Comic book lore can often be confusing, especially with long-running characters, as they can often have decades of adventures, retcons, and reboots to contend with. And with the release of the new MCU Disney Plus show, Ms. Marvel, those who don’t keep up with the comics are likely wondering just how Ms. Marvel connects to Captain Marvel.
But don’t worry, here is everything you need to know.
How is the title of Ms. Marvel connected to the Captain Marvel title?
Like most famous mantles in comics, neither Kamala Khan nor Carol Danvers is the first to hold their current titles. The Captain Marvel title was introduced back in 1967. However, it wasn’t Carol Danvers under the mask. It was a Kree warrior called Mar-Vell.
In 1968, Marvel decided they wanted to introduce a female counterpart to Captain Marvel and thus wrote a story featuring a United States Air Force pilot getting caught in an explosion caused by Mar-Vell. This pilot, called Carol Danvers, would gain new powers from the explosion and take on the title of Ms. Marvel – a name that reflects the origin of her powers and the fact that she was the male-presenting Captain Marvel’s female counterpart.
Of course, comics being comics, these titles were passed around a lot over the years. The Captain Marvel title has been held by Monica Rambeau, Genis-Vell, Phyla-Vell, Khn’nr, and Noh-Varr. Carol Danvers only took the mantle in 2012, ditching her Ms. Marvel title when she did. In the story, it is said that Carol took the Captain Marvel title to honor the fallen Mar-Vell.
Likewise, the Ms. Marvel title has had several holders over the years. Outside of Carol Danvers, the mantle has been held by Sharon Ventura — who would later become She-Thing — and Karla Sofen. Kamala Khan would take the name in 2013. Thus the initial connection between the Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel mantles makes less sense than it did when the Ms. Marvel name was first introduced.
However, there is a fascinating link between Kamala Khan and Carol Danvers.
How is Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel connected to Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel?
Before becoming Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan was a big superhero fan, spending her time writing Avengers fan-fiction and even dressing like them at several points.
However, the hero she idolizes above all else is Captain Marvel. Khan first appeared in 2013’s Captain Marvel #14, where she was saved by Captain Marvel, further increasing her adoration of the heroine.
When Khan is exposed to the Terrigen Mist — something released during 2013’s Inhumanity cross-over event, which followed on from the Infinity event — she develops superpowers, including the power to shift her body at will. As she tries to learn how to control her new abilities, Khan finds herself subconsciously changing to look like Carol Danvers – because Khan desperately wants to be her. However, as Khan slowly gains control of her powers, she learns that she can be her own person, and thus, the title of Ms. Marvel becomes a way to honor her hero while stepping out on her own. Which, in itself, is a nod to Carol taking the Captain Marvel title as a tribute to the fallen Mar-Vell.
In the comics, Captain Marvel becomes a mentor figure to Kamala, guiding her through the ups and downs of superhero life. However, it is unknown when (or if) this will happen in the MCU.
Ms. Marvel is now streaming on Disney Plus.