Ms. Marvel's MCU Power Change Explained | Screen Rant – Screen Rant

Official artwork has confirmed a major change to Ms. Marvel’s powers. Here’s what they were in the comics, and why the MCU would rework them.
Artwork for Ms. Marvel has confirmed that the Disney+ series is overhauling Kamala Khan’s powers for the MCU. Played by Iman Vellani, the teenage superhero is one of Phase 4’s most anticipated newcomers. Following the conclusion of her upcoming Disney+ series, Ms. Marvel is confirmed to team up with Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) in The Marvels.
Despite being a fairly recent addition to Marvel’s library of superheroes, Ms. Marvel is already a well-known character that’s considered to be recognizable even to casual fans. As a result of her popularity and overall importance to the comics, there are already a number of high expectations that Marvel is expected to meet when it adapts her character. This includes her backstory, personality, costume, and of course, her abilities. Promotional artwork for the upcoming Phase 4 series has confirmed that Ms. Marvel is keeping her comic look, but perhaps not her powers. She may end up sharing most of the core elements of her comic counterpart, but not her iconic powerset.
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Marvel making a change to a hero’s abilities isn’t unprecedented. The Eternals stand as examples of Marvel characters whose abilities have been reworked for the big screen, with many of the heroes losing some of the most useful tools in their arsenal. It’s a bit of a different situation though with Ms. Marvel, whose higher visibility in the comics provides the MCU with much less leeway in terms of how much it can change. That being said, that may not stop Disney showrunners from taking massive liberties with her powers and how they work. Here’s what Ms. Marvel can do in the comics, what the MCU is doing differently, and why it would avoid her original powerset.
In Marvel Comics, Kamala Khan was an ordinary teenager until exposure to the Terrigen Mist turned her into an Inhuman. Similar to mutants, members of this subspecies of humankind who were created by the genetic experiments of the Kree, typically possess at least one superpower. These are generally acquired after the Inhuman in question undergoes a transformation process known as Terrigenesis. When Kamala experienced it, she gained the ability to “embiggen” herself, meaning that she can enlarge and extend her limbs. One of the most common ways she exercises her powers is to “embiggen” her fists, thus allowing her to hit her opponents with tremendous force.
Normally, Kamala is seen altering the size of her hands in combat, but that’s far from the extent of her Inhuman capabilities. She can increase (or decrease) the size of her entire body at once, not unlike the size-changing abilities of Hank Pym and Scott Lang. In addition to that, her shapeshifting powers enable her to completely alter her body structure, hair, and facial features, which comes in handy when disguises are needed. An additional ability that Ms. Marvel sports in the comics books is a healing factor. Since Ms. Marvel doesn’t have superhuman durability, she can die from a fatal bullet wound, but her rapid healing factor can fix most injuries. If she sustains serious damage whilst “embiggened”, reverting back to normal has proven to be an effective recovery method.
The Ms. Marvel promotional art shows a purple crystal and a giant fist with properties quite similar to the crystal. At a glance, the giant hand looks like an adaptation of Kamala’s “embiggened” punch move, but closer inspection reveals a significant difference between how this power is utilized in the comics and what’s happening in the image. Her actual hand is separate from the fist, which indicates that what’s being shown here is a construct of some kind. If this is true, that means the MCU is potentially ditching Ms. Marvel’s stretching ability in favor of tech or energy-based powers. The former might be an option, as it’s been speculated that the constructs used by Kamala in Ms. Marvel will be generated by the Nega-Bands—powerful bracelets worn by the original Captain Marvel that could be what Kamala is wearing on her left wrist in the new artwork.
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Talk of Kamala potentially using the Nega-Bands and having different abilities in the MCU isn’t new.  Previously released concept art hinted at the same change, and unconfirmed rumors about Ms. Marvel making these changes have been circulating for months now. Based on how the promo art corroborates the rumors, it’s looking increasingly apparent that Ms. Marvel will indeed have Green Lantern-esque powers that she can use to create energy constructs. As for her healing factor, its presence in the show may depend on whether or not her crystal-like energy constructs stem from the Nega-Bands. If they come from it or some other alien tech, the MCU’s teen superhero Ms. Marvel may not have any real super powers of her own.
For Marvel to make such huge adjustments to a beloved comic character, it makes sense that the studio had plenty of reasons for doing so. One possible motivation is the special effects. Making her “embiggened” attacks look identical to the character’s hands can be done with CGI, but going the Green Lantern route may be easier. There’s also the matter of how her abilities compare to her co-stars in The Marvels. Both Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau rely on high-powered energy attacks. Since her powers are so different to theirs, a comic accurate Monica would stick out when fighting alongside Carol and Monica. The MCU version, on the other hand, should be closer to their power levels and have a stronger connection to them.
By drawing Kamala closer to Carol and Monica, the Marvel Cinematic Universe can simultaneously distance her from the Mr. Fantastic comparisons that would otherwise be unavoidable. Reed Richards doesn’t exist in the MCU yet, but he will soon, now that Fantastic Four is in the pipeline. The two characters having the same elastic nature would make both less unique, so that could have been a big motivating factor for Marvel when they were working out their plan for her in Phase 4. Plus, it may be that the MCU isn’t ready to reinvent the Inhumans quite yet. That’ll open up a whole new world for the franchise that could be complicated by the existence of ABC’s failed Inhumans TV series. Substituting Terregenesis with the Nega-Bands or the purple crystal from the poster in Ms. Marvel could be the solution to the character’s origin problem.
More: Why Comic Accurate Superhero Costumes Make More Sense In MCU Phase 4
Nicholas Raymond is a staff movies & TV features writer for Screen Rant. He has a degree in journalism from the University of Montevallo, and is the author of the psychological thriller and time travel novel, “A Man Against the World.” Nicholas’ love for telling stories is inspired by his love for film noir, westerns, superhero movies, classic films, and ancient history. His favorite actors are Tyrone Power and Eleanor Parker. He can be reached by email at [email protected] and on Twitter at @cnraymond91.


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