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Ms. Marvel trailer breakdown: What to expect from the MCU’s newest hero?

Kamala Khan is suiting up and heading to Disney Plus.

Ms. Marvel is one of several heroes joining the MCU in 2022, and now Marvel has released the first trailer for the upcoming Disney+ series. But where some characters make the jump from page to screen fully intact, it’s clear this series is making some pretty significant changes to Kamala Khan’s origin story, starting with her powers.

What’s changed in this adaptation? Here’s what we learn from the trailer and why we think Ms. Marvel is being reinvented to bring her closer to Captain Marvel.

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What is Ms. Marvel about?

Kamala Khan (played by Iman Vellani) is a 16-year-old Pakistani-American girl living in Jersey City with her family. She’s a bookish kid, an avid gamer, a fan-fiction writer, and a die-hard Avengers fan — she especially looks up to Captain Marvel. She also struggles to fit in at home and at school.

One day, Kamala acquires powers, turning her into Ms. Marvel and making her like one of the heroes she so admires.

Joining Vellani on the cast are Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Rish Shah, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Laith Naki, Azher Usman, Travina Springer, and Nimra Bucha.

The series is created by Bisha K. Ali, with episodes directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, Meera Menon, and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

Aside from getting a feel for Kamala as a person, we do get a few narrative beats that offer insight into what the show will be all about. Below is a Ms. Marvel trailer breakdown, with some of the details that jumped out at us.

  • Ms. Marvel is a great stand-in for Marvel fans in the real world:
    • We see her doodling Ant-Man parodies.
    • She wears a T-shirt featuring Captain Marvel, The Wasp, and Kate Bishop, with the punny caption “Ladies, let’s get information.”
    • She bikes around wearing a Captain Marvel bike helmet.
    • She cosplays as her favorite hero.
  • She also has very grounded problems, like homework, staving off boredom in class, figuring out her life with the help of a guidance counsellor, and cracking the secret to dating cute boys.
  • Kamala is the MCU’s first Muslim hero, and her faith is clearly included in the show. We see her participating in group prayer at her Mosque in the trailer. This is also likely tied to her outsider status, as we see her correcting a classmate’s (seemingly repeated) mispronunciation of her name.
  • Kamala’s power appears to come from a mysterious wrist amulet. The trailer doesn’t reveal the bracelet’s full nature, but in Marvel comics, Kamala’s powers come from mist that unlocks superpowered genes in her. So, the show is going its own route, it appears.
  • Kamala’s powers also seem to depart from the comics. The comic book Ms. Marvel is a polymorph, changing size and morphing her body parts at will (think battering-ram hands on super flexible arms). In the trailer, she creates force fields and different matter around herself. She can build an enlarging force field around her hands, or walk on floating disks in the air, for example. We’ll have to see the full extent of her powers when the premiere drops.
  • Ms. Marvel will be guided by mentors and hunted by adversaries, but it’s not entirely clear who’s who. We see what may be government agents emerging from cars, and a group of four mysterious figures stand shrouded in shadows. Are these characters we know from other Marvel shows and movies? Will they help Kamala or try to stop her?

Kamala Khan’s New Powers

In the comics Kamala is depicted as an Inhuman. She’s completely unaware of her Inhuman heritage until the day she’s exposed to a cloud of Terrigen Mists and her powers suddenly manifest. Kamala becomes a polymorph – able to stretch and expand her body into all sorts of disgustingly useful shapes. Basically like Mister Fantastic or Elastgirl.

The trailer makes it clear that’s not at all what happens in the MCU. Here, Iman Vellani’s Kamala seems to gain her powers from a mystical bracelet. Instead of making her stretchy, the bracelet generates a purple energy aura that Kamala can use to form fists, shield herself and even walk on air.

This seems to confirm Ms. Marvel isn’t an Inhuman in the MCU. Not that we can really blame Marvel for making that change. The 2017 TV series was a critical disaster, and Marvel seems reluctant to return to the Inhumans well anytime soon.

