Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan’s comic book origins and superpowers explained

Ms. Marvel promotional image

It’s official: Ms. Marvel episode 1 is streaming on Disney Plus, introducing Kamala Khan and her hilariously relatable family to viewers everywhere. While we’ll have to wait for more installments week to week, so far, Kamala Khan’s comic book charm and personality are coming through in spades. 

Ms. Marvel poster

Ms. Marvel poster (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

(opens in new tab)

Still, there are some changes in her story, as shown in trailers prior to the premiere of the Ms. Marvel streaming series, so there’s a lot to learn about the young hero as she comes to the MCU ahead of her inclusion in the upcoming film The Marvels alongside Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau.

So let’s dig into Kamala Khan’s comic book origins as Ms. Marvel, her superpowers, the supervillains she fights, and her place in the Marvel Universe for some context on what’s coming up as Ms. Marvel continues on Disney Plus.

Who is Ms. Marvel?

image of Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Kamala Khan is actually the second superhero to take the name Ms. Marvel in Marvel comic books. She’s what’s colloquially referred to in the comic book community as a “legacy” character.

The moniker was first used by Kamala’s mentor and idol, Carol Danvers, who MCU fans know as Captain Marvel. 

In comics, Carol operated as Ms. Marvel when her own mentor, the Kree war hero-Space Fleet officer Mar-Vell (reimagined in the movies as a Kree scientist played by Annette Bening), was still alive and working as the original Captain Marvel. 

While it took decades after his death and a few superhero code names in-between, Carol – who in comics has genetic ties to the Kree – eventually took on the Captain Marvel mantle, and it was soon after that Kamala made her first comic book appearance in Carol’s headlining title – 2013’s Captain Marvel #14 (opens in new tab).

Like Carol, Kamala has an ancestral connection to the Kree – though not the same way Carol does. To explain, we have to go back to her origin. 

Born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey, Kamala is a Pakistani American and a practicing Muslim who, like Marvel’s original teen hero Peter Parker/Spider-Man, balances her life as a teenage superhero with her commitments to school and family.

Ms. Marvel #1 cover art

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

(opens in new tab)

For most of her life, Kamala believed she was an ordinary human, though she longed to gain superpowers like her heroes the Avengers (she even wrote herself into Avengers fan fiction before becoming Ms. Marvel!).

During Marvel’s Infinity (opens in new tab) event, in which Thanos tried once again to conquer Earth and the rest of the Universe, the Terrigen Mists of the Inhumans were released across the Earth. Here’s where Kamala’s connection to the Kree comes in.

Though it’s a little complicated, the Inhumans are a race of genetically engineered beings populated on Earth by their creators the Kree. When exposed to the mysterious Terrigen Mists, people with Inhuman DNA develop a unique superpower and sometimes undergo physical mutation.

When the Terrigen Mists swept across the Earth, they awakened superpowers in thousands of people with latent, heretofore unknown Inhuman DNA – including Kamala Khan.

What are Ms. Marvel’s powers?

image of Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

After her exposure to the Terrigen Mists, Kamala gained the power to ’embiggen,’ her word for changing her size and shape, especially to get bigger and to make her fists larger for punching (those who have played Marvel’s Avengers have likely gotten a long tutorial on the applications of these abilities by now).

As an Inhuman, she has a tenuous comic book relationship with the Inhuman Royal Family led by Black Bolt and Medusa, though Kamala has developed a special bond with the Inhumans’ dog Lockjaw, who has his own Terrigen Mist-granted power of teleportation. 

Along with her shape-shifting powers, Kamala has undergone extensive training as part of the Avengers and Champions, making her a capable strategist and fighter even beyond her superpowers.

For a while, she sported a special Kree-designed battle uniform while in space that carried its own weapons and abilities – but she’s gone back to basics since returning to Earth.

Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel in the Marvel Universe

image of Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Since she got her powers and took the name Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan has become an integral part of the Marvel Universe, particularly through her relationships with the other teen heroes of her generation.

We brought up the Avengers and the Champions, two super-teams Kamala has been a part of. Living up to her dreams, Kamala became an Avenger after meeting Carol Danvers and helping the team on a limited basis, after which she and two other teen heroes, Miles Morales/Spider-Man and Sam Alexander/Nova (themselves also inheritors of the legacies of classic older heroes) were all granted Avengers membership.

Kamala, Sam, and Miles’s time on the team was short-lived, however, as the three became disillusioned with adult superheroes during their adventures with the Avengers and departed to form their own team, based around their own ideals about building a better world.

Recruiting other teen heroes from around the Marvel Universe, Kamala, Sam, and Miles became the core of the Champions, a team that has had its share of recent ups and downs, including a 2021 stint as enemies of the state during the ‘Outlawed (opens in new tab)’ story. 

