With Ms. Marvel’s Episode 5, entitled “Time and Again”, the series’ connection to Ms. Marvel comics continues to be on full display. In Episode 1, we looked at how the series adapted from the comics the moment Kamala’s powers were activated; for Episode 2 we delved into the comics’ and series’ introduction and handling so far of the character Kamran; in Episode 3 we looked at the interesting source material for the series’ villains, the Clandestines; and in Episode 4 we went into how Red Daggers were introduced and how they compare to the comics’ Red Dagger. As for episode 5, we focus on the bulk of the flashback that we got in the first half of the episode.
One of the most interesting ways in which Ms. Marvel adapted the comics is by expanding upon the story of Kamala’s ancestors during Partition. Of course, it has been obvious since the second episode of the series that what happened with Kamala’s great-grandmother in 1947 was key to understanding Kamala’s powers and the bangle. In Episode 5, the thrust of the story was a flashback to Aisha and her husband, Hasan, in 1942-47, ending with Aisha’s death as Hasan and their daughter, Sana, made it on the last train to Karachi.
In Ms. Marvel #8 and #9 (2015), we get a small snippet of this same time period in Kamala’s family history. In fact, it begins with a pregnant Aisha hastily getting ready to flee India to Pakistan with many of her family members. She sees a shooting star, which gives her some hope in the dark time. Notably, the comics’ only mention of Aisha’s bangles is in this brief story. She sold her jewelry and hid the money inside her wedding bangles in case she and her husband were separated.
In the second half of the comics’ version of the flashback, we jump to Kamala’s mother in Karachi around the year 2000. She is living with her mother and family—Aamir is young and she is pregnant with Kamala. She had chosen to move to New Jersey for her family, but she had many doubts and worries about her children’s futures in a new country and culture. Kamala’s grandmother tells Kamala’s mother how strong Aisha was and tells her that they are a family of survivors.
Kamala’s grandmother then passes down Aisha’s wedding bangles to Kamala’s mother. The live-action version of this story is taken from the page yet altered significantly to meet the demands of the Ms. Marvel story. In the comics, the story was mostly to emphasize the struggles and journeys Kamala’s ancestors had to go through during Partition and beyond.
But it does also hint at the family’s Inhuman heritage, as it ends with Kamala’s grandmother saying she always felt there was some sort of secret and strength that the family carried. Ms. Marvel hits those same notes by tying the story to Kamala’s (and her ancestors’) powers and superhuman heritage.
The first five episodes of Ms. Marvel are now streaming on Disney+.