There have been too many debates about Ms. Marvel to count at this point, and now that the season finale has arrived, we have a few more to get through. One consistent point of bickering among fans has been how Ms. Marvel’s powers and origin changed for the MCU.
In the comics, Ms. Marvel is an Inhuman, a race of aliens superheroes who have their powers “activated” on earth over time.
In the show, Ms. Marvel was said to be related to a race of extra-dimensional beings referred to as Djinn, and controlled Noor, energy that made up her powers.
In the finale (spoilers follow), Kamala gets more comics-adjacent style powers with her giant hands and feet form, using the Noor to bridge the gap between how her powers work in the comics and in the MCU now. But more importantly than that, we are taking an even larger turn away from the source material, and setting up a new phase in the MCU. Phase 5, specifically. The mutant phase.
In the final pre-credits scene, Bruno informs Kamala that he’s discovered that it’s not just the Djinn and Noor stuff that seem to be giving her powers, he’s always found some sort of genetic…mutation in her DNA. And just to be clear that this is not Marvel doing her Inhuman origin after all, the show plays a short riff of the ’97 X-Men theme.
In other words, Kamala is not an Inhuman, but instead carries the mutant gene that will no doubt start producing mutants across the MCU in Phase 5, which will be about rebuilding a non-FOX version of the X-Men from scratch.
The MCU kind of already shot its Inhuman bullet with a major arc in Agents of SHIELD, where the canon-ness of that is debated, given the alternate timelines and worlds that show produced by the end. It also had The Inhumans, the short-lived series about the Inhuman Royal Family, and easily the worst thing the MCU has ever produced. You caught a glimpse of its star, Anson Mount, returning as Black Bolt for a cameo in the Multiverse of Madness.
But what Marvel does need to do is start setting up the X-Men, and even though we knew the X-Men were coming eventually, this Ms. Marvel moment is pretty significant given that in the current multiverse situation, we could have just “merged” with a universe where all the X-Men already existed somewhere. I mean, we literally just saw Charles Xavier in the multiverse, after all.
This is not what’s happening, and if the mutant gene is being discovered in native Earth-616 residents, that means we are probably going to have an “awakening” with more and more mutants.
There are obviously blanks to fill in. The comics have the mutant gene going way way back, whether that’s Wolverine already being a live mutant for ages already, or the early days of Magneto fighting Nazis. But the big, large, public reveal of a whole lot of mutants has not happened in the MCU yet, even if many people powered by the mutant gene already exist. We also don’t know if the MCU will stick with certain connections from the comics, like Magneto being Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver’s father.
In any case, this is pretty exciting stuff, though I’m sure making Kamala essentially an interdimensional X-Man will prove controversial in its own right. I’d expect nothing less.