One of the most exciting new characters in the Marvel Universe, Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, is on her way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But to those who know Kamala also know she can’t kick butt in the MCU just yet – at least, not before Captain Marvel comes out in 2018.
Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada told Comic Book Resources that Marvel plans to include Ms. Marvel in its films and TV shows, mostly because Kamala has been wildly successful. “You can be sure that, somewhere down the road, she will be a part of the future of Marvel in other media,” Quesada said.
Since her debut in 2014, G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel has been one of Marvel’s bestsellers. The MCU is sorely missing fun characters like Kamala. Unfortunately, because of Kamala’s defining trait — her fandom to the Marvel superheroes — it doesn’t make sense for Kamala to become Ms. Marvel before the MCU has Carol Danvers. Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson as Carol, comes out in 2018, which can’t come fast enough.
That Kamala can’t be in the MCU right now is a bummer, especially since Marvel’s characters have been predominantly white and male with painfully few exceptions. Kamala Khan is a Pakistani Muslim teenager from Jersey City and has been celebrated as a modern icon of diversity, but Kamala’s other significant trait is her fandom to the Marvel heroes.
Before she became a superhero, Kamala was an ordinary fangirl writing Avengers fanfiction in her bedroom. She lived in the Marvel Universe but wanted to be a part of it too, and Carol Danvers — the first Ms. Marvel who had just become Captain Marvel — was Kamala’s biggest idol.
In her debut issue Ms. Marvel #1, Kamala sneaks out of her house to go to a party when she’s enveloped in Terrigen mist after a bomb explodes across the Hudson. Undergoing the transformation Terrigenesis, Kamala hallucinates her heroes, including Captain Marvel, who ask her what she wants. Kamala immediately wishes to become a superhero like Carol, but she’s warned to be careful what she wishes for. Kamala wakes up to discover she’s “become” Ms. Marvel, wearing Carol’s old threads. Kamala attempts crimefighting, but quickly learns it’s not the costumes or names that make one a hero.
In Civil War II, we’ve seen an important turn in Kamala’s devotion to Carol, when she realizes Captain Marvel’s interest in Ulysses’s visions feels a lot like profiling, and that her new war tactics damage the lives of people in Jersey City. Without their earlier bond, though, Kamala’s rejection of Captain Marvel’s argument in Civil War wouldn’t matter much.
Ms. Marvel has been a staple in most fans’ pull lists since it started and we’re all eager to see Kamala on screen in the MCU. But because her devotion to Carol is so crucially a part of who she is as a superhero, it wouldn’t make a ton of sense if Carol herself hasn’t been part of the franchise just yet. Still, every second that passes right now is a second closer to Captain Marvel in 2018.