The announcement came first in 2019 at the D23 Expo. Ms. Marvel was joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Only those well-read Marvel fans truly knew who Ms. Marvel was. But there was growing excitement and that finally came to a head when on Disney’s Investor Day, Marvel president Kevin Feige, confirmed that Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel, will be making her Marvel debut in 2021.
THE NEW MS. MARVEL
Newcomer Iman Vellani has been cast to play Ms. Marvel in the new Disney+ series, and by newcomer we mean this will be the very first production of Vellani’s young life. Apparently, the search was extensive, with producers being won over by her look and presence. The goal, when searching for the right Ms. Marvel, was to stay absolutely true to the character, most notably her being of Muslim descent. So, Marvel has found their Ms. Marvel, but what do we actually know about the character?
WHO IS KAMALA KAHN?
Let’s pretend you’re a newbie when it comes to recent Marvel comics. Of course, you know the biggies like Tony Stark, Peter Parker, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, and Wanda Maximoff. But Kamala Kahn? The character of Ms. Marvel has been around since the ‘60s when Carol Danvers first used the name, but then she was just a non-superpowered officer in the U.S. Airforce. She got her powers from Captain Marvel but still went by Ms. Marvel, eventually becoming part of The Avengers.
Kamala Khan was introduced to the world in 2014 and made history as the first Muslim to lead her own comic book series. She was created by Sana Amanat, G. Willow Wilson, and Adrian Alphona. Khan is a 16-year-old Pakistani-American who lives in Jersey City with a huge affinity for Carol Danvers. When we first meet Khan, she is just a normal kid doing normal things. But when the Terrigen Mist is released across the globe, it unlocks her Inhuman abilities. She becomes a superhero with super-strength and the ability to stretch and change her appearance. She also chooses the moniker Ms. Marvel, hoping to become part of the Captain Marvel legacy.
Since Kahn’s introduction to the Marvel Universe, her character has been a bright light to many. The first series that introduced Khan garnered many favorable reviews and even won a Hugo Award. Her popularity took her on adventures with the likes of Spider-Man as well as joining up with the Champions (which included the Miles Morales Spider-Man and Hulk’s Amadeus Cho) and the New Avengers. Ms. Marvel was also a large part of a couple of huge storylines such as Civil War II and the Secret Wars, fighting alongside Captain America and Iron Man.
WHY IS MS. MARVEL SO POPULAR?
Putting aside the fact that Kamala Khan is the first Muslim superhero (a fact we are not scoffing at here), it could be Kahn’s outlook for fighting crime which is to leave our world in a better place than which you found it. Her popularity grew because of her simple but pure outlook on life and on the world. Fans took to Khan and never wavered. So, does this mean her outlook is the way the series will go? Well, if it’s popular in the comics, it should be popular on film.
As of right now, the direction of the series is being closely guarded. So far, there is no word on any danger Khan will face or any villains that may show up on her doorstep.
THE MS. MARVEL CAST
We all know about newcomer Vellani but what do we know about the rest of the cast? First off, The Walking Dead’s Matt Lintz has been brought on to star as Bruno Carrelli, who is Kahn’s best friend and in the comics is a teenager with genius-level intelligence. He is also one of the very few people who know that Khan is Ms. Marvel. Joining both Vellani and Lintz is Rish Shah as Kamran and Zenobia Shroff as Muneeba Khan, Kamala’s mother. Other who will play so far unnamed parts are Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Mohan Kapur, Yasmeen Fletcher, Laith Naki, Azher Usman, Travina Springer, and Nimra Bucha.
THE PEOPLE MAKING MS. MARVEL
Keeping with their pledge for diversity, Disney and Marvel also announced who would be bringing the superhero to the Disney+ streaming service. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, and Meera Menon have all been tapped to direct episodes of the upcoming series. Bisha K. Ali has been writing the scripts for the series.
Not only did Marvel’s president Feige make the big Ms. Marvel announcement, but he also brought with him a sizzle reel that showed a mixture of a behind-the-scenes look at the casting of Vellani, how much the Khan character means to all those involved with the show, and fans of Ms. Marvel were also treated to a few quick snippets at official footage of the series. Some of the footage shows just how much Kamala Khan idolizes Captain Marvel, as evidenced by the posters she has plastered on her walls. Another prominent display of Khan’s obsession is a drawing she made of Captain Marvel. It is both an endearing quick peek at Vellani being told, via Zoom, she got the part and just how the series is developing. You can see the sizzle reel below.
CAPTAIN MARVEL 2
If you’re wondering just how Khan and Danvers meet up, you will be pleased to know that it was also officially announced by Feige that Khan will be making an appearance in Captain Marvel 2. That announcement also came with another: a now-adult Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) will also be joining in the fun. Fans will get their first look at the adult Rambeau in the Disney+ series WandaVision while we will see Khan in her Ms. Marvel series before they both move on to Captain Marvel 2 with Brie Larson (unless rumors are true).
How the three connect is unknown at this point but as fans know, Rambeau took over the mantle of Ms. Marvel for a time being in the comics, so don’t put it past director Nia DaCosta (taking over for the first Captain Marvel movie’s directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck) to possibly have all three Ms./Captain Marvels on the screen at one time.
The next couple years looks to be a good time for Ms. and Captain Marvel fans.