Bisha K. Ali, the head writer of Ms. Marvel for Disney Plus, has said the series’ changes to the character’s powers were not made lightly by anyone at Marvel Studios.
Ms. Marvel introduces Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan to the MCU, telling the story of her origins as the young superhero, Ms. Marvel. In Marvel’s comics, Kamala has the power to stretch and reshape her body (similar to Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four), whereas in the Disney Plus series this has been changed to the ability to produce “hard light” structures. The MCU power change has proved controversial with some fans. Bisha K. Ali has said the decision was heavily debated at Marvel Studios and was ultimately made in order to better integrate the character’s story into the MCU.
The MCU’s Ms. Marvel
Kamala Khan’s entry to the MCU has happened during quite a different moment to her entry in the comics. In the comics, her powers came about as Terrigen Mist, the substance that activates the superpowers of Inhumans, was released across the world. However, after the MCU’s Inhumans series bombed, those characters have had a reduced role on-screen. Instead, Kamala’s powers are set to be more closely tied to her hero, Carol Danvers, and Monica Rambeau – the other “Marvels” who will appear alongside Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan in next year’s The Marvels.
Talking to Entertainment Weekly about the new Marvel series, Bisha K. Ali touched on the change to Kamala’s powers. The head writer explained it was important to give Kamala powers that connected to her personal story and journey of self discovery:
“That’s a big old question, and look, I get the vibe. I’m also a fan of the comic books, and I know what it is to be a fangirl. It was a huge decision. It certainly wasn’t me rocking up and being like, ‘Let’s throw out the powers!’ That is not my vibe at all.
“It was a big conversation between me and Kevin [Feige, president of Marvel Studios] and Sana, right from the start, of how we translate this to the screen. The thing that was really vital to me was that in the comic books, her powers are inherently connected to her internal journey — how she feels about herself, how she’s navigating the world, how she perceives herself. Whatever we changed them to had to have that same connectivity with her psychology and the journey she’s going through and the way she sees herself. I think we really accomplished that. I think if fans can give it a chance, they might see our reasoning.
“The other piece of it is looking at the Marvel of it all and how we have this legacy of visual storytelling in the MCU. It’s a different story than what exists in the comics. What’s important for Kamala in this show and in the future is that it all links up and is connected. So the power changes were hotly debated.”
Hints of Kamala’s original powers have made it into Ms. Marvel – she has used her hard light powers to create an oversized hand, echoing her comic-book “embiggening” abilities – but it sounds like the power change has come about for good reason. Marvel Studios has previously strayed from their source material when they have seen the opportunity for a stronger story, so fans probably shouldn’t worry about the changes the studio has made on this occasion.
Marvel Studios’ “Ms. Marvel” is a new, original series that introduces Kamala Khan, a Muslim American teenager growing up in Jersey City. An avid gamer and a voracious fan-fiction scribe, Kamala is a Super Hero mega fan with an oversized imagination—particularly when it comes to Captain Marvel. Yet Kamala feels like she doesn’t fit in at school and sometimes even at home—that is, until she gets super powers like the heroes she’s always looked up to. Life gets better with super powers, right?
The series stars Iman Vellani, Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Rish Shah, Matt Lintz, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Fawad Khan, Mehwish Hayat, and Farhan Akhtar. Episodes of the series were directed by Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah, Meera Menon and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, with Bisha K. Ali serving as the head writer. Marvel’s Kevin Feige is involved in the series as an executive producer.
Ms. Marvel is now streaming on Disney Plus, with new episodes released every Wednesday. Stay tuned for all the latest news surrounding the Disney Plus series, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more original video content.
Source: Entertainment Weekly