The next hero fans are set to be introduced to is Iman Vellani's Kamala Khan, who will make her grand debut in the upcoming Marvel Studios show Ms. Marvel. One of the biggest aspects of the character is how she is just as big of a superhero fan as many of the audiences are themselves—so, when she gets powers of her own, not only does the character's relatability shine, but the situations that follow are a blast.
Since she is a major fan, Kamala keeps track of all the heroes in the MCU scene. The biggest of them all, for her, is Brie Larson's Captain Marvel. This is something that is clear not only in the character's hero moniker but also in the overall design of her outfit.
Carol Danvers' cosmic hero is far from the only one she idolizes and keeps track of. While participating in a press event for the upcoming series, Iman Vellani talked about her role, and also revealed another Marvel hero who will serve as a key influence for Kamala's fighting style: Scarlett Johannson's Black Widow.
Ms. Marvel Pays Tribute to Scarlett Johansson's Natasha
During a press event for Ms. Marvel, star Iman Vellani commented on her time joining the MCU, how Black Widow influenced the character within the MCU, and the weight of her representation.
Vellani commented how it "didn't feel real for the last two years, and now it still doesn't:"
"It didn't feel real for the last two years, and now it still doesn't. I'm on autopilot right now. I don't know how I'm going to process this or if I ever will. But yea, I'm really lucky, and I'm so glad I can have good people around me."
The star went on to mention how she "[hopes] people can see what I saw when I picked [up the comics] for the first time," and noted that "Kamala is such a universal character:"
"The comics meant the world to me. I hope people can see what I saw when I picked them up for the first time, and that tremendous amount of love. I felt seen and I want people to just feel less lonely, whether you're a fan of the Avengers, or you're Pakistani or Muslim, or you're a kid trying to figure out your place in this world. Everything. I think Kamala is such a universal character and a lot of people can relate to her."
Vellani then revealed that Kamala Khan's amateur fighting style mimics those of other heroes within the MCU, leading to Kamala sneakily paying tribute to Natasha Romanoff by pulling off "a lot of [Scarlett Johansson's] Black Widow poses:"
"I've been working on my superpose since I was like ten. But no, I just wanted to stay limber enough to kind of do my stunts. I have the most incredible stunt double. So we were kinda figuring out what Kamala's fighting style was together. You know, she's not a fighter, she's a sixteen-year-old kid from high school. So, a lot of it was like, 'Okay, she's probably copying everything she sees.' So we included a lot of [Scarlett Johansson's] Black Widow poses, and Brie Larson's iconic Captain Marvel poses. So yea, we've got some fun stuff in there."
Vellani mentioned how she'd love for the character to meet Iron Man one day, but that "[she doesn't] know if [she']d want to meet him though, [she] think[s] [she] might... explode."
Another crossover she has heard a lot of people want is "the Guardians of the Galaxy," which she noted how "Kamala and Groot" could make quite the team-up.
When asked about working with Rish Shah, who plays Kamran, the actress joked about how she used to have "the fattest crush on him:"
"I was so excited when he even read for the character. I had the fattest crush on him. Now we're working together and we're best friends, and I'm so happy that we can share this together."
As for how she feels about her role in representation on a global level, Vellani expressed how she "[tries] not to think about it, because it's a lot of pressure being the first of anything:"
"I try not to think about it, because it's a lot of pressure being the first of anything. I hope people can kind of relate to it in some aspect. Obviously, we can't represent every single Muslim and South Asian in the world, there's two billion of them. I hope people can either see themselves in Kamala or in her family, or in her community, or people at school. There's so many universal characters and I think there's really someone there for everyone."
Honoring the Black Widow
It's a great choice by Vellani and those involved to have Kamala's fighting style based on everything she's seen. With her being a massive fangirl, that's exactly what the character would have done—especially given she's not a fighter right out of the gate.
It's a little ironic that Kamala will be mimicking Black Widow, given the last time audiences saw Scarlett Johansson, she was going up against Taskmaster, a villain who also mimicked her moves, and those around her.
Sadly, that's not a fun parallel Natasha Romanoff will be able to comment on—though, maybe Yelena could show her face in the future and throw a quip or two.
Before Florence Pugh can enter the picture, however, Kamala Khan will first get to meet both Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau in The Marvels. Sparks will no doubt fly when Vellani's character comes face to face with Carol Danvers. Hopefully, Danvers appreciates Kamala's take on her move set. Maybe she'll even offer up some improvements.
Ms. Marvel lands on Disney+ on June 8, while The Marvels arrives in theaters on July 28, 2023.