This Marvel’s Avengers article contains spoilers.
Marvel’s Avengers is a two-pronged game: there’s the game’s narrative-driven campaign and its post-game, online component. Both are informed to its story, which stars none other than the stretchy, spirited Kamala Khan and mostly unfolds over the course of the main campaign.
The brunt of the story is pretty standard fare if you’re a Marvel comics fan. The campaign sees Avengers superfan Kamala reassemble the team years after a disaster in San Francisco. The reunited Avengers gradually uncover what really happened on A-Day, when the Terrigen crystal fueling the Avengers’ helicarrier exploded over the San Francisco Bay, spreading Terrigen mist across the city, imbuing thousands of people with superpowers and creating the Inhumans in the process. It’s a tragedy that not only cost Captain America his life but led to an evil tech corporation known as Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM) replacing superheroes.
The reassembled Avengers eventually discover that their former associate, AIM leader George Tarleton (now the brainy villain MODOK) was behind the catastrophe and JARVIS informs the team that MODOK is back in San Francisco to carry out his ultimate plan. In the campaign’s final mission, it’s up to Cap, Black Widow, Kamala, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor to stop MODOK once and for all.
What was MODOK’s plan?
Tarleton originally planned to use Terrigen and AIM’s technological innovations to replace superheroes with “Programmable power.” But when the events of A-Day result in thousands of people being “infected” by Terrigen mist, which is the opposite of what the scheming scientist was going for, he devises a solution that, naturally, is evil as all hell.
As MODOK, the villains plans to unleash D.A.R.K. Terrigen, a re-engineered version of Terrigen mist that is publicized as a cure for the Inhuman “infection” but in reality, well, kills them. His plan is to essentially gas all Inhumans to death and violently murder any superhero that’s left standing.
He also awakens a Kree Sentry that has been buried under the Bay this whole time and was the cause for the instability of the Terrigen crystal on the Chimera on A-Day. MODOK enters and assumes control of the Sentry and almost succeeds in eradicating all Inhumans on Earth but is stopped by Kamala, who becomes fully “embiggened” and beats the crap out of the towering alien monstrosity, impaling it on the jagged remains of the Golden Gate Bridge, effectively putting a stop to MODOK’s genocidal master plan.
How did Kamala save the day?
In truth, Kamala saves the world by believing in herself. Throughout the story, she expresses mostly to Bruce that she feels like an outcast and a “freak” who doesn’t belong anywhere, let alone fighting alongside the Avengers. When she comes to Bruce’s rescue during the final battle, when MODOK comes dangerously close to smashing The Hulk himself, MODOK forces her to confront her greatest fear. “I know you think you can use this power for good but you’re no hero. You’re just a mistake,” he says.
Defiantly, Kamala defends herself and her fellow Inhumans, screaming “We deserve a chance!” before looking down at Bruce and realizing that the only thing holding her back is her own self doubt. She embiggens both literally and emotionally, finally realizes her full potential, and most importantly, embraces who she is.
Why Is San Francisco So Important?
“Every hero has to start somewhere,” Kamala says to Thor on A-Day, just before all hell breaks loose. Years later, Kamala and the Avengers are back fighting off the bad guys in San Francisco, and there are a couple of reasons for this.
Plot-wise, the story ends back in the Bay because that’s where the Kree Sentry has been buried all along, and it’s where MODOK means to launch his assault on superheroes and Inhumans alike. Thematically, San Francisco is where Kamala’s journey began, so it’s only fitting that she achieves full superhero status there, too. And on a less pertinent level, if there’s a place on Rarth that’s going to give birth to frightening technology that could go haywire and kill us all, it’s definitely the San Francisco Bay Area.
What did Bruce learn from Kamala?
“All this time I thought I was mentoring you. I’d given up. I guess what I’m trying to say is…thank you,” says Bruce to Kamala following the battle in San Francisco in perhaps the most poignant interaction between two characters in the entire game.
Following A-Day, Bruce was crippled by guilt for creating the “perfect disease” alongside Tony and Tarleton, which, in his mind, burdened thousands of people with superpowers and put countless more people at risk. When Tony asks, “You really think the world is better without us?” Bruce replies without hesitation, “Yes.”
But spending time with Kamala ultimately proves to Bruce that superpowers can be used for good, to protect others without catastrophes like A-Day happening as a consequence. Kamala’s perseverance, spirit, and optimism have inspired him to believe in the Avengers — and himself –once again.
Why does Kamala go home?
After their post-battle heart-to-heart, Kamala asks Bruce for a favor: to take her back home to see her father, who has been worried sick about her since she ran away at the behest of Natasha’s “Tiny Dancer.”
She obviously goes home to ensure Abu doesn’t suffer a heart attack worrying about her, but there’s a deeper meaning to her homecoming. Her bedroom walls are plastered with posters of the idols she now calls teammates and friends. Seeing her back in that humble environment is a nice way of highlighting her adventure. It also foreshadows what’s to come…
What does the future hold for Kamala?
The most prominently featured poster in Kamala’s room is of Captain Marvel, and with the story heavily hinting at the Avengers facing villains of the cosmic variety in the post-game DLC, it’s a given that Kamala will run into Ms. Danvers down the line. Abu even gives her his blessing to continue going on her “special field trips” with the Avengers, so her future seems likely to take her places she’s never been before…like space.
Marvel’s Avengers is out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia. It’s coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X at a later date.