One of the best things about Disney+ is that it allows Marvel to explore superheroes who, while perhaps not boasting the sort of marquee name recognition that carries a theatrical feature, are nonetheless beloved in their own right. And right at the top of that list is Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel.
Being Marvel’s first Muslim superhero to headline their own comic, Khan made waves when Ms. Marvel launched back in 2014. Originally written by G. Willow Wilson and drawn by Adrian Alphona, the Ms. Marvel series is a delight. Khan’s attempts to balance her newfound identity as a superhero with her obligations as a Muslim daughter — not to mention the usual teen melodrama — resulted in storylines that were fun and clever, but also filled with deeply emotional moments.
I suspect fans began clamoring for a Ms. Marvel live-action series as soon as Disney+ went live. The character has appeared in several animated titles, like Avengers Assemble and Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors. But she makes her live-action debut later this year, with Iman Vellani playing the character in her screen debut. (The Disney+ series also serves as a set-up for The Marvels, the upcoming sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel.)
The first Ms. Marvel trailer dropped earlier this week, and it looks like it’ll touch on everything that made the comics so enjoyable in the first place. But at least one thing will be very different: the nature of Ms. Marvel’s powers. In the comics, Ms. Marvel can stretch and “embiggen” parts of her body, and even alter her body’s size and shape (a nice little metaphor for the changes wrought by adolescence). Those powers are the result of Khan possessing some Inhuman heritage, which is activated when she’s exposed to the Terrigen Mists.
We don’t see any such powers in the Ms. Marvel trailer, however. Instead, the live-action Ms. Marvel’s powers appear more cosmic in nature, as she shoots energy blasts and generates forcefields after donning a sparkly bracelet. (There is a nice nod to the comic powers, however, with what looks like an energy fist in one scene.) More nitpitcky types might be disappointed by this change, but that doesn’t need to be the case.
Given the MCU’s embrace of Marvel’s cosmic side, it might make more narrative sense to align Khan’s powers with those of her idol, Captain Marvel. Budget-wise, it’s probably less expensive to create energy-based VFX than those required to depict “embiggening.” And most importantly, it allows Marvel to further distance itself from the Inhumans series, which flopped horribly back in 2017. (Inhumans also featured prominently in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., though that series’ status in the MCU has been a matter of debate.)
Ms. Marvel will begin streaming on Disney+ on June 8.