‘Ms. Marvel’: Kevin Feige Addresses the Controversy Surrounding Kamala’s Powers

The next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduces a new character from the comic books — Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel. Kamala, played by Iman Vellani, is set to debut in the upcoming Disney+ series Ms. Marvel, and she will reprise her role in the Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels, on July 28, 2023. And while fans are excited about Kamala’s introduction in Ms. Marvel, many are unhappy with how the MCU plans to portray her powers.

Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan shows off her powers in 'Ms. Marvel' on Disney+. Kamala wears a red shirt with gold embellishments on it.
Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan | Marvel Studios

The ‘Ms. Marvel’ trailer shows a change in Kamala’s powers from the comics

After Marvel released the official trailer for Ms. Marvel, many fans noticed that Kamala’s powers were different than how the comic books originally described them.

Her abilities historically include shapeshifting thanks to her Inhuman genes. Kamala can morph her body to appear bigger or smaller than usual. But she also famously has the power to elongate her limbs, similar to Mr. Fantastic. However, in the Ms. Marvel trailer, Kamala’s powers are more similar to Captain Marvel’s, who is her hero. She discovers a bracelet in her attic that allows her to harness cosmic energy, just like Carol Danvers.

The change in her abilities has caused much debate among Marvel fans. Some are very upset that Kamala won’t have embiggening capabilities, which were vital to her character in the comics. And others are holding judgment until the series premieres on Disney+.

Kevin Feige explains why Ms. Marvel’s powers are different in the series

While speaking with Empire Magazine, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige previewed Ms. Marvel and defended the difference in Kamala’s powers.

“We adapt the comics; it’s not an exact translation,” Feige explained. “[Kamala] came about in a very specific time within the comic-book continuity. She is now coming into a very specific time within the MCU continuity. And those two things didn’t match.”

He added, “What we will learn about where those powers come from, and how they come about, is specific to the MCU. You will see great comic splash panels in some of our action sequences. If you want big, giant hands and arms, well, they’re here in spirit, if not in stretchy, plastic-type ways.”

Feige also teased that Kamala’s new powers “tap into the future of her story as it connects to her other friends that she will meet in the upcoming film The Marvels. She’s interested in knowing, ‘Great, does that mean I’m an Asgardian? Did I get hit with gamma rays?’ No, it’s seemingly none of those things. It goes to her own past and her heritage and lineage.”

‘Ms. Marvel’ producer defends the change

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Sana Amanat, who co-created Kamala Khan and is a producer on Ms. Marvel, further explained the change in Kamala’s powers is because of the MCU.

“Obviously, so much of the show is an adaptation, and we thought it was important to make sure that her powers are linking to larger stories in the Marvel universe,” Amanat shared. “We wanted to make sure there is a little bit more story to tell after this series. Obviously, she goes into The Marvels. The powers do look different, which is very controversial. I know people are like, ‘How dare you change the powers!'”

She continued, “I know people are upset about it, but as someone who’s probably one of the closest people to this character from the inception, and having spoken to [Kamala Khan co-creator] Willow [Wilson] about this as well, I think Willow and I have always felt that this made sense. This was the right move because there are bigger stories to tell. It’s really fun to give Kamala different kinds of powers that feel big in scope and cinematic in a different way.”

“We can do a lot of fun things with her. I don’t want to spoil too much about how she uses her powers, but they’re fun and bouncy. At the same point, the essence of what the powers are in the comics is there, both from a metaphorical standpoint and from a visual standpoint.”

“We’re doing the embiggened fist,” Amanat revealed. “We’re doing the elements that make her feel and look kind of crazy, but also really cool. I think it’s going to be familiar to people, but at the same time, different in a fresh and unique way.”

Ms. Marvel premieres on June 8 on Disney+.

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