One of the biggest questions on the way to: Mrs. Marvel was how the new Disney+ series would interact with Kamala Khan’s superpowers and how she would achieve them. Even from the show’s trailers, it was clear that her abilities had undergone a marked transformation in the character’s transition from the comics to the small screen. In the first two episodes, she just started scratching the surface of what she could do with her mysterious bracelet, as well as where it came from. As Mrs. Marvel Reached its midpoint with the release of the third episode on Wednesday, Kamala was finally starting to get some answers.
However, before we examine the revelations from this week’s episode, let’s revisit Kamala’s origins in the comics. (To read more about Ms. Marvel’s comic book history, check out my preview of the series from earlier this month.) Comics Kamala doesn’t get her abilities because of a mystical bracelet, but because she stumbles into a Terrigen Mist that unlocks her latent superpowers. As she later discovers, Kamala is an Inhuman, making her a member of an ancient race of superhumans originally created through experiments conducted by the alien Kree. (More on this later.) Her Inhuman genes link her to the wider Marvel universe and its history, and soon Kamala is under the watch of the Inhuman Royal Family and teams up with their huge, teleporting dog while using her polymorphic abilities under the knee. †
Given the importance of Kamala’s inhumane origins in the comics, it came as a surprise when Mrs. Marvel the TV show seemed to be heading in a different direction. At the same time, it would be a rather daunting task for lead writer Bisha K. Ali and the rest of her team to have to reintroduce the Inhumans to the MCU as part of Kamala’s own origin story, as its concept only exists within ABC’s worlds. in people and Agents of SHIELD series. (Although that’s not entirely true everywhere in the multiverse, thanks to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.) So it would only make sense that Kamala’s powers in Mrs. Marvel would manifest in a way that would be more palatable to viewers who haven’t read the comics or watched the Marvel TV shows outside of the MCU. As Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told: Empire†[Kamala] came about at a very specific time within the comic book continuity. She now enters the continuity of the MCU at a very specific time. And those two things didn’t match. … What we will learn about where those powers come from and how they come about is specific to the MCU.
The third episode of Mrs. Marvel begins to explore the source of Kamala’s powers from the beginning. “Destined” begins with a flashback and takes us to British-occupied India in 1942, where Kamala’s great-grandmother, Aisha, and Kamran’s mother, Najma, found the almighty bracelet. (Interestingly, it turns out that there are two bracelets, although the location of the second is still unknown.) The bracelet is buried under a pile of rubble and also happens to be attached to a severed blue arm:
As Najma explains to Kamala in the present, Aisha, Najma and the rest of their crew come from what she calls the Noor Dimension, where they are known for being clandestine. However, in this universe they are known by different names, mostly Djinn. Banned to Earth for an unknown reason (that Kamala probably should have asked), these are clandestinely looking for a way back home, and they almost found it when they discovered one of the two bracelets that day. But Aisha was separated from their group during the partition, leaving her whereabouts and the location of the bracelet unknown. That is, until Kamala reactivated it at AvengerCon.
The flashback and Najma’s lengthy history lesson all take place before the show’s title sequence, but the information dumps don’t end there. After informing her buddy Bruno, Kamala tracks down some very specific lectures on the Djinn, written in Urdu, and Mr. Khan finds him at the Circle Q just in time to help translate. “Supernatural beings from pre-Islamic folklore, the Djinn have had many names across time and cultures,” reads Mr Khan. “Some call them ghosts. Others, demons. The legend tells of a group of hidden Djinns, banished from their homeworld and doomed to spend their days locked in ours. They move in the shadows, looking for the key that will help them get home. But to unlock such an ancient barrier, you need a primal force.”
