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Ms. Marvel post-credits cameo is a major comics Easter egg

The surprise Avenger in Ms. Marvel isn’t just throwing it back to the comics, it hints where the MCU is going next.

Marvel Studios

Of course Ms. Marvel has a cameo in the post-credits scene. It’s the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Are you surprised?

After the credits of Ms. Marvel Episode 6, an important hero makes a surprise appearance via unexplainable cosmic phenomena. What’s important isn’t how this Avenger makes their appearance, but what in the comics it pays homage to — and what hint it might offer about what’s to come in The Marvels. Spoilers ahead.

At the end of Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) is dealing with being a superhero and a high schooler. Just as she’s about to do some homework, Kamala’s mysterious bangles activate, flinging her into her closet.

But it’s not Kamala Khan who steps back out. It’s Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), sporting a new look and obvious confusion over how she ended up in the bedroom of a Jersey City teenager who’s obsessed with her.

Brie Larson makes a cameo at the end of Ms. Marvel, with her Carol Danvers winding up in Kamala’s home in Jersey City. What does this mean for The Marvels?Marvel Studios

Because Carol and Kamala switched places, that means Kamala is wherever Carol was when the bangles were activated, which could be anywhere from Avenger headquarters to deep space. While Ms. Marvel has taken a lot of liberties with the comics, Carol’s post-credits scene is reminiscent of two separate incidents from Ms. Marvel’s first volume of adventures.

When Kamala Became Carol (Kind Of)

In the first two issues of Ms. Marvel, Kamala undergoes Terrigenesis when she inhales the fumes of a Terrigen bomb that exploded during the events of the 2013 crossover Infinity. During Terrigenesis, Kamala hallucinates her idols — Captain America, Iron Man, and Captain Marvel — who tell her that her life is about to change forever.

When Imaginary Carol asks Kamala what she wants, she says, “I want to be you.”

In Ms. Marvel #2, Kamala Khan briefly transforms into Carol Danvers after obtaining superpowers for the first time.

Kamala gets her wish, just not in the way she thought. Emerging from Terrigenesis, Kamala finds her body has transformed to resemble Carol Danvers in her old black and gold costume. It doesn’t take Kamala long for her to turn back into herself, however, when she learns she has the power to polymorph and shapeshift.

The moment is a comment on beauty standards in pop culture. Being a Pakistani teenager, Kamala feels she can’t measure up to her idol, a conventionally attractive blonde white woman. It’s critical Kamala asks to be Carol, and not be like her. “I want to be beautiful and awesome and butt-kicking and less complicated,” Kamala says.

But when that actually happens, Kamala reacts in horror rather than elation. Over time, Kamala learns that she has what it takes to be an Avenger, and that she doesn’t need to look like her heroes to emulate them.

The MCU has altered Kamala’s powers and dropped this scene, but the moment where Kamala vanishes and Carol emerges feels evocative of this critical moment in Kamala’s comics. And for Carol to find posters of her face looking back at her from every angle must have been as disorienting as it was for Kamala to look at her reflection and see Carol looking back.

In Ms. Marvel #17, Kamala Khan met Carol Danvers for real when the events of Secret Wars spread to Kamala’s hometown of Jersey City.Marvel Comics

When Kamala Met Carol

Carol and Kamala haven’t met in the MCU yet, although they’re slated to in The Marvels. In the comics, however, Carol Danvers found herself in Jersey City at the end of Ms. Marvel’s first volume. In issues #16 to #18, Kamala gets unexpected help from Danvers in taking down Kamran, who in the comics was a radical Inhuman who wanted to activate worldwide Terrigenesis.

In 2016, Kamala started to sour on her worship of Carol during the events of Civil War II. Will this happen in the MCU?Marvel Comics

What This Means for the MCU

As of now, the MCU isn’t setting up Secret Wars as the new Infinity Saga for Phase 4, even if there’s been a lot of multiversal madness in the franchise lately. But with Kamala now on Carol Danvers’ radar, there’s no doubt that The Marvels will have Carol and Kamala form an unusual duo of superhero and super fan.

What’s telling is that Carol and Kamala’s relationship actually sours in the comics, when they end up on opposite sides during the events of Civil War II. When Kamala meets Carol in the MCU, how long will Kamala’s glee last? With her idol looking back into her own eyes, will Carol be all Kamala imagined her to be? Or will Kamala learn that even heroes are human?

Ms. Marvel is streaming now on Disney+.