Ms. Marvel Trailer Breakdown and Analysis: New Powers and More!
The first Ms. Marvel trailer for Marvel's new Disney+ series has arrived, and we took a closer look at how Kamala's powers are being adapted for the screen.
Hello, Jersey City! The trailer for Ms. Marvel is finally here! The Disney+ show, which premieres in June, will be our introduction to Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) and her origin as Ms. Marvel, before she joins Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) on the big screen in The Marvels.
Not surprisingly, it seems like the on-screen version of Ms. Marvel’s powers will more closely align with both Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau, who has yet to take an official moniker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Let’s dig into this fun, fast-paced trailer to learn more about the super-powered teen super-fan who’s about to join the MCU.
Now, let’s break it all down!
Kamala is a classic fangirl in the best possible way, something the trailer plays with a few times, showing her drawing Ant-Man, wearing a shirt with Wasp, Valkyrie, and Captain Marvel on it, and dressing up as Captain Marvel.
On a more meta level, which could possibly translate to the show’s overall tone and style, the Marvel logo is illustrated, a thought bubble in Kamala’s own mind. Marvel has to work with more restrictions than the comics here, so Kamala can’t be obsessed with Wolverine just yet. Ant-Man will have to do.
If there’s someone Kamala Khan looks up to more than Wolverine, or anyone else really, it’s Captain Marvel. From the trailer alone, you can see how she idolizes her. Some of the classic sequences from the comics, like Kamala accidentally (at first) turning into Captain Marvel, look like they’re actually fantasy sequences here, rather than a demonstration of her powers, which gives us another hint at the show’s style. It’s also a hint that Kamala’s not a polymorph – she can’t just transform into anything and anyone at will.
There are two reasons to do this: the MCU isn’t messing with Inhumans, as they’re hoping everyone forgets about that ABC TV series. And the narrative arc the comics took for Kamala to decide that it’s important for her not to impersonate other people was lovely, but perhaps more than Disney+ could chew while still accomplishing its other goals. That means her origin has to change, and she gets other powers instead of being a polymorph. If she’s not an inhuman and Terrigen mist isn’t a thing, what is Kamala Khan and how does she get powered up?
What Are Ms. Marvel’s New Powers?
While some have lamented Kamala’s changed powerset, the trailer does show her using her classic “embiggening” skills a couple of time to make a giant fist to punch a few bad guys. In the comics, Kamala’s powers include the ability to fully transform her entire self to becoming larger or smaller. She can become bigger than a building and as small as Ant-Man, if necessary, though it does take a lot out of her, leaving her seriously depleted for the remaining fight. It will be interesting to see whether that energy depletion remains an aspect of her character or if it falls by the wayside.
It makes sense to try to differentiate Kamala from Ant Man and Wasp, as well as to align her more closely to the other Marvels. Since this is only a trailer and the Disney+ show itself is still an introduction, there’s plenty of room for Ms. Marvel’s powers to grow and change in The Marvels or other future MCU outings.
Kamala’s eyes glow in a fiery golden cast, similar to the way Carol and Monica’s eyes have. It could be an indication of the source of their power – perhaps a binary star, as it was for Carol’s power-up in the comics. For now, it reads as a way to visually align the three heroes of The Marvels.
Seeing Kamala Khan with bright, glowing fists is one of the best Easter eggs of this entire trailer. It’s not a classic Kamala Khan power, but it is a classic Ms. Marvel power – if we’re talking about Carol Danvers’ Ms. Marvel. In the comic books, before she was Captain Marvel, she was Ms. Marvel, and Kamala took up the name Ms. Marvel because she so looked up to Captain Marvel and her previous title was vacant.
When they eventually meet, Captain Marvel teases her for it but gives her approval. Those powerful, glowing fists earned Carol Danvers the nickname Princess Sparklefists, which she pretended to hate but secretly loved, so here’s hoping someone uses it for Kamala.
Kamala’s powers on the whole seem to be more tangible for the MCU, with her shooting some kind of energy to close a door, creating a protection shield, and essentially creating steps to run through the air. Having projectiles calls to mind Spider-Man, another teenage fan of heroes, and it’s a good way for her to have a non-lethal means of fighting.
One of the best parts about this version of Kamala Khan is that she can find her way through the air, even though she can’t fly. It’s an ability with some interesting limitations for writers to play with (villains could smash or maybe melt her steps), while still allowing her to be up in the sky with Captain Marvel and other heroes in the broader MCU.
The Power Cuff
The cuff Kamala puts on is a key element of her classic costume in the comics, but here it seems to be functioning in relation to her powers. Is it a source, augmenting them, focusing them, dampening them so she doesn’t accidentally take out her whole school? Making the cuffs functional is a cool way to bring her costume into her origin story, piece by piece.
Ms. Marvel’s Costume
Speaking of Kamala’s costume, we catch a glimpse of the final iteration of it here. Her earlier costume has that homemade feel and looks like a take on Captain Marvel’s, but her eventual costume is a salwar kameez, in a nod to her background. It’s comfortable, functional, and age-appropriate, and here’s hoping she gets to keep the Ms. Marvel lightning bolt on the front.
Multiverse of Madness?
By far one of the most intriguing aspects of the trailer is also the most mysterious. In a trippy sequence, we see Ms. Marvel seemingly fall from one plane of existence into another, calling to mind Captain Marvel’s Binary-esque powers or perhaps Monica Rambeau’s journey through the Hex in WandaVision.
Remember that Ant-Man drawing in Kamala’s notebook at the beginning of the trailer? Maybe it wasn’t just fan art, but also a hint about Ms. Marvel’s eventual abilities. There’s no way to know yet for sure what this is, but it seems to be tied to Ms. Marvel’s powers and is visually reminiscent of some of the other realities or ability-shifting experiences we’ve seen in the MCU’s Phase 4 thus far.
Ms. Marvel arrives on Disney+ on June 8.