We also can’t help but notice the emphasis on clocks and time-related imagery in the trailer, including one shot where Kamala seems to be falling backward while time stops around her. Is this all a clue that her powers are somehow based on time? Maybe her energy powers involve speeding up and slowing down the entropy of the world around her, allowing her to perform all sorts of incredible feats.

Ms. Marvel’s Enchanted Bracelet

Kamala’s powers may have changed, but her bracelet is a key part of her story in the comics. More than just a fancy piece of jewelry, the bracelet is a Khan family heirloom that dates back to the 1940s, when India and Pakistan were first divided into separate countries.

As established in the comics, Kamala’s great-grandparents once made the difficult trek to Pakistan, selling all their valuables and hiding the money inside the bracelet. One shot in the trailer even appears to show that journey, suggesting we’ll be getting a flashback subplot in the series.

Image Credit: Marvel Comics. Kamala’s great-grandparents briefly appeared in a flashback in the comic book series.

Ever since then, the bracelet worn by Kamala’s great-grandmother has been a family heirloom passed down from one generation of women to the next. The comics have yet to suggest there’s anything actually supernatural about the bracelet, but it appears that heirloom is the source of her powers in the show.

One possibility is that the bracelet is actually an alien artifact. It could even be the MCU version of the Kree Nega-Bands, which allow the wearer to convert thoughts into physical energy. Sort of like a Green Lantern ring, in other words. Does that make Ms. Marvel a Purple Lantern?

That Kree connection makes sense, given how closely this series is tied to the Captain Marvel movies. In fact, the comics have even hinted that Kamala may have some Kree DNA in her family bloodline. Whatever is going on here, we suspect this bracelet will be the key to bringing Kamala into the plot of the Captain Marvel sequel The Marvels.

Ms. Marvel’s Superhero Obsession

Besides showing off Ms. Marvel’s reimagined powers, one of the main focal points in this trailer is Kamala’s obsession with Captain Marvel and other female MCU heroes. That’s one of her defining character traits in the comics. Long before becoming a superhero herself, Kamala was obsessed with the superhero community.

As you can imagine, that obsession creates some problems for a nerdy girl struggling to make her way through high school and please her deeply traditional Muslim American parents.

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

On the other hand, this is the source of Kamala’s codename and costume. In the comics, Carol Danvers went by Ms. Marvel for many years before finally becoming Captain Marvel, and Kamala inherited the Ms. Marvel name afterward. As the trailer shows, her costume starts out as a homemade Captain Marvel suit before evolving into a more unique suit that blends her superhero fandom and her Islamic heritage.

The trailer does raise one interesting question, though. How has this newer generation of Avengers become this famous? We see Kamala wearing a T-shirt featuring Captain Marvel, Wasp and what appears to be the Kate Bishop Hawkeye.

When is Ms. Marvel coming out?

We’ve known for a while now that Ms. Marvel would debut in the summer of 2022, but the new trailer has narrowed that down.

You can expect the new MCU series to bow on June 8, 2022.

Where can I watch Ms. Marvel?

As with most other new Marvel streaming content, Ms. Marvel will stream exclusively on Disney Plus.

It will join shows like WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, What If?…, Hawkeye, and the upcoming Moon Knight as part of the MCU stable of shows on Disney Plus.

Iman Vellani is set to reprise the role of Kamala Kahn alongside Captain Marvel and WandaVision’s Monica Rambeau in the upcoming feature film The Marvels, which will hit theaters on February 17, 2023.

That’s what we know about the new show so far. We hope this Ms. Marvel trailer breakdown has been helpful. Stay tuned for more news and updates as we learn them ahead of the premiere in June.

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Amanda Yeo

Amanda Yeo is The Rant Mag's reporter, covering entertainment, culture, tech, science, and social good. She previously worked in refugee law to assist people seeking asylum in Australia, and holds degrees in both Communication and Laws. After making the switch to journalism, her articles have appeared in numerous publications such as Kotaku, Fandom, and Empire Magazine.

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