Wherever Bruno found this stuff, the man has not only provided Kamala with useful information about her newfound acquaintances, but also where her own powers might come from, but he also probably gave us the roadmap for the rest of the world. Mrs. Marvel† When Kamala tells Kamran that helping the clandestine can be dangerous, Najma and her crew respond by disrupting Kamala’s brother’s wedding party and revealing themselves as the suspected villains advancing. (The heel turn is performed rather clumsily here. After waiting for decades, couldn’t they just wait one more night to talk to Kamala and let her family enjoy the wedding? And you’d think these supernatural beings would have a better would have had a plan that wouldn’t have ended in handcuffs or so easily thwarted by a few meddlesome kids, as in an episode of Scooby Doo.) There’s still a lot Kamala needs to learn about the Djinn, the bracelet, and what happened to Aisha, and by the end of the episode, it’s clear that her search for answers will then lead her to Karachi.
Even with everything revealed in “Destined”, new mysteries keep popping up in Mrs. Marvel, and some may be crucial in connecting Kamala to the future of the MCU. Let’s start with that severed blue arm from the flashback. While the clandestine may seem unfazed by what appears to be an alien limb lying around, this arm may be an important clue to how Mrs. Marvel will connect with Captain Marvel and the miraclesbecause it seems likely it was once attached to a Kree.
The Kree, including the evil Ronan from the accuser Guardians of the Universehave appeared in several Marvel movies and play a major role in how Carol Danvers acquires her superpowers in Captain Marvel† The militaristic alien race hails from the planet Hala, and while this isn’t always the case, the majority of Kree have blue skin. The Kree create and rely on advanced technology, and Kamala’s bracelet could very well be one of their designs. We already know that Iman Vellani will reprise her role as Mrs. Marvel in the miracles, so it would also make sense for Kamala to find her connection to her idol Captain Marvel through the Kree. Assuming the Kree are now involved in the show, there’s still a chance Kamala could turn out to be Inhuman after all. But by changing Kamala’s origins and weaving the Djinn into the mix (integrating both pre-Islamic folklore and an ancient breed with small appearances into the comics), Mrs. Marvel has seemingly found a way to forge ties to the larger MCU that are still consistent with the themes and subject matter of the series.
Whether or not the bracelet is of Kree origin, all this talk of mystical artifacts of unknown origin and alternate dimensions is reminiscent of another recent MCU movie: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings† The 2021 film takes Shang-Chi to a dimension filled with Chinese mythological creatures, and at the end of it he inherits the rings from his father Wenwu. These mystical bracelets kept Wenwu alive for a thousand years and gave him the power to create an organization capable of conquering kingdoms and overthrowing governments. And while the exact connection isn’t clear yet, the cave where Aisha and the Clandestines find the bracelet in “Destined” has an unmistakable display of the Ten Rings symbol across the floor:
It’s a fascinating, unexpected crossover that may have something to do with the film’s mid-credits scene, where Shang-Chi and his friend Katy meet Wong, Bruce Banner, and Captain Marvel himself as they put your heads together to find out the nature and origin of the ten rings. Between Wong, Banner and Danvers, the three have extensive knowledge of the mystical arts, science and alien technology, but none of them have any idea where the artifacts might have come from. The only thing they can distinguish is that they… very oldand that when Shang-Chi first used them, the rings sent a signal to an unknown location in the multiverse. While not quite the same as interdimensional communication, the ending of “Destined” reveals that Kamala in New Jersey and her grandmother in Pakistan were able to simultaneously see visions of a train spawned by the bracelet.
As the series heads to Karachi next week, Mrs. Marvel still has a lot to explain about Kamala’s ties to the Djinn and the origin of her bracelet, but the show’s action and stakes quickly escalate. As Feige recently teased, phase four is nearing the end, and “people will start to see where this next saga is headed in the coming months.” He could refer to this summer? Thor: Love and Thunderbut given the connections of the third episode with Shang-Chi(potentially) the Kree realm, and yet another dimension in the multiverse, it’s starting to feel like Mrs. Marvel could reveal even more about the next big event the MCU is heading to after the Infinity Saga concludes.