Before audiences saw an episode of Marvel Studios’ Disney Plus streaming series Ms. Marvel, much had been made of the changes to the character from the comics that inspired the show. Sana Amanat, who co-created the character in the comics, moved to a position at Marvel Studios in order to shepherd Kalama Khan into the MCU. Amanat was among a group of creatives who worked to change Kamala’s powers, and indicated that the changes were made to allow them to link “to larger stories in the Marvel universe.” However, it’s safe to say that nearly nobody expected that link to be that Kamala Khan was a mutant.
In an instant, Kamala Khan’s origin story went from a heartwarming story about family to a groundbreaking moment in the MCU. Kamala Khan is now the first mutant to appear on the MCU’s Earth-616 and she found out about it along with the audience. After Kamala’s brother learned that she was the superhero formerly known as Night Light, Amir requested that Bruno do some tests on him to see if he might have a trick or two up his sleeve. Following those tests, Bruno reconsiders his original hypothesis about why Kamala can use the bangle and when he takes a closer look, what he finds changes everything for Kamala and the MCU.
As Bruno explains to Kamala, “there’s something different” in Kamala’s genes compared to the rest of the Khan family, “like a mutation.” With those words (and with the unmistakable theme from X-Men: The Animated Series chiming in their aftermath), everything changes for Kamala and for the MCU. And while fans may attempt to debate what the lines and the jingle may or may not mean, Marvel.com made it very clear: Kamala Khan is a mutant.
Making Kamala a mutant rather than an Inhuman goes beyond any changes fans could have predicted for the character, but it also raises quite a few questions. For the moment, it seems that a lot of those questions won’t get answers for a while, but one thing made clear by Marvel is that her mutant genetics (and not being native to this dimension) were what allowed her to harness the power of the bangle when nobody else could.
For now, Kamala stands as the lone known mutant on Earth, but that could (and will) change pretty fast. And while she’s the first to be revealed, she probably isn’t the first to exist. With a bomb like this being dropped in the finale, it’s safe to say fans can expect other mutants to emerge from the depths of the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the next year or two. The mutant-era of the MCU has begun and it has been ushered in by Kamala Khan.