With Oscar Isaac's Moon Knight out of the way, and Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness all complete, it's time to turn the attention to Marvel Studios' next project: Ms. Marvel. The show is set to focus on Iman Vellani's new MCU hero in the form of a classic coming-of-age story. However, there's one significant change that those behind the project have made to the character which has annoyed some fans: they completely changed her superpowers.
In the comics, the character has the ability to change the size of her body; stretchiness, shape-shifting at times, embiggening, etc. Imagine Mr. Fantastic-type powers - while they are technically different, they can often be utilized and portrayed in a similar fashion.
For the Disney+ adaption of Kamala Khan, Marvel Studios has completely scrapped those powers from the equation—a drastic move by a creative force that tends to lean closer to comic accuracy than large deviations. Instead, she will be creating purple-pinkish light constructs.
Obviously, with such a hefty change, fans have been throwing fits and generating plenty of backlash regarding the topic. Now both the cast and crew have shared their comments on the whole situation.
Ms. Marvel Crew on Powers Controversy
In an interview with SFX Magazine, Ms. Marvel star Iman Vellani commented on the backlash many fans have been giving thanks to the major change of her powerset for the show.
Vellani noted how the changes "[tap] into the future of her story," specifically in how she will go on to "connect [with] her other friends... in the upcoming film The Marvels:"
"It taps into the future of her story as it connects to her other friends that she will meet in the upcoming film The Marvels. She’s interested in knowing, ‘Great, does that mean I’m an Asgardian? Did I get hit with gamma rays?’ No, it’s seemingly none of those things. It goes to her own past and her heritage and lineage.”
In defense of the big shift of superpowers, the actress made it clear how she "[thinks they] stayed true to what the comics brought," while also exclaiming that, for all she cares, "[Ms. Marvel] could shoot sausages out of her fingers, as long as she still goes on that self-discovery journey:"
"'I’m very possessive [of Kamala],' she says. 'I think we stay true to what the comics brought. The themes have always been about identity and about marrying the 50 million things that make Kamala. For all I care, she could shoot sausages out of her fingers, as long as she still goes on that self-discovery journey.'"
Another unique element of the series will be its use of animation. Adil Del Arbi, one of the directors for the show, mentioned how it was "important that you come right into Kamala's world and see it through her eyes... it really shows that her head is in the clouds and she's always fantasizing."
In an interview with Games Radar, co-creator of the Ms. Marvel character Sana Amant assured fans that the powers are "used [in a] very, very similar [look to] the comics:"
"'I think the essence of the messaging is all there – we’re just manifesting it in a different way... with the powers themselves, the ‘embiggen’ fists are still there. The way that her powers are comported and used are very, very similar to the overall look in the comics. I think people will be satisfied. I don’t think there’s any powers that look like this that are out there. And they do look weird and wonky,' she laughs."
Ms. Marvel showrunner Bisha K. Ali added that "all the writers... all the directors, and all the cast feel love for this character:"
“All the writers involved in this, all the directors, and all the cast feel this love for this character... and beyond just the character, we know what this show means. We know. I know. I’ve been hunting for this my entire life.”
The Ms. Marvel Power Conundrum
With such a massive change to the character, there seems to have been plenty of discussions regarding some of these larger changes. It's also nice to see how passionate the actress, and everyone involved, seems to be about Kamala Khan.
However, it remains perfectly reasonable to be upset by the changes. After all, if they took away the big green transformation from Bruce Banner, it doesn't really matter if his baseline character remains the same—it's still not the same character. The same goes for if a writer kept all of Steve Rogers' values, but never gave him the iconic shield. At the bare minimum, fans generally expect the superheroes being adapted to at least retain their unique powers.
When it comes to Sana Amanat, the character's co-creator, mentioning how she "[doesn't] think there are any powers that look like this [out there]," it's worth mentioning that Ms. Marvel's new powers were immediately compared to those of DC Comics' Green Lantern upon their debut; they're even similar to Armor, a member of Marvel's own X-Men. Maybe by the end of the show, the uniqueness of Kamala's powers will become clearer.
Despite being perfectly validated in being annoyed by the changes, at the end of the day, it's already all said and done. Now it's just up to all of those fans who hold those opinions to keep an open mind when watching the final product. There's every chance in the world that the series will be amazing, and completely surprise audiences.
Fans will find out in due time, with Ms. Marvel hitting the streaming service on June 8.