In ‘Outlawed,’ the US government passes a law titled ‘Kamala’s Law’ to curb teen vigilante heroes after Kamala Khan seemingly disappears during a fight between the Champions and a giant monster – though she’s actually just hiding in her secret identity of Ms. Marvel.

This leads to the creation of an organization called CRADLE which monitors teen heroes, causing Kamala and her allies in the Champions to temporarily operate as fugitives. However, Kamala’s law was eventually repealed, and Ms. Marvel and the Champions are once again free to be teen heroes.

Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel in the MCU

Ms. Marvel trailer

Ms. Marvel trailer image (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

 Now that Kamala Khan has made her MCU debut as Ms. Marvel, it’s apparent that, as shown in trailers leading up to the premiere, her origin and powers have changed somewhat in the translation from page to screen.

Rather than gaining her powers from latent Inhuman DNA after exposure to the Terrigen Mists, Kamala gains her powers after wearing a bangle that was owned by her maternal grandmother. And rather than giving her shapeshifting abilities, the bangle seems to activate cosmic, energy-channeling powers which she uses to create a giant grasping hand in the first episode.

Ms. Marvel trailer

Ms. Marvel trailer image (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

It’s too early to say exactly what Kamala Khan’s new origin will be, once the bangle is explained. But there have been strong hints that Kamala’s new origin will be tied to other concepts from comic books, possibly through a cosmic artifact like the Nega-Bands or Quantum Bands, or even through a genealogical connection to a different hidden population of super-beings from Marvel Comics, such as The ClanDestine.

Ms. Marvel trailer

Ms. Marvel trailer image (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

As for Kamala’s enemies in the show, the trailer gives just a glimpse at who is likely them, but they may be versions of characters including Kamala’s comic book villains Kamran and Kaboom, teenage Inhumans working for a villain named Lineage who wishes to overthrow the Inhuman royal family. Kamran has been confirmed to appear in the show at least in human form.

This seems to imply that there will be more people with powers similar to those gained by Ms. Marvel, though it’s likely there will be some changes in how they’re all connected.

Whatever the case, Kamala Khan’s story as Ms. Marvel is just getting started in the MCU, with new episodes scheduled to air every Wednesday.

Get to know Kamala Khan even better before her show releases with the best Ms. Marvel comic book stories of all time.


More information about Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan’s comic book origins and superpowers explained

It’s official: Ms. Marvel episode 1 is streaming on Disney Plus, introducing Kamala Khan and her hilariously relatable family to viewers everywhere. While we’ll have to wait for more installments week to week, so far, Kamala Khan’s comic book charm and personality are coming through in spades. 

Ms. Marvel poster (Image credit: Marvel Studios)
(opens in new tab)
Still, there are some changes in her story, as shown in trailers prior to the premiere of the Ms. Marvel streaming series, so there’s a lot to learn about the young hero as she comes to the MCU ahead of her inclusion in the upcoming film The Marvels alongside Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau.
So let’s dig into Kamala Khan’s comic book origins as Ms. Marvel, her superpowers, the supervillains she fights, and her place in the Marvel Universe for some context on what’s coming up as Ms. Marvel continues on Disney Plus.
Who is Ms. Marvel?

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
Kamala Khan is actually the second superhero to take the name Ms. Marvel in Marvel comic books. She’s what’s colloquially referred to in the comic book community as a “legacy” character.
The moniker was first used by Kamala’s mentor and idol, Carol Danvers, who MCU fans know as Captain Marvel. 
In comics, Carol operated as Ms. Marvel when her own mentor, the Kree war hero-Space Fleet officer Mar-Vell (reimagined in the movies as a Kree scientist played by Annette Bening), was still alive and working as the original Captain Marvel. 
While it took decades after his death and a few superhero code names in-between, Carol – who in comics has genetic ties to the Kree – eventually took on the Captain Marvel mantle, and it was soon after that Kamala made her first comic book appearance in Carol’s headlining title – 2013’s Captain Marvel #14 (opens in new tab).
Like Carol, Kamala has an ancestral connection to the Kree – though not the same way Carol does. To explain, we have to go back to her origin. 
Born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey, Kamala is a Pakistani American and a practicing Muslim who, like Marvel’s original teen hero Peter Parker/Spider-Man, balances her life as a teenage superhero with her commitments to school and family.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
(opens in new tab)
For most of her life, Kamala believed she was an ordinary human, though she longed to gain superpowers like her heroes the Avengers (she even wrote herself into Avengers fan fiction before becoming Ms. Marvel!).
During Marvel’s Infinity (opens in new tab) event, in which Thanos tried once again to conquer Earth and the rest of the Universe, the Terrigen Mists of the Inhumans were released across the Earth. Here’s where Kamala’s connection to the Kree comes in.
Though it’s a little complicated, the Inhumans are a race of genetically engineered beings populated on Earth by their creators the Kree. When exposed to the mysterious Terrigen Mists, people with Inhuman DNA develop a unique superpower and sometimes undergo physical mutation.
When the Terrigen Mists swept across the Earth, they awakened superpowers in thousands of people with latent, heretofore unknown Inhuman DNA – including Kamala Khan.
What are Ms. Marvel’s powers?

