Disney’s Ms. Marvel is pulling in great reviews from critics and fans alike — and is an out-of-the-park success by pretty much anyone’s measure. Except, perhaps, for one group. Old School fans of the comic book haven’t exactly been quiet about their distaste for the MCU Kamala Khan’s power set.
In the comics that are the series’ source material, Ms. Marvel’s power set stems from her ability to morph her body in a variety of ways. She can “enbiggen” her entire body or just specific parts — she often attacks her opponents with giant-sized fists for example. She can also stretch, similar to comic heroes like Plastic Man or Mr. Fantastic. Her morphing abilities also give her a healing factor and the ability to shapeshift.
They’re a pretty far cry from the MCU Khan’s “hard light” abilities, although we have seen her use a giant hard light hand twice, to be fair.
Why the switch? Series creator Bisha K. Ali recently addressed the issue during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. A self-described “fan girl” she says that she completely understands why OG fans might be upset at the change.
“Look, I get the vibe. I’m also a fan of the comic books,” she stated, adding that she did not adapt the material with the idea of “‘Let’s throw out the powers!’ That is not my vibe at all.”
Instead, she states the power changes happened organically with consideration given to Kamala’s story — and the number of episodes they would have to tell it, as well as how the character would fit in the MCU as it currently exists. She told EW:
It was a big conversation between me and Kevin 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.– Bisha K. Ali
As for Kamala’s place in the MCU, Ali believes the power change streamlines the character’s journey into the larger MCU. “We have this legacy of visual storytelling in the MCU,” Ali told EW. “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.”
The third episode of Ms. Marvel will be available this Wednesday on Disney Plus.