There was a whole lot to take in when it came to the season finale of Marvel Studios’ Ms. Marvel. After six episodes, the conflict finally came down to the DODC and a slightly out-of-control Kamran. Even more importantly, Kamala Khan finally got her signature outfit, just in time to try out some new moves for her final Disney+ entry.
Warning - this article contains spoilers for Ms. Marvel's season finale.
People have been vocal about the changes in Ms. Marvel’s powers, and rightfully so. Hard light construct powers are far different than stretchy skin. However, even with that, the show has gone the distance in having these new abilities still visually mimic her classic moves.
Up until this finale episode, this has mostly been in the form of large crystal hands. But in Kamala’s big showdown with the DODC, she finally pulled off her signature move: Embiggen. In doing so, she gained a few feet, some longer hard-light limbs, and a protective exoskeleton covering her body.
Now, as exciting as it was to see Kamala Khan embiggen as she took on multiple agents at once, that specific use of her light construct abilities looked a lot like a very particular X-Men: Hisako Ichiki, aka, Armor.
Now, the series' main star has confirmed the X-Men character's influence on Kamala's powers.
Iman Vellani Reveals Ms. Marvel's X-Men Inspirations
During a recent Reddit AMA, Ms. Marvel star Iman Vellani revealed that they "definitely took [inspiration] from Armor" when using Kamala's new ability in the series:
"We definitely took [inspiration] from Armor from the X-Men, but I like to think of it as a surge of energy which surrounds her as a layer of protection, i dont think she actually feels it like glass."
While the actress does note specific differences, many will likely still view the power sets as nearly identical. But who exactly is this X-Men member who brought the visual inspiration to the Disney+ series?
Armor, the Original Embiggen-er
Hisako Ichiki is a mutant originally from Tokyo, Japan, and was first introduced into the comics with Astonishing X-Men (Vol. 3) #4. Going by the name of Armor, her abilities were Psionic Exoskeleton-Armor—basically made out of hard light constructs.
When she joined the Xavier Institution, Hisako was placed into a training regiment run by Kitty Pryde called the Paladins Squad. One of her first big conflicts involved a supervillain by the name of Ord, who hailed from an alien planet named Breakworld, as he attacked their school. Not too long after, she ended up going against a sentient Danger Room after the tragic suicide of her best friend.
Armor ended up being inducted into the X-Men officially while on a mission with Wolverine to Breakworld, where they were to destroy a weapon capable of annihilating Earth. From there, she continued to be involved in multiple mutant storylines, including House of M, the crazed delusions of Nathaniel Grey, the schism between Wolverine and Cyclops, and the founding of the Mutant safe haven nation of Krakoa.
When Armor activates her powers, she’s essentially placed within a large exoskeleton made of hard light. From within, she moves her body as the armor encasing her listens—another way to picture it is as translucent Iron Man armor.
During the big climactic finale against DODC, Kamala Khan ends up utilizing her new power set in the same way. So, since she can’t stretch like her comic counterpart, Ms. Marvel does end up appearing to grow in size and shape as she uses her purple constructs as a big exoskeleton.
Now, the effect wasn’t quite as dramatic as Armor’s tends to be in the comics, but nonetheless, it was very similar.
Has Kamala Khan Stolen Armor’s Thunder?
The biggest question now is what will become of Hisako Ichiki? Will she ever get the chance to play a significant role in the MCU, seeing as how her power set would come across almost exactly like Kamala’s? Maybe Armor will be next in line for a drastic power set makeover—she could even inherit Ms. Marvel’s discarded stretchy abilities.
That said, there’s always room for multiple similar power sets on screen at once. After all, there are plenty of people already who simply punch hard. Though, Marvel would still be smart to consider finding a way to make Armor’s utilization of an exoskeleton more unique.
For one, when she uses them in the comics, they do tend to be much bigger than what Kamala has pulled off so far. The color of energy it utilizes would also be important to separate it from Noor energy; unless that energy will end up being more commonly used and referenced down the line.
What makes all of this even more interesting is how the final minutes of the episode confirmed that Kamala is the MCU’s first revealed Mutant. Sure, there could easily be more to her genetics than that, but it makes this connection to Armor all the more interesting.
With Iman Vellani’s hero theoretically having the still unnamed X-Gene in her genetics, could the character’s future Marvel Studios storyline lead her right into the X-Men? Potentially right into a team slot that could have been Armor’s?
This will undoubtedly cause some fear for fans of Hisako that the character might be replaced, but sadly there won’t be any answers on that front for quite some time. Audiences will just have to patiently wait and see where the MCU goes from here when The Marvels lands next year on July 28, 2023.
Ms. Marvel is now streaming on Disney+ worldwide.