‘Ms. Marvel’ Mutation Was a Last Minute Solution to a Logical Problem

The Disney+ series Ms. Marvel set the stage for Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It also introduced some familiar concepts from the comic books for the first time in the MCU. Head Writer Bisha K. Ali said the introduction of mutation in the Ms. Marvel season finale was a last minute solution.

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Ms. Marvel Season 1.]

'Ms Marvel': Bruno tells Kamala she has a mutation
Matt Lintz and Iman Vellani | Daniel McFadden/Marvel Studios

Ali was a guest on The Hollywood Reporter’s TV’s Top Five on July 15, two days after the finale aired. She explained how they were able to use mutation, a la the X-Men series, to explain Kamala’s powers. 

Mutation was added to the final script of ‘Ms. Marvel’ 

Ali said they wrote all six Ms. Marvel scripts without thinking about mutation. They only added mutation to the Ms. Marvel finale at the last minute. 

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“Putting that scene in came additional,” Ali said on TV’s Top Five. “It wasn’t in the first draft of the scripts by any means. That came as we were building towards the finale and figuring out some of the logic pieces that I was still struggling with. I felt like we’ve got a great solution but I don’t think it’s good enough. Connecting up to the rest of the MCU and it felt like this shiny delicious treat we were given. Oh, you can introduce mutation. That came quite far down the line and also helped solve some of my problems along the way too.”

Mutation explains Ms. Marvel’s powers 

Kamala inherited a bangle from her grandmother that gave her powers. However, neither her grandmother nor her mother ever used the bangles like a Marvel. Ali needed to explain why the bangle worked for Kamala, and mutation was her pie in the sky dream.

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Sana Amanat who’s one of our producers, all these scripts were already in place before Sana joined the project but that was a puzzle piece. What was really important for us in this character journey was that this is inherited. It’s about this matrilineal line both character-wise and power-wise. If her mother put on the bangle, would she also be unlocked? If her grandmother put on the bangle would she also be unlocked? This solution of you have a mutation and that’s why you’re the one even within your family answered the piece. We were trying to answer that piece in so many other ways.”

Bisha K. Ali, TV’s Top Five, 7/15/22

Kevin Feige casually allowed mutation

Ali admitted that the Ms. Marvel writers always hoped they could include mutation. However, they conceived the show assuming it was off the table.

“At the beginning, certainly there were whispering in the writers room,” Ali said. “‘Man, what if we got to do that?’ Because it would solve our problem. But it seemed beyond the realm of our reality, even as a bunch of nerds sitting in Marvel headquarters, that’s impossible.”

When Amanat proposed mutation to Marvel chief Kevin Feige, he was surprisingly approving.

“There was this rumbling of it and honestly it was so far down the line when Sana brought it up again and Sama took it to Kevin,” Ali said. “And Kevin was like, ‘Yeah, okay. That sounds good.’”

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