For years, Marvel fans have wondered: when will the MCU introduce the mutants? The triumphant return was teased by Kevin Feige all the way back at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, with avid viewers only getting breadcrumbs for their arrival, like Charles Xavier's return to the big screen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Now it seems that Ms. Marvel's finale has a key connection to the re-introduction of the X-Men.
Warning - This article contains spoilers for Ms. Marvel's season finale.
It was already explained that the introduction of mutants was avoided in the Doctor Strange sequel to prevent such a big reveal from overshadowing Wanda's story. Unfortunately, it seems it will instead overshadow Iman Vellani's Kamala Khan, as the season finale of Ms. Marvel revealed that she is not just a Clandestine.
In the last scene of the season finale, "No Normal," Matt Lintz's Bruno Carrelli reveals to Kamala that there was "something different in your genes" and calls it a "mutation" as the theme of the X-Men: The Animated Series is played. This twist reveals that Kamala Khan is the first mutant to be properly introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The head writer and executive producer of the series, Bisha K. Ali, explains and confirms how she felt about introducing mutants through Kamala Khan in Ms. Marvel in a new interview.
Ms. Marvel Introduces Mutants to MCU
In an interview with Marvel.com released shortly after the season finale of Ms. Marvel, head writer and executive producer Bisha K. Ali expressed her excitement at alluding to mutants for the first time in the mainline MCU, with Kamala Khan being their first introduced. Ali exclaimed, "Oh my god, best day of my life!"
However, Ali also revealed that Kamala being a mutant was not always the plan and how, when it comes to Marvel Studios, "something's always a moving piece:"
“It wasn't from the beginning [of the show]. With Marvel, something's always a moving piece, and we're trying to solve this question of, ‘If any of [Kamala’s family] put the bangle on, would they have powers?’ The answer was always no, from a character perspective, no.”
One reason Kamala had this new backstory was to explain how she could harness the power of the bangle while her family could not, as it "fit into the logic of the wider MCU."
Ali continued, "I feel so excited as a viewer of my show. The Bisha teen fan girl in me is like, 'I can't believe it.'" As for Kamala being the first mutant of the MCU, Ali compares it to Kamala being given "one more bit of the dream:"
"And the fact that it's Kamala — it's her. It's like her wildest dream already came true over the show [gaining powers], but then we just gave her one more bit of the dream. It's incredible. I'm overjoyed.”
Once leading star Iman Vellani found about her character's X-Men connection, she rightfully freaked out and took the news straight back to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige:
“They sent me, and only me, the draft [of the final episode], and I immediately freaked out... I emailed Kevin Feige in all caps. I was like, 'Are you doing this like for real?' Are you sure? I'm so honored!' I was like yelling at him through an email. I was freaking out. This is the biggest deal in the world, and the fact that it's happening in our show is crazy.”
A Mutant on Her Father's Side?
To make sense of this and to explain Kamala Khan's supposed genetics, she is Clandestine due to her mother's lineage and could have only inherited her X-Gene from her father, whose own X-Gene and powers are inert. It would explain why Yusuf supposedly can't wield the power of the bangle, due to not being Clandestine, but also why Kamala's mother, Muneeba, can't use it either, due to her lacking the X-Gene.
The fact that this wasn't planned "from the beginning [of the show]" makes the inclusion of the Clandestine all the more muddled, especially when it's heavily implied that the Kree are involved in their origin. But does that mean the Kree are somehow involved in the origin of the mutants? Is it possible that, in place of the Kree creating the Inhumans in the MCU, they created mutants instead through prehistoric experimentation on humanity?
It's unknown when mutants will be elaborated on, but the best bet will be in The Marvels when it releases in theaters on July 28, 2023.