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Disney+ Confirms How Mr. Fantastic Restricted the MCU’s Ms. Marvel

Fantastic Four, Ms Marvel
By Russ Milheim

Ahead of Ms. Marvel’s debut on Disney+, word had started getting out that Marvel Studios had drastically changed Kamala Khan’s power set from the source material. Instead of stretchy powers, she now had the ability to conjure up hard light constructs—basically like Green Lantern.

Many thought the move was made to try and avoid similarities to Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic. That's not to mention how their particular power set is fairly hard to pull off in terms of VFX. Previously, producer Sana Amanat noted how she didn’t think the Fantastic Four member had anything to do with it and that the changes needed were “linked to the type of story that [they] wanted to tell.”

Ms Marvel Powers
Marvel

Despite the controversy the changes stirred up, the series managed to get away with it.

Now, in a new behind-the-scenes special, Disney+ has revealed that the choice to switch over to light constructs may have been because of Marvel’s First Family, after all.

A Marvelous Change Thanks to Mr. Fantastic

Mr Fantastic
Marvel

During Disney+'s most recent installment of Marvel Studios: Assembled documentary, Ms. Marvel Visual Effects Supervisor Nordin Rahhali commented on why Kamala Khan’s powers were changed.

Rahhali revealed that he “think[s] there was a conscious effort to not have [Ms. Marvel] feel like Mr. Fantastic or Elastigirl” and how excited he was to “make up a power from scratch:”

“I think there was a conscious effort to not have her feel like Mr. Fantastic or Elastigirl. There were some early concepts before I got on that had this idea that she could manifest armor or parts of her body in this protective element. And so, I saw this as an opportunity. I mean, how often do you get to come into the MCU and make up a power from scratch, which is, to me, the most exciting, the most fun thing you could do.”

Ms. Marvel
Marvel Studios

In designing the new visuals, it was described to the VFX artist as “[imagining] it if you were like to look at a lens flare and… trap that… [and] harden [it]:”

“So, you know, I love this idea that she was able to manipulate this energy from another source. You know, Sana [Amanat] described it as, imagine it if you were like to look at a lens flare and you trap that, you harden a lens flare that you see with your eye or through optics. That was an interesting way of describing it. So I then started building ways of making what she’s building, this energy that she can create or channel through herself manifest in our dimension as these objects.”

Ms. Marvel
Marvel Studios

Ms. Marvel's Unique Visuals––For Better or Worse

Someone making the excuse of changing an entire power set so that they can differentiate them from another character might be far-reaching. Not but a few years ago, one of the most critically acclaimed animated movies in recent memory revolved around an entire group of superheroes who had the same abilities: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

What will Marvel Studios do when it comes time to introduce Miles Morales? Will he become an entirely different character so he doesn’t look or function like Tom Holland’s Spider-Man?

While the reasoning for the changes can be argued to death, at the end of the day, at least Marvel fans didn’t get a bad product. Despite some of the big changes, Ms. Marvel is among the best-rated Disney+ shows that Marvel Studios has offered.

Marvel also succeeded in giving Kamala’s new powers a unique visual style that made her stand out—even if it was pretty reminiscent of a famous X-Men member. Now fans just have to hope that the studio can do the stretchy powers justice when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8, 2024.

Ms. Marvel is now streaming on Disney+.