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Why Ms. Marvel’s Clandestine Twist Is So Surprising to MCU Fans

Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Disney+, Clandestine
By Russ Milheim

For a long time, fans have been wondering how Marvel Studios was going to handle Ms. Marvel and her Inhuman origins. Given how much of an absolute disaster the Inhumans television show was, it seemed certain those characters would stay in retirement for the foreseeable future. But with Kamala Khan getting her own show, their involvement had to at least be a possibility, right?

Warning - the rest of this article contains spoilers for Episode 3 of Ms. Marvel.

While the series does have three more episodes left, it doesn’t look so great for the inclusion of the Inhumans. Instead, it seems like Marvel Studios will put that responsibility firmly on the shoulders of the Clandestine.

Many fans were likely surprised by this reveal, and probably have never heard the name before, so don’t be embarrassed if the title didn’t ring any bells. So, when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who are they, and what does the family want?

Ms. Marvel, the… Clandestine?

Ms. Marvel, Clandestine
Marvel

Ms. Marvel’s third episode opens with a title card informing audiences that they are in 1942 British Occupied India. Nimra Bucha’s Najma, Dan Carter’s Saleem, and Adaku Ononogbo’s Fariha are seen searching through rubble for something special.

It’s quickly revealed to be the very bangle that Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan now wears on her arm. Here, Kamala’s great grandmother Aisha, played by Mehwish Hayat, joins the party, where she takes the bangle off of what looks to be a severed Kree arm.

Ms. Marvel, Clandestine
Marvel

It turns out it's one of a pair, and with both of them, the stranded alternate-dimensional beings would be able to go back to their home Noor dimension.

When the show gets back to Kamala in the present day, she’s casually being informed of all this new information thanks to Najma and the whole ancient family. It turns out she might be one of them: a Clandestine.

They continue on to reveal how they not only come from another dimension but were exiled from their original homes and “[are] not [on Earth-616] by choice.” According to them, all they want is to get back home.

Ms. Marvel, Clandestine
Marvel

Despite having waited nearly a hundred years to find a way back, they very quickly lose their patience with Kamala and end up attacking Aamir's wedding.

So what exactly is a Clandestine?

Who Are the ClanDestines?

The name ClanDestines comes from the comics, specifically referring to a very obscure group of supervillains who headlined just under twenty issues since their debut in 1994.

The group started all the way back in 1168, thanks to Adam of Destine, an English Knight. After being saved by Elalyth, an ancient Djinn, the two would go off to start a family over the next few centuries.

Ali Alsaleh's Aadam appears to borrow the name of the group's founding member, but doesn't seem to share any other traits with the comic book version.

Ms. Marvel, Clandestine
Marvel

The familial bond is an important aspect of the group’s dynamic, with each member having their own unique powers. So far in the show, these beings seem to have more of a specialized weapon than supernatural power.

Due to their short-lived series, the group didn’t interact all that much with the larger Marvel comics world. On the other hand, though, they did end up crossing paths with names such as The Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and Doctor Strange himself.

Ms. Marvel, Clan Destine
Marvel

While Najma labels the family all as Djinns, the group doesn’t all fit under that category in the comics. While the Marvel Comics Universe does have Djinn floating around, they are generally more akin to demonic beings than what one might immediately assume. Besides their origins with Elalyth herself, the species does not necessarily go hand-in-hand with the supervillain group.

One similarity that the two groups do share is that some members do have some superhero tendencies. The youngest members, Rory and Pandora, develop powers in adolescence, leading them to take up more superheroic roles and convincing other members of ClanDestine to follow suit. This may be the source of inspiration for Kamran to rebel against his own kind, and want to help rather than harm.

The Surprising Lack of Inhumans

Ms. Marvel, Clandestine
Marvel

In the comics, the ClanDestines have absolutely no relation to Kamala Khan, so the Disney+ show is in unique waters and is taking a major departure from the comic book incarnations. Instead, within the source material, Ms. Marvel gets her abilities thanks to Terrigen Mists. Those mists are the catalyst used for Inhumans to activate the powers lying dormant in their own bodies.

It seems clear, at least as of right now, that Marvel Studios doesn’t plan on leaning into the Inhuman aspects of the Vellani’s hero. Though it is a notable coincidence to see Black Bolt, the King of the Royal Inhuman Family, show up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness so close to the premiere of the most recent Disney+ show. Who knows? Maybe the powers that be will surprise fans.

It’s been rumored for quite some time that Ms. Marvel was going to be moving away from her Inhuman origins. One of the biggest signs was the complete overhaul of her powers, which now perfectly fits with the new direction Marvel Studios seems to be going.

Ms. Marvel, Clandestine
Marvel

Instead of the classic Terrigen Mists, it now seems Kamala Khan has some untapped Noor energy in her systems that the bangle helps to access. So in many ways, her abilities, how they function, and how they came to be, are oddly parallel to what they are in the comics.

The show undoubtedly has plenty more to explain when it comes to these mysterious Noor powers and the universe they come from. But, with how desperate the family seems to be to get back to their home, Kamala better start doing her homework sooner rather than later.

Ms. Marvel is now streaming on Disney+.