Ms. Marvel ends as it began—charming, heartfelt, and a sweet YA tone that, frankly, the MCU should explore more. The sixth and final episode (of season one) dropped on Disney+ this week, concluding Kamala Khan’s adventures with her new superpowers, her family legacy, and a major reveal that opens big doors throughout the MCU. We’ll talk about that last thing in a minute, but first, let’s acknowledge Ms. Marvel as one of the strongest Marvel shows on Disney+. Like Hawkeye, it’s more or less a hangout show, with Kamala’s journey centered squarely within her family and community, and the scale of the adventure is quite small, focused on Kamala and her immediate problems. Ms. Marvel never wanders far from Kamala and her interests, and so the show retains its charm and warmth even as Kamala gets deeper into her evolution as a superhero. In contrast to the big stuff happening in the movies, the recent run of (slightly) more intimate storytelling in the television series is a nice respite.


Now, let’s talk about that final episode, because it blows the doors off the MCU, officially introducing mutants into the mix, as Kamala is identified as a mutant. Kamala’s inventor friend, Bruno, has been looking at her DNA and realizes what separates her from her brother, Aamir, is a “mutation” in her genetic code. And then the episode ends with the 1990s X-Men musical theme, signaling that yes, Kamala Khan is a mutant. This is a big change from the comics, where Kamala is an Inhuman. And this is where Ms. Marvel becomes part of the inside baseball of a long-standing sore spot within Marvel Studios.

Remember when Marvel Studios, the movie division, broke up with Marvel Entertainment, the comics-and-everything-else division? I don’t blame you if you forgot, it was a million years ago. But back then, in 2015, Marvel Studios was supposedly planning an Inhumans film as part of the MCU. The film never materialized, but Marvel Entertainment ended up producing a (widely derided) television show for ABC starring Anson Mount as Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans. Mount was recently seen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, getting his head imploded by Wanda, a tongue in cheek way of acknowledging the Inhumans’ place as black sheep of the MCU. And now, with Kamala Khan as the first official mutant in the MCU, it seems the Inhumans will have no place in Marvel movies, at least for now. People are big in their feelings about this, with “Kevin Feige” trending overnight on Twitter, and an awful lot of Homelander GIFs on the timeline.


Marvel should maybe be worried that people are so widely conflating them with HOMELANDER, the sh-tbaggiest of superheroes. You can really feel this backlash coming.

Anyway, I don’t want to say that there are no Inhumans fans, there definitely are, and they are entitled to feel burned by having Kamala Khan reinvented as a mutant for the MCU. But also, compared to the fandom for the X-Men, the Inhumans fandom is miniscule. It’s not even close, the X-Men are THE premiere Marvel superheroes. Getting the X-Men into the MCU has been a huge question mark since Disney bought Fox, and, at least from a business standpoint, it’s not shocking they would take a popular character like Kamala and meld her into their most popular suite of superheroes. 


Narratively, it also works, as Kamala discovers her powers during a time of emotional upheaval in her adolescence, which tracks with how mutants develop in the comics (and previous film series). It doesn’t change anything fundamental about Kamala as a character, we’re just using one made-up adjective to describe her “type” of superhero rather than another. Kamala Khan as portrayed by Iman Vellani gels with the character on the page: upbeat, optimistic, cute as a button, grounded by her loving family, struggling to balance superheroing and school. All of that made it into the MCU version of Kamala. Does it REALLY matter if she’s a mutant, not an Inhuman? 

Besides, Kevin Feige never wanted to make an Inhumans movie, and being forced to do so was part of the reason he initiated the Marvel divorce back in 2015. The Inhumans were never his bag, and I’m sorry for the fans who won’t, at least as long as Feige is in charge, get a serious take on their favorite characters, but again, the X-Men are a WAY bigger faction within the Marvel universe. They’re a far bigger priority, and I, personally, like that they’ve chosen chipper Kamala as the gateway to the X-Men. I just hope Squirrel Girl is next. Let Ms. Marvel season two be a buddy adventure with Kamala and Doreen Green. But first, we’ve got The Marvels coming next year, and presumably an explanation for that body swap in the mid-credit scene. I cannot WAIT for Carol Danvers to meet her #1 fan, the irrepressible mutant, Kamala Khan. 


Ms. Marvel is now streaming all episodes on Disney+.


Attached- Iman Vellani with Brie Larson and Pom Klementieff at the Marvel Avengers Campus opening ceremony at Disneyland Paris on July 09, 2022 in Paris, France.