Since she became the new Ms. Marvel in 2014, Kamala Khan has become one of Marvel’s biggest sensations. After her first solo series, she became a member of the “All-New, All Different Avengers” and is currently a member of Marvel’s “Champions.” Outside of the comics, she has been featured in the animated series “Avengers: Ultron Revolution” as well as in Marvel video games such as “Avengers Academy,” “Contest of Champions” and “Marvel Heroes.”
With the success of her character on and off the page, it is high time that she made her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even though we already have a Captain Marvel movie on the way, a Kamala Khan movie would be even better. Here are fifteen reasons that Kamala Khan deserves her own film.
15. HER POPULARITY
As stated earlier, Kamala Khan is one of Marvel’s best loved characters. Not only has she been featured in several Marvel Comics and video games, but she has also been featured in Marvel’s line of Funko Pops! and Marvel’s Hasbro toy line. On a fandom level, she has inspired a ton of fan art, a Tumblr convention, and, as a prominent Muslim character of color, has even become a protest symbol. It is impossible not to see the character’s cultural impact in comics and beyond.
Since Kamala Khan has been praised by fans and news outlets alike, it would be a disservice not to have her in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Having her introduced in a cameo appearance in the upcoming Captain Marvel film would be a great way to set up a Kamala Khan film. The anticipation for a Kamala movie would benefit the comics while giving fans something to look forward to.
14. MORE INCLUSION
While Kamala Khan is not the first Muslim American superhero in Marvel comics, or comics in general, she is arguably the most prominent one. There are other characters like Green Lantern Simon Baz and the X-Men’s Monet St. Croix, but none of them are as famous as Kamala. Moreover, Kamala Khan is part of only a handful of women of color superheroes with a recent solo series, including America Chavez, Cindy Moon (Silk) and Storm. These are dismal numbers, especially when you consider that Marvel has yet to have a woman of color in a solo superhero project on-screen.
Giving Kamala Khan a solo film would be the perfect way to establish women of color superheroes in the MCU. It would show female comic book fans of color that a woman who looks like them can be a hero on the big screen. At the same time, the movie would also attract new readers by introducing the character to kids and adults who usually don’t read comics.
13. HER ORIGIN STORY
Kamala’s superhero origin begins when she is exposed to Terrigen Mist, a mutagenic gas that unlocks the potential and powers of latent Inhumans. After seeing a hallucinating vision of The Avengers and expressing her desire to fit in, she becomes the blonde-haired, blue-eyed version of the previous Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers. From there, she has to learn to control her powers while figuring out who she should be as a superhero. As someone who doesn’t fit the typical image of a classic mainstream superhero, Kamala Khan has to decide whether to conform or just be herself.
By adapting the comic “Ms. Marvel: Volume 1 No Normal” into a film, people can see Kamala slowly become the hero she was meant to be. Viewers would see elements previously seen in the Spider-Man films, such as her struggle with embracing her superhero identity, testing her powers and making her own costume. With her personal background, Kamala Khan makes these elements more refreshing, giving superheroes a new perspective.
12. HER COMING-OF-AGE STORY
Alongside Kamala Khan’s superhero origins is her coming-of-age story as a teenager. She goes to high school, has nerdy hobbies, and just wants to be as normal as everyone else. And yet, her overprotective parents and her cultural background hinder her from fitting in, and getting superpowers doesn’t make things easier. Kamala’s gender, ethnicity and religion impact how others see Kamala and how she sees herself.
If Kamala Khan were to have her own movie, then the nuances in her superhero story should also be in her coming-of-age tale. Moments like her classmate Zoe making Islamophobic comments, Kamala fangirling over The Avengers and her parents scolding her show that Ms. Marvel is a teenager underneath the mask and powers. Like all teenagers, she is a work in progress. People might not always take her seriously due to her age, but she is stubborn and resourceful enough to fight the good fight. And win!
11. FRESH TAKE ON AMERICAN FAMILIES
The Khan family may be Muslim, but they are also a quirky bunch of characters whose stories could easily fit into anyone’s slice-of-life. Kamala’s mother is a strict woman who worries for her daughter’s future, while Kamala’s father is overprotective, yet wise. Meanwhile, Kamala’s brother Amir is a twenty-something underachiever. In the midst of them all is Kamala, a regular teenager who makes straight A’s, but still can’t reach her parents high standards. Their antics might annoy Kamala from time to time, but she loves them anyway — just like every family.
