VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Andrew Tejada
Let's dive deep into this awesome character's history! For this video, we'll be looking at the humble beginnings of one of Marvel's most important Superheroes. Our video examines Kamala Khan's history within the Marvel comics universe, as well as where she's headed in the future!
Superhero Origins: Kamala Khan
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we will explore the comic book origins of Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel.
For this video, we'll be looking at the humble beginnings of one of Marvel’s most important Superheroes.
If you're a fan of this groundbreaking Pakistani powerhouse, be sure to show your love for her in the comments.
As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions of a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 2014’s “Ms. Marvel”.
Pakistani-American Kamala Khan spent most of her high school career writing Avengers fanfiction and clashing against her family’s traditions. After getting into an argument with her parents about her social life, she snuck out to a late-night party in Jersey City. While Kamala was on her way back home, she was surrounded by a mysterious mist.
The mist gave her a strange vision of a multilingual version of the Avengers, and when she awoke, she found herself encased in a cocoon. After busting herself out, Kamala found that she had accidentally transformed into Captain Marvel. It didn’t take long for her to realize she had the ability to shapeshift. Kamala also found that she could make her body shrink or embiggen. Unfortunately, she couldn’t control her powers just yet.
As she was adjusting to her body’s random transformations, she spotted her high school bully Kate drowning in the river. Kamala summoned enough control over herself to shapeshift into Captain Marvel and provide help. After enlarging her hand to scoop the bully out of the water, the bystanders who witnessed the rescue mistook Kamala for Captain Marvel.
Although Kamala had gained the power to save lives, she wasn’t sure if she was ready to give up her normal life to become a superhero. But that all changed when she witnessed her friend Bruno being held at gunpoint. Kamala shapeshifted into Captain Marvel again and nearly apprehended the villain, but during the altercation, she got shot. Fortunately, Kamala gained a healing factor that allowed her to recover. But she was unable to heal and shapeshift at the same time.
A few minutes later, the police show up to investigate the shooting. Kamala quickly pokes holes through a sleeping mask and throws it on her face to conceal her identity. When the officers ask where Captain Marvel is, Kamala confidently declares that she is Ms. Marvel. But her day of heroics wasn’t over.
Upon learning that Bruno’s brother Vick has been kidnapped by a villain named The Inventor, Kamala jumps into action. She takes an old burkini and a few other articles of clothing to make a makeshift superhero costume. Unfortunately, her first rescue attempt fails and she has to run away. Kamala’s defeat makes her take her decision to become a superhero more seriously. She tells herself that “Good is not a thing you are. It’s a thing you do.”
As she honed her shapeshifting abilities, her friend Bruno constructs a new suit that can keep up with her shapeshifting. By the time Kamala’s iconic suit was ready, she had gained enough confidence in herself to rescue Vick.
In the ensuing weeks, Kamala is mentored by Wolverine, fights a giant alligator, and forms a friendship with a teleporting bulldog named Lockjaw. When she’s injured in a battle with The Inventor’s robots, she’s taken to meet the queen of the Inhumans. Kamala quickly learns that the mist gave her superpowers because she’s an Inhuman too. A doctor encourages her to stay to absorb this information and heal. However, a determined Kamala vows to return home with Lockjaw and take the Inventor down as Ms. Marvel.
While Kamala and her origin story may be new, the character has already gained massive popularity and critical acclaim. Her debut comic won a Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story. Kamala’s Ms. Marvel has also been featured on the cover of the Village Voice, helped get the word “embiggen” added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and received compliments from President Barack Obama.
She’s also appeared in an animated film, multiple animated shows, and crossover comics. Kamala is also set to appear in her own live action Disney Plus series and in the upcoming “Avengers” video game.
We don’t think the fanfic-writing Kamala Khan could’ve dreamed of the influence her story would have on the world. Not only is she a great heroine, but she stands tall as a positive portrayal of Muslim American life and culture. Hopefully, Ms. Marvel will continue to embiggen her impact on pop culture.