How the Ms. Marvel finale sets up Kamala's next adventure in The Marvels
Warning: This story contains spoilers for the Ms. Marvel finale.
The Ms. Marvel TV show may have concluded, but Kamala Khan's adventures are just beginning.
Marvel's latest Disney+ saga introduced Iman Vellani as the titular hero, a bright-eyed high schooler taking her first steps toward superheroism. Despite the show's ties to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe (and Kamala's obsession with all things Avengers), the six-episode series was mostly self-contained, following Kamala as she discovers her powers and helps to save her Jersey City hometown.
The final episode, however, delivered a bombshell — with major implications for both Kamala and the rest of the MCU.
Early on, Ms. Marvel established that Kamala inherited her powers from her great-grandmother, who hailed from another dimension. But in episode 6, "No Normal," Kamala reunites with her friends Bruno (Matt Lintz) and Nakia (Yasmeen Fletcher), and Bruno explains that he's been analyzing Kamala's DNA and comparing it to the rest of her family. Theoretically she and her brother Aamir should have similar DNA, but Kamala's genetic makeup looks a bit different.
"Kamala, there's something different in your genes," Bruno tells her. "Like a mutation."
That reveal is accompanied by the familiar notes of the 1990s animated X-Men show, teasing that yes, Kamala is a mutant. For years the Marvel Cinematic Universe didn't have the rights to the X-Men and their mutated brethren, but ever since parent company Disney swallowed up Fox in 2019, fans have wondered when mutants might start trickling into the MCU. An alternate-universe version of Patrick Stewart's Professor X popped up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but Kamala is the first confirmed mutant in the main Marvel storyline.
Ms. Marvel's mutant lineage is also a major departure from the comics. On the page, Kamala was originally written as an Inhuman, an elite superhuman with alien DNA. (Her powers were activated when she was inadvertently exposed to Terrigen Mist.) The Inhumans have largely been absent from the larger MCU, so changing Kamala's onscreen origin from Inhuman to mutant shouldn't come as a huge surprise: A dismally received ABC TV show was quickly canceled, and although Anson Mount's Black Bolt made a quick cameo in Multiverse of Madness, he was almost immediately killed off.
In an interview with Marvel.com, Vellani geeked out over the reveal, explaining that after she read the finale script, she immediately emailed Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige in all caps. "I was like, are you doing this like for real?" Vellani told Marvel. "Are you sure? I'm so honored! I was like yelling at him through an email. I was freaking out. This is the biggest deal in the world, and the fact that it's happening in our show is crazy."
And Kamala's mutant genes weren't the only surprise in the Ms. Marvel finale. No Marvel project is complete without an end-credits scene, and after the episode concludes, we see a brief glimpse of Kamala back in her room. Suddenly her bracelet starts to glow, and she disappears. Somehow she's swapped places with her idol, Brie Larson's Carol Danvers — a.k.a. Captain Marvel. (Carol also doesn't appear to be too pleased to be stuck in New Jersey. To be fair, you'd probably freak out too if you were suddenly teleported to a room covered in posters of your face.)
Both Larson and Vellani will appear in the upcoming film The Marvels, in which their heroes will unite with Teyonah Parris' Monica Rambeau for a new adventure. Candyman's Nia DaCosta is directing the film, which will hit theaters July 28, 2023. As for how Carol, Kamala, and Monica will cross paths, or how Kamala's mutant lineage might factor into this? We'll have to wait and see.
Iman Vellani suits up as Pakistani American hero Kamala Khan in this Disney+ Marvel series.