Murphy’s Team-Up Volume 23: Ms. Marvel’s a Mutant!

In a shocking finale surprise, it was revealed that Kamala Khan is the MCU’s first mutant. The team checks in with their reactions to the news.

Torbjorn Frazier

For starters, this was the biggest surprise to have happened in the Disney+ era of Marvel Studios. Both in terms of what this means for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and in the viewing experience. Kamala Khan being revealed as the audience’s first mutant in the MCU opens the door for endless possibilities of speculation and theorizing on how some of the most-anticipated characters will enter future projects. For the character herself, Kamala Khan makes all the sense in the world to be a mutant (as she very likely would’ve been in the comics if the X-Men film rights weren’t elsewhere in 2013). And having the first mutant story be distinctly about a government that fears and discriminates against super-powered individuals highlights that Kevin Feige and co. are good hands to shepherd the X-Men back to the big screen. With both Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and now Ms. Marvel this year giving early glimpses into the concept of mutants (and with X-Men ‘97 slated for 2023), the radar for Marvel Studios potentially announcing a mutant-related project at San Diego Comic Con or D23 has certainly increased.

Anthony Canton III

Ms. Marvel’s finale followed through on its series mission by giving us Kamala Khan and her world. That world was on display as good as any Disney+ series has had to this point. With that being said, the reveal of Kamala being a mutant laced with the X-Men: The Animated Series theme was an all time moment for the new MCU.

This reveal is symbolism that Iman Vellani is a major player and rightfully so. Kamala has the keys to the MCU and you can slot her anywhere and she has an impact. In terms of representation in actuality and in this universe these are the new stories that the fandom claims to want. Now we have them and more. While we have more questions to answer with Carol Danvers, this was Ms. Marvel’s moment. Standing ovation.

Dalbin Osorio

Ms. Marvel is no worse than the third best Disney+ show. It would take a lot to supplant the WandaVision/Loki duplex, and Ms. Marvel came close, but an underwhelming villain choice stops it from that top tier. HOWEVER… this isn’t about the show as it is about the fact that, baby, there be mutants in the MCU! That’s right: Ms. Marvel is the MCU’s first mutant (that we know of, but more on that in a sec), and what a glorious reveal it was. You have to hand it to Kevin Feige: he said that everything will be revealed and Marvel didn’t really deviate from the Phase 4 plan even when people criticized it for its “aimless” trajectory. I think this change really grounds her firmly in the MCU’s history (hello Eternals and X-Men ’97 theme music), present (this post-Endgame world that’s rapidly becoming populated by enhanced individuals), and future (Kang is coming). Making her a mutant also makes her powers easy to explain because a mutation is much easier to explain than a Terrigen Bomb going off somewhere on Earth-616 and us never hearing about it. It, also, sets the stage for there being other mutants out there who are populating the world now, and clearly Damage Control won’t be the only ones after them. All in all, a great choice.

Joseph Aberl

Did not see coming that Ms. Marvel would end up being the one to set up the mutants in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios perfectly baited us with WandaVision and a cameo in Multiverse of Madness to make many think we’d not get any hints until after Fantastic Four. Yet, here they are using a familiar theme to slowly build up their arrival and also use it as a way to connect Kamala Khan to a bigger universe; without the sacrifice of her personal journey. Can’t wait to see where it goes.

Charles Murphy

Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. It’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race—to despise an entire nation—to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if a man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our hearts with tolerance.

Stan Lee, Stan’s Soapbox, December 1968

Someone had to be the first mutant and I couldn’t be happier that it is Kamala. As Torbjorn pointed out, it’s incredibly likely that had Marvel already owned the live-action rights to the X-Men, she’d have been one in the comics. Kamala fits what Stan Lee and Jack Kirby imagined the original mutants to be when they developed them in the early 1960s as a metaphor for the hate and social injustice America was facing at the time. I’ve said for years that Kamala Khan is one of the most important characters Marvel Comics has ever created and now, as the MCU’s first mutant, she’s one of the most important characters in the future of the franchise.

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