Kamala Khan’s superhero transformation is officially complete.
The character’s origin story reached its inevitable conclusion in the Season 1 finale of Ms. Marvel, which sees Kamala (Iman Vellani) finally take full control of her cosmic powers and assume her Ms. Marvel moniker. While Ms. Marvel Episode 6’s mutant twist does add some mystery to Kamala’s future, the Disney+ series’ final installment has cemented her place as the MCU’s latest young hero.
That said, Ms. Marvel’s Season 1 finale also made quite a few changes to Kamala Khan’s comic book origin story. While Marvel Studios has frequently received criticism from comic book readers for how it’s changed certain elements of its heroes’ stories, Ms. Marvel Episode 6 actually improves upon its protagonist’s origin.
How Ms. Marvel reworks Kamala Khan’s origin story
In Ms. Marvel Episode 6, Kamala Khan is given her superhero costume by her mother, Muneeba (Zenobia Shroff). Inspired by Kamala’s broken necklace from Ms. Marvel Episode 5, Muneeba designs her daughter’s costume with its iconic golden lightning bolt and red scarf. Muneeba’s involvement in the creation of Kamala’s costume is a major divergence from the comics, where Kamala’s superhero suit is given to her by her best friend, Bruno Carrelli (Matt Lintz).
Later in Episode 6, Kamala has a brief but touching conversation with her father, Yusuf (Mohan Kapur). Yusuf tells his daughter that “Kamal” means “perfect” in Arabic, but “wonder” or “marvel” in Urdu. When Kamala asks if that means she shares the same name as “Carol fricking Danvers,” Yusuf responds, “I don’t know who that is. But you sure are, and always have been, our own little Ms. Marvel.”
It’s a sweet moment that brings Kamala closer to her father and completes her superhero transformation. However, by having Kamala’s costume come from her mother and her superhero moniker come from her father, Ms. Marvel also takes its protagonist’s origin story in two subtly different directions than the comics did.
In the comics, Kamala Khan is still a hardcore fan of Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). Ms. Marvel is even a moniker that Carol used to go by in the comics, and Kamala’s admiration for Carol is what leads her to take on her hero’s former mantle. In other words, Kamala’s comic book origin story is heavily rooted in the connection she feels to Captain Marvel.
While Ms. Marvel certainly doesn’t shy away from Kamala’s admiration for Carol, it also doesn’t use the other hero as the inspiration for all of Kamala’s decisions. The Disney+ series not only has Kamala’s costume come from her mother, but it rewrites the inspiration for the suit’s iconic lightning bolt design so that it’s no longer lifted from Carol’s original Ms. Marvel costume. Instead, Kamala’s lightning bolt now comes from a necklace that used to spell her name in Arabic.
Thanks to her conversation with Yusuf in Ms. Marvel Episode 6, the inspiration for Kamala’s superhero moniker has been significantly reworked as well. While the change itself may partly be due to the fact that there’s never been a superhero known as Ms. Marvel in the MCU, that doesn’t take away from just how effective Kamala’s new origin story is.
The Inverse Analysis — There are many legitimate conversations to be had about the changes that Ms. Marvel makes to Kamala Khan’s powers and genes. However, when it comes to the actual creation of her superhero alter ego, it’s hard to deny just how thoroughly Ms. Marvel has improved upon Kamala Khan’s comic book origin story.
By letting her costume and moniker come from parts of her own life, Ms. Marvel has made Kamala Khan’s superhero transformation feel personal. In the comics, Kamala’s whole superhero persona was based on Carol Danvers. In Ms. Marvel, however, Kamala’s superhero alter ego is a product of her own identity and experiences, and that’s a change that’s worth celebrating.
Ms. Marvel is streaming now on Disney+.