‘Ms. Marvel’ From Page to Screen: Episode 6.2

With Ms. Marvel’s Episode 6 and finale, entitled “No Normal”, the series’ connection to Ms. Marvel comics continues to be present, in both major and subtle ways. 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 Kamranin Episode 3 we looked at the interesting source material for the series’ villains, the Clandestinesand in Episode 4 we went into how Red Daggers were introduced and how they compare to the comics’ Red Dagger. As for Episode 5, following our dive into Kamala’s ancestors during Partition, we also looked at some Bruno-centric plotlines the series may have invoked or started.

The first From Page to Screen for the Ms. Marvel finale focused on the episode’s inclusion of major aspects of Ms. Marvel lore. In particular, we looked at the significance of Kamala saying “embiggen” and how Kamala got her “Ms. Marvel” name in the live-action series. In this article, however, we spend time on more subtle references that maybe were only apparent to more hardcore fans of Ms. Marvel comics.

It All Ends In High School

Many of the other obvious references to Ms. Marvel comics in the finale were based on well-known plots or arcs that were significantly altered—but included—in the finale. Fans of the first Ms. Marvel (2014) run will no doubt remember that that very run ended with the incursion that led into Secret Wars (2015). In this part of her story, Kamala also met Carol Danvers for the first time, and the eeriness of the pre-incursion madness made for a phenomenal read.

But a major moment in those last few issues of Ms. Marvel (2014) revolves around Jersey City’s response to the incoming incursion. While the world is panicking and preparing emotionally for the end of the world, Jersey City congregates in Coles Academic High School at the request of Ms. Marvel. The community, even those normally opposed to one another, come together to create a space for supplies, worship, and comfort.

It is a very different situation in Ms. Marvel, but the fact remains that the main characters sought refuge in the high school in the midst of the series’ final threat. The high school setting, of course, calls the comics into mind. But the fact that practically the whole ensemble gets involved in the Department of Damage Control “battle” also invokes the imagery of a community coming together in support of Ms. Marvel.

Marvel Studios’ Ms. Marvel Episode 6
Marvel Studios’ Ms. Marvel Episode 6

Zoe Zimmerman’s Change of Heart

Almost out of nowhere in the finale, Zoe Zimmerman because a friend rather than a foe. In Ms. Marvel comics, she had a personality overhaul after the traumatizing events of the incursion and became an activist-type who was self-aware of her prior bullying behaviors and worked to move past that time in her life. We can see some of this new change begin to happen in the last moments of Ms. Marvel, where she appears to be using her social platform for good to specifically amplify Nakia’s voice in on video.

Ms. Marvel #19 (2014)
Marvel Studios’ Ms. Marvel Episode 6
Marvel Studios’ Ms. Marvel Episode 6

She became a main figure in Kamala’a social group, along with Bruno and Nakia. Zoe’s further character development later involved her coming out as gay. Her unrequited crush on Nakia was a subplot that was both heartwarming and heartbreaking in some of the most high-school-type ways. Interestingly, the way the two characters interact at the tail end of the Ms. Marvel finale could be hinting at this development down the line in future projects. 

“He Multiplies Now?”

One small mention in the high school sequence of the finale came when DODC agents wondered if the suspect(s) could multiply because our characters were wearing identical outfits and the agents had no idea what was going on. It does bring to mind an interesting arc in Ms. Marvel #4-6 (2015) where Bruno created essentially low-functioning clones of Kamala, at first in an effort for Kamala to meet all of her school, family, and superhero responsibilities. The clones ultimately go out of control and essentially took over Jersey City. Captain Marvel and Iron Man eventually had to bail her out, reminding her that she is still human and needs help sometimes…and it also leads into Civil War II.

Ms. Marvel #5 (2015)

Ms. Marvel is now streaming on Disney+.

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