What are Ms. Marvel’s powers, and how do they differ to Captain’s Marvel’s?

. 2 weeks ago
Ms marvel posing on a roof

The newest MCU Disney+ show, Ms. Marvel, has introduced us to a new superhero, but what are her superpowers?

Ms. Marvel – one of the newest MCU shows – is about a high school girl from New Jersey who admires Captain Marvel and wants to follow in her footsteps, becoming a hero in her own right along the way.

The show began premiering on Disney+ last week, introducing the world to Kamala Khan, aka the titular Ms. Marvel.

As the series is a superhero origin show, we see Kamala showcasing her new super abilities. Kamala has some pretty cool powers in the show, though fans of the comics will be aware that these powers have been changed for the series.

What are Ms. Marvel’s powers in the show?

In the series, Kamala is able to produce and manipulate purple and blue hued light from her hands, which can form hardened crystal structures.

These powers are somewhat akin to Captain Marvel’s light blasting abilities, which makes sense as Kamala reveres Carol Danvers so much, which is probably why Kamala’s powers were changed for the show.

With these abilities, Kamala is able to create stepping stones in the air, giant hands to catch people, and these light structures can be fired as weapons at opponents. With these powers, she is able to save the popular girl at school – Zoe – from falling to her death, do the same for a little boy who is about to fall out of a mosque, and she’s also able to fight off D.O.D.C agents when they attempt to track her down.

Ms. Marvel unlocks her powers at AvengerCon
Kamala impresses everyone at AvengerCon with her powers.

These new powers are amazing to look at, or as Kamala herself says, they are “cosmic.” That being said, her powers aren’t without issues.

In the scene where she unlocks her powers while competing in a cosplay contest at AvengerCon, Kamala accidently beheads an Ant-Man statue, which leads to subsequent chaos. She also has yet to fully master her powers, often fumbling with her ability to create stepping stones, leading to a pretty surprising Black Widow death reference in Episode 2.

Kamala’s powers in the show have been triggered by a mysterious bangle that has been passed down by her equally mysterious great grandmother. This is no doubt leading to a big thematic storyline about family and Kamala’s cultural identity, which has been a focus of the show, since Kamala is the MCU’s first onscreen Muslim superhero.

Ms. Marvel looking at her bangle
A mysterious family heirloom kickstarted Kamala’s powers in episode 1.

As Ms. Marvel co-creator and series executive producer Sana Amanat states in an interview with Decider: “Bisha, our head writer, and her wonderful team of writers, they pulled from the comic that idea of the bangle, which is also connected to her family and the fact that it was passed down and it meant something.

“To me that was so beautiful, because ultimately this story is one about identity. And linking the bangle to her family and to the root of her power is a really powerful statement.”

How do Ms. Marvel’s powers differ from Captain Marvel’s?

Ms. Marvel’s powers seem limited to just being able to produce crystal light. As shown in Episode 2, she does not posses any super strength or speed, though this may change as the series goes on.

While her light powers are similar to the ones that Captain Marvel has, her other abilities are clearly where Captain Marvel differs.

Captain Marvel has been tipped as the future of the MCU moving forward post-Endgame.
Captain Marvel is arguably the most powerful Avenger ever

Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, has many more powers, including enhanced strength, stamina, agility, and durability. She is also able to fly, unlike Kamala.

So even though Kamala wants to emulate Carol Danvers, they clearly aren’t on the same level, though maybe that will change when they meet in upcoming film The Marvels.

What were Ms. Marvel’s powers in the comics?

While Kamala’s new powers hold a lot of significance, obviously these aren’t the same powers that are in the comics.

Ms. Marvel’s powers in the comics come from her latent Inhuman lineage, which is activated by the Terrigen Bomb in the Inhumans comic book series. After being exposed to the bomb’s Terrigen Mist, she becomes a polymorph, meaning that she has the ability to stretch her body in pretty much every way imaginable.

Ms Marvel stands proudly in her comic book
The Ms. Marvel comic books tell a different story

Kamala was able to grow and stretch like Mister Fantastic, and her powers tended to be seen as a metaphor for puberty, as the teenage hero was often grossed out by how her body could drastically change.

But according to Ms. Marvel head writer Bisha K. Ali, Kamala’s power origin had to be changed for the MCU. They state to Decider: “Bearing in mind that we’re doing a show for the MCU, which is 10 years of a web of storytelling, but we’re fitting into [a world that’s] fundamentally different from the one in the comics.”

In the comics, Khan’s powers and the mist that triggered them were created during another super-team’s storyline, one that followed the Inhumans. However, after the failed Inhumans ABC series in 2017, the MCU has basically ignored them. So without the Inhumans in the MCU, Ms. Marvel inevitably had to get her powers another way – hence the mysterious bangle and the light powers.

Will Kamala’s powers develop in the show?

Ultimately, until the show is fully released, we may not be able to see the full extent of Kamala’s powers, or how these powers will develop as she trains more. Perhaps we’ll even get a glimpse at her old stretching powers. Comic fans can only hope.

The third episode of Ms. Marvel will hit Disney+ next Wednesday, June 22. Read our review of Episode 2 here.

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