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Ms. Marvel reimagined Kamala Khan’s powers to give her stronger ties to the MCU

Disney Plus’ Mrs. Marvel series has been one of the MCU’s better recent entries, but Kamala Khan’s new live-action superpowers have been a point of contention for fans of the comics who are concerned about the show’s ability to translate its source material across various mediums . Comics The most important thing about Mrs. Marvel is smashing things with her gigantic fists. But her polymorphic embiggening powers are also a metaphor for the ways Kamala, a Muslim-American teenager born to Pakistani immigrants, moves around the world, and the creative team behind Mrs. Marvel really wanted that to be part of the show too.

In the Marvel comics, Kamala develops the ability to change her body into various shapes and sizes, but in Mrs. Marvel, she instead discovers that she is capable of manifesting glowing structures made of hard light. Although Kamala is barely in her power by the end of Mrs. MarvelIn the first episode of the series, advertisements for the series have highlighted the different ways she will use them throughout the season. And while you to do watch her make her signature fists, there’s a lot more emphasis on doing things like creating platforms to step on and raising defensive shields.

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Image: Marvel Studios

During a recent interview about the Empire Movie PodcastMrs. Marvel lead directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, and co-creator of Kamala Khan, Sana Amanat, opened up about some of the thinking it took to reimagine Kamala’s traditionally stretchy powers. While El Arbi and Fallah understood that Marvel head Kevin Feige was looking for a new adaptation of Kamala’s story rather than “literally a translation of the comic books”, the directing duo were initially unsure how to approach the concept of hard light in a way. which would look impressive.

“So we tweaked the superpowers, and it was really interesting because the first thing we read was like ‘hard light,'” El Arbi said. “The hard light felt like, ‘Okay…this wasn’t really described in detail.’ So it was cool to create this new superpower with the visual effects team.”

According to Fallah, their goal was always to remain faithful to the spirit of the books instead of being precious about details, because Mrs. Marvel its own story is similar to, but different from, the books.

“We still wanted to capture the spirit of the comic book — that she doesn’t know how to use that superpower — but still have those moments when the hand gets big,” Fallah said. “From a purely visual standpoint, it was really cool to play with that light and the crystalline aspect of it.”

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Image: Marvel Studios

In addition to their metaphorical significance, Kamala’s skills in the comics are also an important part of how she is connected to the larger superhero world where figures like the Inhumans have played much larger roles compared to the MCU. In the books, Kamala first comes under her spell after being exposed to a mutagenic mist that activates dormant inhuman genes in unsuspecting humans unaware that they are not fully human.

That particular event was already kind of touched upon in ABC’s now cancelled Agents of SHIELD and in people series that effectively ended the Inhumans’ presence in the MCU (except for a surprise Black Bolt cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness† Although Amanat did not address the question of whether Mrs. Marvel the Inhumans will acknowledge whether Kamala will reveal as one of them, she explained that it was important for the show to find a way for its hero to have an equally important connection to something bigger than herself.

“In the same way that her powers in the comics were really affected by this big event that happened in the Marvel universe at the time, we wanted the show to tie Kamala’s powers into something much bigger,” Amanat said. “Both in the MCU, but also kind of linked to her legacy, her past, her kind of cultural legacy and her family.”

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Image: Marvel Studios

With Kamala next in Nia DaCosta’s the miracles alongside Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel and Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau, it makes sense that Mrs. Marvel his heroine would set up to organically fit into a story on a more cosmic scale. Amanat echoed El Arbi and Fallah’s sense that “the essence” of Kamala’s primordial powers is still very much there and said we can expect them to “evolve over the season” in ways intended to get to the core of the ideas into the comics.

“But there are some cool things that happen to her powers that I think are fun and quirky and also just that she navigates with them, and they show up in a weird way,” Amanat said. “I think that’s just a nice metaphor, still of her kind of growing and developing herself and teaching her to understand what it means to show yourself as who you are instead of pretending to be someone else.”

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