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
After her exposure to the Terrigen Mists, Kamala gained the power to ’embiggen,’ her word for changing her size and shape, especially to get bigger and to make her fists larger for punching (those who have played Marvel’s Avengers have likely gotten a long tutorial on the applications of these abilities by now).
As an Inhuman, she has a tenuous comic book relationship with the Inhuman Royal Family led by Black Bolt and Medusa, though Kamala has developed a special bond with the Inhumans’ dog Lockjaw, who has his own Terrigen Mist-granted power of teleportation. 
Along with her shape-shifting powers, Kamala has undergone extensive training as part of the Avengers and Champions, making her a capable strategist and fighter even beyond her superpowers.
For a while, she sported a special Kree-designed battle uniform while in space that carried its own weapons and abilities – but she’s gone back to basics since returning to Earth.
Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel in the Marvel Universe

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
Since she got her powers and took the name Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan has become an integral part of the Marvel Universe, particularly through her relationships with the other teen heroes of her generation.
We brought up the Avengers and the Champions, two super-teams Kamala has been a part of. Living up to her dreams, Kamala became an Avenger after meeting Carol Danvers and helping the team on a limited basis, after which she and two other teen heroes, Miles Morales/Spider-Man and Sam Alexander/Nova (themselves also inheritors of the legacies of classic older heroes) were all granted Avengers membership.
Kamala, Sam, and Miles’s time on the team was short-lived, however, as the three became disillusioned with adult superheroes during their adventures with the Avengers and departed to form their own team, based around their own ideals about building a better world.
Recruiting other teen heroes from around the Marvel Universe, Kamala, Sam, and Miles became the core of the Champions, a team that has had its share of recent ups and downs, including a 2021 stint as enemies of the state during the ‘Outlawed (opens in new tab)’ story. 
In ‘Outlawed,’ the US government passes a law titled ‘Kamala’s Law’ to curb teen vigilante heroes after Kamala Khan seemingly disappears during a fight between the Champions and a giant monster – though she’s actually just hiding in her secret identity of Ms. Marvel.
This leads to the creation of an organization called CRADLE which monitors teen heroes, causing Kamala and her allies in the Champions to temporarily operate as fugitives. However, Kamala’s law was eventually repealed, and Ms. Marvel and the Champions are once again free to be teen heroes.
Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel in the MCU

Ms. Marvel trailer image (Image credit: Marvel Studios)
 Now that Kamala Khan has made her MCU debut as Ms. Marvel, it’s apparent that, as shown in trailers leading up to the premiere, her origin and powers have changed somewhat in the translation from page to screen.
Rather than gaining her powers from latent Inhuman DNA after exposure to the Terrigen Mists, Kamala gains her powers after wearing a bangle that was owned by her maternal grandmother. And rather than giving her shapeshifting abilities, the bangle seems to activate cosmic, energy-channeling powers which she uses to create a giant grasping hand in the first episode.

Ms. Marvel trailer image (Image credit: Marvel Studios)
It’s too early to say exactly what Kamala Khan’s new origin will be, once the bangle is explained. But there have been strong hints that Kamala’s new origin will be tied to other concepts from comic books, possibly through a cosmic artifact like the Nega-Bands or Quantum Bands, or even through a genealogical connection to a different hidden population of super-beings from Marvel Comics, such as The ClanDestine.

Ms. Marvel trailer image (Image credit: Marvel Studios)
As for Kamala’s enemies in the show, the trailer gives just a glimpse at who is likely them, but they may be versions of characters including Kamala’s comic book villains Kamran and Kaboom, teenage Inhumans working for a villain named Lineage who wishes to overthrow the Inhuman royal family. Kamran has been confirmed to appear in the show at least in human form.
This seems to imply that there will be more people with powers similar to those gained by Ms. Marvel, though it’s likely there will be some changes in how they’re all connected.
Whatever the case, Kamala Khan’s story as Ms. Marvel is just getting started in the MCU, with new episodes scheduled to air every Wednesday.
Get to know Kamala Khan even better before her show releases with the best Ms. Marvel comic book stories of all time.

#Marvel #Kamala #Khans #comic #book #origins #superpowers #explained


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