Marvel Studios Mrs Miracle made her spectacular Disney Plus debut with Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan. Kamala has been one of the brightest rising stars in Marvel Comics since her debut in 2014*, but despite appearing in animation and even some pretty high-profile video games, she’s been invisible to cinema audiences until now.
In the first installment of her Disney Plus series, Kamala is just beginning to get in touch with her superpowers, but you may be wondering what they will look like once she masters them. Or maybe you’ve heard that her powers are really different in the show than in the comics. Here are the facts about Ms. Marvel’s strange superpowers and abilities.
*Yes, we know Kamala’s first appearance was technically in 2013, but it was an untitled cameo. her first comic series, Mrs Miracledebuted in 2014.
Ms. Marvel is a stretchy heroine
When Kamala discovered her powers in the pages of Marvel Comics, they were very similar to those of Mister Fantastic, Elastigirl, or Michael Jordan: she could stretch her limbs to the length of a noodle. That placed her in the long-standing class of stretchy characters whose bodies act more like gum than flesh and bones, but Kamala added her own style. She could also shrink and enlarge her body, either all at once or one body part at a time, as in her signature move of shouting, “Embiggen!” and hit things with a giant fist.
When her powers first manifested, she transformed into an entirely different human form – but this seems to have been a one-time effect due to her exposure to the strange mists that triggered her transformation. What was this fog about? Well, that’s a long story and you don’t really need to know it because…
Ms. Marvel’s powers vary widely across the show
In the TV series, Kamala’s powers are still evolving, but based on what we’ve seen in the first episode, trailers, and promotional images, it appears that a mysterious family heirloom has given her the ability to conjure and project various forms into the Air. Some trailers have shown her hopping from conjured platform to platform while in the first episode she summons a giant, stretchy fist to save a classmate from being crushed. In a way, these new bangle powers replicate a stretchy superhero’s most iconic moves, just without all the gross, stretchy flesh.
The question of how Mrs Miracle would add stretch powers to the live action and how it would prevent them from being inevitably funny to watch was open during the show’s production. “She has very weird book powers” Mrs Miracle Comic book writer and Kamala co-creator G. Willow Wilson told Polygon in 2019, shortly after the show was announced. “God bless them trying to bring this to live action; I don’t know how this is supposed to work in a way that doesn’t look really creepy.”
This week, Polygon spoke to another co-creator from Kamala Khan, the editor of Marvel Comics and Mrs Miracle TV Series Producer Sana Amanat on the changes to Ms. Marvel’s powers.
“We want to make sure we keep the essence [of the character]’ said Amanat, ‘but still evolving and making it relevant to the stories we’re telling in the MCU at this point. […] It’s also something we think can look visually interesting too. Because not only can she create big fists, she can jump platforms, and it feels very Spider-Man-esque in the sense that she can throw a platform, jump over it, smack her fist — it feels a bit more fluid in a playful way. And it still has the essence of their fight choreography in the comics too.”
At this point in the series, audiences are learning as much about Kamala’s powers as she is. Maybe by the end of the show, she’ll be flinging giant fists around, just like her comic book counterpart — or maybe she’ll make more complicated shapes, like Green Lantern. We’ll have to wait and see what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has in store for its Ms. Marvel.