Is Mal From Disney Channel’s ‘Descendants’ a Superhero?

Not many people can transform into a dragon or wield Hades’ ember. Then again, not many Descendants characters are the daughter of Hades and Maleficent

Even though Mal may not be an official superhero, she still uses her powers for good throughout these Disney Channel original movies. 

Disney Channel's 'Descendants' characters, including Mal
Disney Channel’s ‘Descendants’ characters, including Mal, portrayed by Dove Cameron | David Bukach/Disney Channel via Getty Images

Mal is a ‘Descendant’ of Maleficent and Hades

She wasn’t always rotten to the core. Throughout the Disney Channel original Descendants movies, this character had to choose between being bad and being good.

Sometimes that meant disobeying her parents, other times that meant disregarding what her friends wanted. Through it all, though, Mal had a love for Prince Ben, the son of Belle and the Beast.

Together, they helped save Auradon from Maleficent, Uma, and even one of their own — Audrey. Unlike some of the princes and princesses in Auradon, though, Mal had some magical abilities up her sleeves. 

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Is Mal a superhero?

Because she is the daughter of Maleficent, Mal has powers of her own — exhibited both with and without enchanted objects. According to the Descendants Fandom, Mal can manipulate “fairy magic,” which mostly manifests when her eyes turn bright green. 

She can transform into a dragon, just like her mother. Mal also has the magic from her spellbook, which she uses throughout the first Descendants movie. In the third movie, fans learn that because Mal is the daughter of Hades, she can also harness some of his abilities, even using Hades’ ember, one of the most powerful objects in the universe. 

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Dove Cameron portrayed Mal for several ‘Descendants’ movies

Even though she has magical abilities, Mal technically isn’t a superhero. She is the protagonist of several Disney Channel movies, though. Mal is portrayed by actor Dove Cameron, who often states that Mal isn’t exactly a villain or a hero. She’s somewhere between being in love and being rotten to the core. 

“At the beginning of the film, the blonde in Mal’s hair with purple tips symbolizes a stripping of her essence and a lack of emotional color,” Cameron said during an interview with TV Insider. “As she gains herself back and takes charge of her own rhythms again, we see an entirely new Mal emerge, and that’s very clearly depicted in the change of hair.”

“There’s nothing like the feeling of getting to reprise a role because to create a character is to fall in love with a character,” she continued, speaking of the Descendants sequel. “And getting the rare opportunity to spend time with your character again is like re-entering a passage in time.”

Although fans have seen the last of Mal, Evie, and the rest of these characters, the original Descendants movies are available for streaming anytime on Disney+.