Ms. Marvel introduced a different kind of hero to the MCU. Iman Vellani's Kamala Khan is not only a Muslim teenager with Pakistani heritage, but she's also a massive fan of the Avengers - particularly Brie Larson's Captain Marvel. Having gone through her own heroic origin in her six-episode Disney+ series, Ms. Marvel will return next year to team up with Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau in The Marvels, leading many to believe one of her new teammates would make an appearance on the small screen.
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Ms. Marvel Episode 6, "No Normal."
Following a series of waiting, the post-credits stinger of Ms. Marvel's finale delivered a short appearance from Brie Larson's Captain Marvel, setting up her team-up with Kamala in The Marvels. After Kamala's bangle began to glow ominously, she was whisked away in a sudden flash, destroying her cupboard with it and leaving behind her Avenger idol.
The Avenger's cameo probably didn't come as a surprise to many, but most were expecting to see her actually meet Kamala in advance of their big-screen team-up next year. Well, it seems that was almost the case as an MCU producer revealed Larson almost had a bigger role.
Ms. Marvel Producer Reveals Early Captain Marvel Plans
During a recent interview with Variety, Ms. Marvel producer Bisha K. Ali opened up about the original plan for Brie Larson's Captain Marvel in the Disney+ series.
The MCU producer first clarified the nature of Larson's appearance in the post-credit scene, confirming "Kamala doesn't turn into Carol." As many had theorized, the two switched places, which is an "important distinction" as Kamala has shape-shifted into Danvers in the comics in the past:
"Correct. It’s an important distinction, just because in the comic books, that’s something that [Kamala] does — she can change the way she looks, and she looks like Carol Danvers in Issue 1 of the comic book. She’s not turning into Carol [on the show]. That’s Carol Danvers standing in Kamala’s bedroom."
Many had previously theorized Kamala had transformed into Captain Marvel, but that always seemed unlikely given Carol's confusion looking at the pictures of her coating the walls.
Ali confirmed there were discussions at the "very, very, very beginning" about Captain Marvel appearing earlier in the series, but she was ultimately eager for the series to be about "[Kamala] and her community, her family, and her friends:"
"Certainly at the very, very, very beginning, way back when, that was part of the conversation. The more I kind of dug deeper into what I wanted to say with the show and what I wanted her to go through, it really had to be about her and her community, her family, and her friends."
When Ms. Marvel meets up with Captain Marvel in The Marvels, Ali says it will be "after this journey that she'd been through in the season" to become "her in her own right:"
"So Carol’s meeting up with her after this journey that she’d been through in the season. She’s Kamala in her own right. She’s looking in the mirror at the end — she’s not seeing an imitation of Captain Marvel the way that she’s seeing in Episode 1. She’s seeing Kamala wearing a suit that her mother made for her, with the masks that Bruno made for her, with the sash from Red Dagger — then, moments later, she gets her name from her own father. That moment is about her becoming her in her own right."
The Disney+ series creator went on to say it "felt really important, actually, that they didn’t meet yet" for Kamala's character arc:
"So I think it would have really taken it off in a different direction if she’d met [Carol] any sooner than she will meet her, which is in the movie that’s coming out next year. She’s still gonna be so excited and just so happy to meet, when they finally do get to meet. But in this journey, in this character arc, it felt really important, actually, that they didn’t meet."
Why Captain Marvel's Cameo Was the Right Call
Within Marvel Comics, Kamala Khan and Carol Danvers first crossed paths in Ms. Marvel #17, by which point the young hero was firmly established in her own right. The two met during an Incursion between two universes, quickly taking on a mentor and mentee relationship, as would be expected.
Ultimately, this was the right call for the comics as it allowed Kamala to develop as a hero herself before finally meeting her idol. Even though Captain Marvel is integral to Ms. Marvel's origin as her key inspiration, that's not to say she isn't a character in her own right who should be allowed to develop separately.
In the context of the series, introducing Captain Marvel too early would have undermined Ms. Marvel as a hero, since Danvers could have easily dealt with the threats Kamala was facing. Not to mention, the appearance of a major Avenger would have completely taken the audience's focus away from Iman Vellani's new hero.
Going into The Marvels, both Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel will have had one solo outing each, which ought to place them closer to an equal footing in the eyes of the audience. Teyonah Parris' Monica Rambeau will have a lot of catching up to do, as the only member of the trio not to have had a solo outing after only getting her powers in the later episodes of WandaVision.
Now, fans will be eager to discover both how Captain Marvel reacts to suddenly appearing in the Khan family home and where in the cosmos Ms. Marvel happens to have surfaced. Meanwhile, Rambeau was last teased to be heading into space to meet up with Nick Fury, something that Secret Invasion might touch on.
This soon-to-be iconic trio of female heroes will assemble in The Marvels, which hits theaters on July 28, 2023.