Since superhero films rarely have mothers and fathers around or in healthy relationships with their kids, The Khan family will fill that void. They can keep Kamala’s character down-to-earth with a good balance of conflict and warmth. Instead of the usual drama that plagues heroes with family issues, you have a regular family that cares for its hero. Through Kamala’s family, we have a way to bring viewers of all ages and backgrounds into Kamala’s world.
10. SOCIO-POLITICAL COMMENTARY
Subtly woven throughout Kamala’s teenage and superhero antics is smart socio-political commentary that reflects things happening in real life. In “Ms, Marvel Volume 1,” Kamala’s origin story doubles as commentary on the pressure to culturally assimilate into a narrow version of “normal.” Later volumes would touch on the generation gap, consent in dating, and more. Having this put onto the big screen would make Kamala’s story powerful and provide more than just a fun superhero movie.
While real-world commentary has been seen in the “X-Men” and “Captain America” film franchises, they can easily be lost amid the action and the explosions. With Kamala Khan, these moments are woven into everyday life rather than just epic superhero fights. By slowing down and tackling serious issues in scenes like Kamala walking to school or going out on a romantic date, her film could leave the audience with something to think about, as well as providing an action-packed romp.
9. SHE OUTSHINES HER PREDECESSOR
Kamala Khan assumes the moniker of Ms. Marvel after Carol Danvers, the former Ms. Marvel, takes up the name Captain Marvel. Even though she is a legacy character that idolizes Carol Danvers, Kamala manages to make the name Ms. Marvel all her own. The most striking way she does so is through her costume. By substituting the leotard associated with the former Ms. Marvel with a sort of burkini, Kamala Khan displays her pride in her cultural identity while also making her own unique visual stamp. All credit for this amazing new look goes to her creators, Sana Amanat, Stephen Wacker, G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona.
While Carol Danvers has a longer history, Kamala Khan made history as the first Muslim Marvel comic book character to headline their own comic book. As iconic as Carol Danvers’ Ms. Marvel is, Kamala Khan is more poignant because she redefines who can be a superhero and who can have their stories told. In the same way that her comic did, a Kamala Khan film would set a path for others to follow, paving the way for more films with Muslim superheroes and solo films with female superheroes of color.
8. HER STATUS AS AN INHUMAN
In “Ms. Marvel” #9, Kamala Khan learns that she is a member of the genetically advanced species known as The Inhumans. After fainting from an exhausting battle, she is taken to the Inhumans current home base of New Attilan and introduced to Queen Medusa. Later on, she has encounters with other Inhumans, not only in her own series, but also in books like “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” and “Inhumans VS X-Men.”
By embracing her Inhuman heritage in a way similar to her status as a legacy hero, Kamala could be the key to having the Inhumans be in more of the MCU. Since The Inhumans are already getting their own television series, having Kamala make an appearance would allow her to bridge the gap between the superheroes we already know and the Inhumans we don’t. Her fans would check out the Inhumans for Kamala, but be introduced to a new team of superheroes.
7. SHE IS A TEAM PLAYER
Since her first team-up with Wolverine in issue #7 of her series, Kamala has gone on to work with other big names in the superhero world, including Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Peter Parker and even her idol, Carol Danvers. This experience would prepare the young Inhuman to become an Avenger alongside Miles Morales (Spider-Man), Sam Wilson (Captain America), Jane Foster (Thor), Sam Alexander (Nova) and Vision. After the events of “Civil War II,” she formed the Champions and also aided her fellow Inhumans in the “Inhumans VS X-Men” event.
Since the “Captain Marvel” movie is currently in development, it would be a great way to set up Kamala Khan’s solo film. The film could have Captain Marvel visiting Jersey City and showing Kamala the ropes as a budding superhero. Kamala could express her admiration for Carol Danvers, motivating Captain Marvel to allow her to team up with her and fight. Kamala and Captain Marvel could inspire each other so that Kamala saves Jersey City while Captain Marvel goes off to save the world, with both joining the big leagues in The Avengers.
6. SHE IS A LEADER
As previously mentioned, “Civil War II” would cause Kamala to break away from the Avengers. A major reason for that is that she became disillusioned with her idol Carol Danvers due to her role in the events. With her faith in the adult superheroes shaken, she sought the help of her fellow teenage superheroes Miles Morales, Sam Alexander, Viv Vison, Amadeus Cho and a time-displaced Cyclops to form The Champions.
