advertising for a rival company. That is: X-Men comics.

Editorially, Marvel Comics took on a silent mandate to put the X-Men on the back burner to bring another pot to a simmer. The Inhumans were bumpy, and in the 2010s both Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios wanted to try to make them a reality.

For Marvel Studios, that meant producing the MCU’s biggest flop, into people of the television show, and then promptly abandoned the entire concept save for a brief hint in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. For Marvel Comics, it meant finding a way to create more modern and relatable Inhuman characters. The problem was that in the Marvel Comics canon, unlike the X-Men, the process of unlocking an Inhuman’s superpowers was a very conscious process: Inhumans were ritually exposed to a mutagenic substance called “Terrigen Mist”. They couldn’t just trick a bunch of random humans into waking up as Inhumans the way a teenager might wake up and discover their mutant powers.

Terrigen Mists from the Terrigne Bomb sweep through human populations, cocooning and transforming random humans.

Image: Jonathan Hickman, Jerome Opeña, Dustin Weaver/Marvel Comics

And so during the 2013 crossover event infinity, Black Bolt, King of Inhumans, detonated the “Terrigen Bomb” and unleashed masses upon masses of Terrigen nebulae into Earth’s atmosphere. Why did he light it? Well, he fought Thanos and – look, it doesn’t matter; Most importantly, wherever the clouds drifted, wherever they touched a person with traces of Inhuman DNA (i.e. whose ancestors once had babies with an Inhuman), they encased those people in nasty goop cocoons and activated their latent Inhuman abilities.

And that’s how Kamala Khan got her powers in the comics. She brought him from a party she shouldn’t have gone to, Terrigen Mist rolled in, she got cocooned, and she emerged as a shape-shifting, stretchy superhuman. Kamala’s instant success was an outlier from an editorial perspective. Most of the new superpowered characters – or Nuhumans – that Marvel created with the Terrigen Mists storyline didn’t achieve significant success (although Lunella Lafayette, the super-intelligent star of Moon Maiden and Devil Dinosauris another Nuhuman getting her own show soon).

And of course, the Inhumans never became as popular as the X-Men.

Is Kamala an Inhuman in the Disney Plus Show?

(LR): Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, holding up her hand glowing with strange energy, and Matt Lintz as Bruno in Ms. Marvel.

Image: Marvel Studios

It is unclear.

Since the failure of into people On ABC, the characters from the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe were abandoned. The actors who played her moved on to other projects, and the Terrigen bombshell is definitely not a thing. And so Mrs Miracle avoids any sort of cocoon or supernatural weather events in favor of a family heirloom and a chilling generational silence surrounding Kamala’s great-grandmother.

So far, the series seems to tie Kamala’s powers to her family in a way that they just don’t appear in the comics. Sure, in the comics her family was struggling through the divisions of India, and her great-grandmother had a bracelet in which she hid the family’s money while they travelled, which was passed down to Kamala from mother to daughter. But it’s not magical, it’s just meaningful. And Kamala’s comic skills are technically derived from her genetics, but at a level so ancient that it’s mere coincidence.

A connection back to Kamala’s great-grandmother could still lead to a “Kamala descended from a race of superhumans” revelation – but with the reduced state of the Inhumans in the MCU these days, it seems more likely that this is a brand. new origin story, possibly even one completely separate from other Marvel properties. If anything cosmic is going on, there are other, more central types of non-human beings that could turn out to be Kamala’s great-grandmother.

Maybe she’s an Eternal, an Inhuman-like trait that’s actually of interest to the current architects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Or maybe Kamala’s great-grandmother was a member of the Kree, the alien race that was instrumental in Captain Marvel’s MCU origins. That would bring Kamala’s MCU origin closer to Carol’s current Marvel Comics origin and give her a direct connection to Carol ahead of her appearance in Carol The wondersthe upcoming sequel of Captain Marvel.

We won’t know for sure until Mrs Miracle reveals more about Kamala’s origin story.

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