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Ms. Marvel is the Comic Book Superhero the MCU Desperately Needs

Ms Marvel
By  · Published on May 17th, 2018

A possible Kamala Khan movie gains momentum from Riz Ahmed and Mindy Kaling.

Where there is Twitter, there is a way. Just days after Kevin Feige revealed to the BBC that Marvel Studios was contemplating a role for Ms. Marvel in the MCU, creative fires were further stoked by several talented folks eager to make this “definitely sort of in the works” possibility a sincere reality. Fans of the character glued themselves to Twitter, watching in gleeful astonishment as a conversation between Riz Ahmed and Mindy Kaling validated one of the most intense fandoms in recent comic book memory.

Marvel Comics is not really in the business of creating original characters anymore. The Avengers we know and love are primarily constructed by characters birthed in the 1960s. Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the rest have evolved greatly over the last 50-plus years with hundreds of various creators building atop the foundations laid by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko. While there have been a few breakthrough characters since then (Wolverine, Elektra, Deadpool), most newbies (Darkhawk, Sleepwalker, Marvel Boy) failed to excite sales figures.

If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Comic book fans are a stubborn lot. We know who we like and how we like them to behave. As cover prices increase, we are less willing to take a chance on the unknown quantity. The result of which saw Marvel attempting to radically diversify their lineup by filling several classic suits with new bodies. Three of their most successful redesigns were Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor, Sam Wilson’s Captain America, and Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel.

Yes, there was some initial pushback. Cries bemoaning SJW morality had to be ignored. The comics spoke for themselves.

Ms. Marvel is one of the most significant creations to come out of the House of Ideas since its inception. Kamala Khan is a Pakistani-American teenager who exhibits shapeshifting abilities after a sudden exposure to the Inhuman’s Terrigen Mist (a kooky gaseous substance that unlocks superpowers when exposed to hidden alien DNA). After a mild freakout, Khan adopts the former mantle of her idol, Carol Danvers a.k.a Captain Marvel a.k.a. the original Ms. Marvel.

The character sprang from a conversation between two Marvel editors, Steve Wacker and Sana Amanat. Hoping to expose the Muslim-American experience from an honest point of view, Amanat hired practicing Muslim writer G. Willow Wilson to bring Kamala Khan to life. The new Ms. Marvel wears a costume inspired by the shalwar kameez, which refreshingly shifts away from the usual male-gaze design.

For a company that has primarily pursued the white male perspective, Ms. Marvel was a revelation. Since 2013, Kamala Khan has taken a strong grip on the comic book universe. She’s joined The Avengers, fought against Thanos, and attempted to enter a BFF relationship with Wolverine. Like the best of Marvel, her greatest adventures are underscored by struggling against familial anxiety and humanity’s never-ending fear of the unknown.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe desperately needs Ms. Marvel on its roster. After a decade of butt-kicking dominators like Iron Man, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Captain AmericaMan, and Hawkguy we’re only now getting to Captain Marvel and The Wasp. And maybe Black Widow will finally get her solo story. If Marvel Studios is to survive beyond the threat of the Mad Titan, they must embrace characters that will disrupt their formulaic orientation. Adding Kamala Khan to the team will easily breathe another decade’s worth of life into their franchise.

Just look at what Kevin Feige’s brief statement to the BBC erupted. Riz Ahmed immediately jumped on his keyboard with a dream team of talent. Mindy Kaling geeked out on the idea, energetically professing her obsession with the character.

Sana Amanat may not be Kevin Feige, but she’s no fool. If Ahmed and Kaling are down, Amanat wants them on her team. Suddenly, a Ms. Marvel comic from the brains of Ahmed and Kaling is a genuine reality.

These folks are not alone. There is a deep hunger for Ms. Marvel on screen. To deny this enthusiasm would be foolish and catastrophic to the brand. Of course, Kevin Feige could never be called a fool. The gears are turning. We may have to wait a little longer for the Avengers 4 fallout to unveil the next strategy of the MCU, but you can guarantee that Kamala Khan will be a major player. With so much talent throwing themselves at the prospect, fans should start anticipating another revolutionary addition akin to Black Panther. Ms. Marvel has the goods.

Now comes the dream casting and fan art:

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)