By putting together The Champions, Kamala Khan demonstrated the need for superheroes to help civilians on a global, but ground level. Instead of taking on threats against the entire world, they help out people one city and place at a time. At the end of the very first issue of “Champions,” Kamala outlines the team’s goal of standing up for a better tomorrow. In so doing, she not only breathes a fire into her teammates, but instills a message that goes viral, with regular, non-powered people around the world taking up her cause under the Champions banner. In that, she has arguably surpassed even the impressive heights of her predecessor’s fan club, The Carol Corps.
5. A NEW FLAGSHIP
Issues #6-11 of Kamala’s story is collected together in a volume known as “Generation Why.” These issues tackle the disdain toward Kamala’s generation through a villain that kidnaps teenagers and tricks them into thinking that they are only as good as batteries. Kamala manages to convince them not to give up on themselves just because the older generation has. With these encouraging words, Kamala became one of many superheroes who serve as the a voice and inspiration for her generation.
Through her solo title and her recent team in The Champions, Kamala represents not only a new generation of superheroes, but also a new generation of comic book readers. Her fame as a superhero has allowed her to work alongside other inclusive heroes like those she calls or has called teammates. She also represents a non-white male comic book audience that would appreciate a Kamala Khan film just as much as her comics, while at the same time not distancing any comic book fans.
4. POP CULTURE SAVVY
Kamala Khan might be Marvel Comic’s biggest fangirl ever (challenged perhaps only by Gwenpool). Before she became a superhero herself, she was obsessed with them. When she is not doing homework or defending Jersey City, she can be found playing video games and writing capes-based fan fiction. Her nerdy interests are shown in an amusing manner, such as her very first issue, when she is writing fan fiction about The Avengers defending a planet of unicorns. In the 2016 comic “Avengers Annual,” Kamala Khan breaks the fourth wall a little when she reads online fan fiction about herself.
Kamala Khan’s nerdiness either references real world pop culture or, at very least, acknowledges its influence. By doing this, Kamala becomes the fans we all are at heart. Putting this aspect of her personality into a solo film would allow her to have some witty banter as a superhero while displaying her interests as a teenager. Imagine Kamala fighting Loki and calling him a “hipster-viking-dude!” Genius!
Even though Kamala Khan has shape-shifting powers that allow her to literally be super-flexible, her comics also have that flexibility in terms of storytelling. “Ms. Marvel” is first and foremost a superhero comic, but also contains sub-genres that can easily be adapted into film or television. As a teen superhero, Ms. Marvel has elements of a teen drama and comedy. With its socio-political themes, the comic also has elements of an introspective think piece.
These sub-genres could easily be translated into a film. Kamala’s teen life could be a subplot to her adventures as Ms. Marvel, with the lightheartedness from her friends and family balancing out the high stakes of battling the big bad. As mentioned earlier, the socio-political commentary is best presented in a way that flows naturally with Kamala’s day-to-day life. Through the use of voice-over narration, the audience would be able to get inside Kamala’s head like readers do in the comics.
2. ACTRESSES THAT CAN PLAY HER EXIST
One of the excuses for not making a Kamala Khan film is that there are no South East Asian or Muslim actresses that can fit the role. However, you’d be surprised at who is available. One example is Anita Kalathara, an Indian American actress who has been featured in shows like “NCIS” and “The Mindy Project.” She recently produced a Kamala Khan fan film in which she plays the hero herself. Another great fit would be Shefali Chowdhury, an actress best known for playing the character Parvati Patil in the “Harry Potter “films.
Given that Marvel’s films aren’t as inclusive as their comics, it is important that the studio hire someone that actually looks like Kamala. Her ethnicity, after all, has played a key role in her character development and is part of her identity and appeal. Not only would this be a great opportunity for a South East Asian or Muslim actress, it would also do a great service to readers.
1. SHE IS TIMELY
Kamala Khan is loved by Muslim Americans, fangirls and pretty much anyone else ignored in comics and pop culture. In our current political climate, people have drawn and painted Kamala in order to rally their spirits. Men and women have cosplayed as her. People have written think-pieces and personal essays saying how important Kamala Khan is to them and the world. She is one of the most important superheroes we have right now and she needs her story told on-screen.
In issue #5 of her series, Kamala starts to come into her own as a superhero when she says, “Good is not a thing you are. It’s a thing that you do.” Kamala Khan has done a lot of good as a comic book character and she could do even more good as a movie character. Her story could give the same amount of hope, empowerment and triumph seen in other superhero films. The only difference is that not only could she be the best version of a Marvel superhero film, she can also be the best version of Kamala in the world.
What do you want to see in a Ms. Marvel movie? Let us know in the comments!