The freshman class of the MCU is about to "embiggen." On June 8, Kamala Khan will make the jump from print to screen in Ms. Marvel on Disney+. While the critical response has been overwhelmingly positive, there's been considerable fan controversy surrounding the decision to change her powers, which, in the comics, are strikingly similar to the Fantastic Four's Reed Richards.
Between the pages of Marvel comics, both Mr. Fantastic and Kamala Khan have the ability to alter their body mass and stretch their limbs. When the decision was made to change Kamala's powers to manifesting light, many fans were upset with the decision while also noting that it could be an effort to differentiate the heroine ahead of Marvel Studios' upcoming Fantastic Four reboot.
The show's creators, including Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, have attributed the change to Kamala Khan's abilities to connect to her heritage and to better suit her team-up film, The Marvels, set to release in 2023.
However, given Reed Richards' surprise cameo in Doctor Strange 2, there's still speculation that Marvel's first family has had something to do with the controversial change. And, now, just days away from Ms. Marvel's debut, Marvel Studios has an answer.
Fantastic Four's Influence on Ms. Marvel Controversy
In talking with The Direct, Ms. Marvel writer and producer Sana Amanat was asked whether Mr. Fantastic's appearance in Doctor Strange 2, as well as Marvel Studios' upcoming Fantastic Four film, contributed to the decision to remove Kamala Khan's elongation powers in the MCU, replying: "I don't think so:"
"Honestly, I don't know. I don't think so. I mean, from my understanding, it was kind of linked to the type of story that we wanted to tell with Kamala, and not only linkage to other MCU events, but also to the sense of history that she has and the relationship to her family, linking the powers to her family's past. I think that was really the bigger idea."
Just like in the comics, Kamala's relationship with her family, as well as with her own culture and family history, is definitely the heart of the Ms. Marvel series.
While her powers have always contributed to that focus in the comics, the fact they're also interwoven into her heritage in the MCU is, as Amanat explained, "the bigger idea."
When asked whether there's a cosmic thread between Ms. Marvel's new power set and that of Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau, her fellow members of The Marvels, Amanat wouldn't comment other than to say, "They're all in it:"
"Um, I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about that. For The Marvels? I don't know. They're all in it."
Ms. Marvel's Powers Are Not Fantastic?
While the change of Ms. Marvel's powers will allow for a tighter, more interconnected story and likely better suit the MCU, the timing of Reed Richards' cameo and Ms. Marvel's Disney+ debut seems suspicious.
On the other hand, due to COVID delays and rescheduling, it's equally possible that the timing was purely coincidental. After all, Doctor Strange 2 was originally supposed to debut before Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Ms. Marvel's tie-in to The Marvels was confirmed years in advance.
Now, even though Amanat dismissed the influence of the Fantastic Four, her hesitancy to discuss the influence and similarities between Kamala's powers and that of WandaVision's Monica Rambeau and Captain Marvel's Carol Danvers suggests that there could be grounds for speculation.
Perhaps audiences will have an idea of what cosmic throughline will unite these three heroines ahead of The Marvels when Ms. Marvel premieres on Disney+.
Ms. Marvel is set to debut on June 8 on Disney+.