Summary

  • The Marvels may have changed Kamala Khan’s backstory, indicating the presence of the Inhumans in the MCU.
  • Marvel Studios has spent years distancing the MCU from Marvel Television’s failed Inhumans series, but this may now be changing.
  • Kamala Khan has been an Inhuman and a mutant in Marvel Comics, so she could also bridge this divide in the MCU’s future.


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One superhero team that Marvel Studios may rather forget might have been teased in The Marvels, potentially changing the origin story of one of the newest heroes in the MCU. The sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel released on November 10, 2023, and while Nia DaCosta’s The Marvels became a major box office bomb for Marvel Studios, the Phase 5 project did set up some huge storylines for the MCU’s future. Teaming up Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau and Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan to battle Zawe Ashton’s villainous Dar-Benn, The Marvels developed the MCU’s Multiverse Saga in some brilliant ways, and featured some subtle, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Marvel Easter eggs.

Perhaps the best choice made by Nia DaCosta in The Marvels was putting the newfound bond between Danvers, Rambeau and Khan front-and-center. The trio of heroes, each empowered by light-based abilities, formed a close sisterly bond during the Phase 5 film, which not only made Monica Rambeau’s sacrifice even more emotional and shocking, but also perfectly brought Kamala Khan into the wider world of the MCU following her small-scale debut in Phase 4’s Ms. Marvel on Disney+. However, The Marvels may have made a major change to Kamala Khan’s MCU backstory, which could hint at one forgotten superhero team making its appearance in the MCU’s future.

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The Marvels Lists Kamala Khan As An Inhuman

Kamala Khan at home in The Marvels

Ms. Marvel’s finale revealed Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan as the MCU’s first on-screen mutant. Mutants have been able to be integrated into the MCU following Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox in 2019, and since Ms. