Now that Moon Knight has completed its six-episode run and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has premiered across theaters around the world, all eyes are on the MCU’s next exciting project: Ms. Marvel. The next Disney+ series will focus on another newcomer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the form of Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan, chronicling her journey as a young, up-and-comer superhero.
Since the release of its first trailer though, Ms. Marvel has been marred by online criticism directed toward Kamala’s powerset. Rather than adopting the stretchy, Mr. Fantastic-esque abilities from the original comic book run, the Disney+ series controversially took the young hero's powers in a new direction by giving her light-based abilities.
Many have voiced their concerns about this change, with fans claiming the decision undermines Kamala’s emotional arc from her comic book origin. MCU head honcho Kevin Feige weighed in on the matter, claiming that the tweak was to align the character with the continuity established by Marvel Studios.
Now, the co-creator of the Ms. Marvel character has spoken out about the controversial change.
Ms. Marvel Co-Creator Responds to Power Change
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ms. Marvel executive producer and co-creator of the comic book character of the same name Sana Amanat addressed the fan response to Kamala Khan's new superpowers in the MCU show.
Amanat stated that the decision to change Ms. Marvel's powers to be based on light constructs was to align her more with her future outings in projects like The Marvels, a sentiment previously mentioned by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige:
"Obviously, so much of the show is an adaptation, and we thought it was important to make sure that her powers are linking to larger stories in the Marvel universe. We wanted to make sure there is a little bit more story to tell after this series. Obviously, she goes into The Marvels."
The producer did acknowledge fans' concerns with the change but assured wary viewers that the tweak was "the right move," speaking as someone who has been with the character since her inception:
"The powers do look different, which is very controversial. I know people are like, 'How dare you change the powers!' I know people are upset about it, but as someone who’s probably one of the closest people to this character from the inception, and having spoken to Willow about this as well, I think Willow and I have always felt that this made sense. This was the right move because there are bigger stories to tell."
Amanat also mentioned how Kamala's new powers will still carry the same DNA as the ones on the graphic page while being able to achieve abilities that "feel big in scope and cinematic in a different way:"
"It’s really fun to give Kamala different kinds of powers that feel big in scope and cinematic in a different way. We can do a lot of fun things with her. I don’t want to spoil too much about how she uses her powers, but they’re fun and bouncy. At the same point, the essence of what the powers are in the comics is there, both from a metaphorical standpoint and from a visual standpoint. We’re doing the embiggened fist. We’re doing the elements that make her feel and look kind of crazy, but also really cool. I think it’s going to be familiar to people, but at the same time, different in a fresh and unique way."
Will This Change Pay Off for the MCU?
Ms. Marvel's updated powers have proven to be divisive among fans, but these new comments from the character's co-creator should hopefully alleviate some fan worries. Given Amanat's close connection to the source material and her new comments on the matter, it seems that the decision was not made lightly, and Kamala's story will still respect the comic book stories that fans love, even if it's told slightly differently.
A similar situation occurred with Moon Knight, where the Disney+ show was criticized prior to its release for seemingly not addressing Marc Spector's Jewish heritage. Luckily for fans, Oscar Isaac's solo series eventually got round to including this part of Marc's backstory, so it is likely that aspects of Kamala's original arc in the comics, like her insecurities, struggles with growing up, and identity will still be preserved for the MCU's adaptation while still future-proofing the franchise for projects like The Marvels.
Fans will be able to definitively assess Ms. Marvel's new powers when the Disney+ series hits the service on June 8.