Co-creator of Ms. Marvel, Sana Amanat, sat down with Entertainment Weekly to break down why Kamala Khan's powers were changed for the MCU and the upcoming Disney+ show and why it was the "right move".
Since fans got their first glimpse of Ms. Marvel in live-action, there has been some controversy surrounding Ms. Marvel's new powers. Amanat, who not only is a producer on the show, but also co-created the character back in 2014 with writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Adrian Alphona, said they do sympathize with fans on the changes, but there's a more significant reason on why.
Just for some quick background, in the comics, Khan gets her powers after she's exposed to the Terrigen Mist (YUP that one from the Inhumans). Dormant abilities are released, allowing her to stretch and grow her size AKA embiggening! She can also alter her body to shrink in size, think Ant-Man meets Mr. Fantastic. And of course, Ms. Marvel also possesses superhuman strength, speed, endurance, enhanced healing factor, and bioluminescence.
After the show's first trailer, photos and teasers revealed that Khan's abilities would be derived from magical bracelets she finds and there's no "stretching" - the confusion and frustration make some sense. Still, Amanat insists that the spirit of her original abilities remains in this adaptation, and both Amant and Wilson have been on board from the beginning. Check out her full quote below from Entertainment Weekly:
Obviously, so much of the show is an adaptation, and we thought it was important to make sure that her powers are linking to larger stories in the Marvel universe. We wanted to make sure there is a little bit more story to tell after this series. Obviously, she goes into The Marvels. The powers do look different, which is very controversial. I know people are like, "How dare you change the powers!" I know people are upset about it, but as someone who's probably one of the closest people to this character from the inception, and having spoken to Willow about this as well, I think Willow and I have always felt that this made sense. This was the right move because there are bigger stories to tell.
It's really fun to give Kamala different kinds of powers that feel big in scope and cinematic in a different way. We can do a lot of fun things with her. I don't want to spoil too much about how she uses her powers, but they're fun and bouncy. At the same point, the essence of what the powers are in the comics is there, both from a metaphorical standpoint and from a visual standpoint. We're doing the embiggened fist. We're doing the elements that make her feel and look kind of crazy, but also really cool. I think it's going to be familiar to people, but at the same time, different in a fresh and unique way.
The MCU is no stranger to adapting characters differently from their page counterparts, a prime example being Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, having no ties to the X-Men and her Magneto daddy issues. To further the point, Marvel big boss Kevin Fiege said in an interview with Empire, "We adapt the comics; it’s not an exact translation. [Kamala] came about in a very specific time within the comic-book continuity. She is now coming into a very specific time within the MCU continuity. And those two things didn’t match. What we will learn about where those powers come from, and how they come about, is specific to the MCU."
We know they have big plans for Kamala, even appearing in The Marvels, alongside Captain Marvel and WandaVision favorite Monica Rambeau. All I can say is while some people might not get over the changes, I can't wait to see Kamala become a major MCU player. We will learn about Kamala's origin and how her new powers work when Ms. Marvel premieres on Disney+ on June 8th!