One of the biggest questions Ms. Marvel was how the new Disney+ series would deal with Kamala Khan’s superpowers and how she would achieve them. Even from the show’s trailers, it was apparent that his abilities had undergone a marked transformation in the character’s transition from comic books to the small screen. In the first two episodes, she only began to scratch the surface of what she could do with her mysterious bracelet, as well as where it came from. As Ms. Marvel reached its midpoint with the release of the third episode on Wednesday, Kamala finally started to get some answers.
Before we explore the reveals from this week’s episode, let’s revisit Kamala’s origins in the comics. (For more on Ms. Marvel’s comic book history, check out my series preview from earlier this month.) Comics Kamala gains her abilities not through a mystical bracelet, but because she falls into a Terrigen Mist which unlocks his latent superpowers. As she later discovers, Kamala is an Inhuman, making her a member of an ancient race of superhumans who were originally created through experiments conducted by the alien Kree. (More on them later.) Her Inhuman genes connect her to the wider Marvel Universe and its history, and soon enough, Kamala comes under the supervision of the Inhuman Royal Family and teams up with their massive dog. of teleportation as she masters her polymorphic abilities. .
Given the prominence of Kamala’s Inhuman origins in the comics, it came as a surprise when Ms. Marvel the TV show seemed to be heading in a different direction. At the same time, it would be a rather onerous task for Editor-in-Chief Bisha K. Ali and the rest of her team to have to reintroduce the Inhumans into the MCU as part of Kamala’s own origin story, since their concept even only exists in ABC worlds Inhumans and Agents of SHIELD series. (Although that’s not quite true everywhere in the multiverse, thanks to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.) It would make sense, then, that Kamala’s powers in Ms. Marvel would manifest in a way that would be more palatable to viewers who haven’t read the comics or watched Marvel TV shows outside of the MCU. As Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said Empire“[Kamala] came at a very specific point in comic book continuity. She now enters a very specific period within the continuity of the MCU. And those two things didn’t match. …What we’ll learn about where these powers come from and where they come from is specific to the MCU.
The third episode of Ms. Marvel begins to explore the source of Kamala’s powers from her earliest moments. “Destined” begins with a flashback, taking us to British-occupied India in 1942, where Kamala’s great-grandmother, Aisha, and Kamran’s mother, Najma, found the Almighty Bracelet. (Interestingly, it turns out there are two bracelets, although the location of the second is still unknown.) The bracelet is buried under a pile of rubble and also happens to be attached to a severed blue arm:
As Najma explains to Kamala in the present, Aisha, Najma, and the rest of their crew hail from what she calls the Noor Dimension, where they are known as the Clandestines. In this universe, however, they are known by several names, most commonly Djinn. Exiled to Earth for an undisclosed reason (that Kamala Most likely should have asked about), these Illegals were looking for a way to get home, and they almost found it when they discovered one of the two bracelets that day. But Aisha was separated from their group during the partition, leaving her whereabouts and the location of the bracelet unknown. That is, until Kamala turned it back on at AvengerCon.
Najma’s flashback and lengthy history lesson all take place before the show’s title sequence, but the info dumps don’t end there. After Kamala brings his buddy Bruno up to speed, he tracks down extremely specific readings on the Djinn, written in Urdu, and Mr. Khan finds him at Circle Q just in time to help translate. “Supernatural beings of pre-Islamic folklore, the Djinns have had many names across time and cultures,” reads Mr. Khan. “Some call them geniuses. Others, demons. The legend tells the story of a group of hidden Djinns, exiled from their home world and condemned to live out their days trapped in ours. They move about in the shadows, looking for the key that will help them get home. But to open such an ancient barrier will require a primordial power.
Wherever Bruno found this stuff, the guy not only gave Kamala useful information about his newfound knowledge, as well as the origin of his own powers, but he probably gave us the roadmap for the rest of Ms. Marvel. When Kamala tells Kamran that helping the illegals can be dangerous, Najma and her crew respond by interrupting Kamala’s brother’s wedding celebration, revealing themselves to be the suspected villains in the future. (The heel turn is executed rather awkwardly here. After waiting decades, they really couldn’t just sit idly by one more night to chat with Kamala and let her family enjoy the wedding? And you’d think those supernatural beings would have had a better plan that wouldn’t have ended with them handcuffed or been so easily thwarted by kids interfering, like in an episode of scooby-doo.) Kamala still has a lot to learn about the Djinn, the bracelet, and what happened to Aisha, and by the end of the episode, it’s clear that her search for answers will lead her to Karachi next.
Even with all that is revealed in “Destined”, new mysteries continue to emerge in Ms. Marvel, and some may be crucial in connecting Kamala to the future of the MCU. Let’s start with this severed blue arm from the flashback. Although the Illegals seem oblivious to what appears to be an alien limb hanging around, this arm may be a major clue as to how Ms. Marvel will connect to Captain Marvel and Wondersfor it seems likely that he was once attached to a Kree.
The Kree, including the villainous Ronan the Accuser of guardians of the galaxyhave appeared in multiple Marvel movies, and they play a major role in how Carol Danvers gains her superpowers in Captain Marvel. The militaristic alien race hails from the planet Hala, and while that’s not always the case, the majority of Kree are blue-skinned. The Kree create and rely on advanced technology, and Kamala’s bracelet could very well be one of their creations. We already know that Iman Vellani will reprise her role as Ms. Marvel in Wonders, so it would also make sense for Kamala to find her connection to her idol Captain Marvel via the Kree. Assuming the Kree are now involved in the series, there’s still a chance that Kamala will turn out to be Inhuman after all. But by altering Kamala’s origins and bringing the Djinn into the mix (incorporating both pre-Islamic folklore and an ancient race with minor comic book appearances), Ms. Marvel has apparently found a way to create ties to the larger MCU that are still consistent with the themes and subject matter of the series.
Whether or not the bracelet is of Kree origin, all this talk of mystical artifacts of unknown origins and alternate dimensions is reminiscent of another recent MCU movie: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The 2021 film brings Shang-Chi to a dimension filled with Chinese mythological creatures, and in the end, he inherits his father Wenwu’s rings. These mystical bracelets kept Wenwu alive for a thousand years and granted him the power to establish an organization capable of conquering kingdoms and overthrowing governments. And while the exact connection is still unclear, the cave where Aisha and the Clandestines find the bracelet in “Destined” features an unmistakable rendering of the Ten Rings symbol on its floor:
It’s a fascinating and unexpected crossover that might have something to do with the film’s mid-credits scene, which finds Shang-Chi and her friend Katy meeting Wong, Bruce Banner, and Captain Marvel herself, as they encounter come together to understand the nature and origins of the ten rings. Between Wong, Banner, and Danvers, the three have extensive knowledge of mystical arts, science, and alien technology, but none of them have a clue where the artifacts might have come from. All they are able to discern is that they are really old, and that when Shang-Chi first used them, the rings emitted a signal to an unknown location in the multiverse. Although not quite the same as interdimensional communication, the ending of “Destined” reveals that visions of a train brought by the bracelet could be seen by Kamala in New Jersey and her grandmother in Pakistan at the same time.
As the series heads to Karachi next week, Ms. Marvel There’s still a lot to explain about Kamala’s ties to the Djinn and the origins of her bracelet, but the series’ action and stakes are rising rapidly. As Feige recently teased, the end of Phase Four is approaching and “people will start to see where this next saga is going” in the months to come. It could refer to this summer Thor: Love and Thunderbut given the links of the third episode with Shang Chi(potentially) the Kree Empire, and yet another dimension across the multiverse, it’s starting to look like Ms. Marvel could say even more about the next major event the MCU is heading towards after the conclusion of the Infinity Saga.
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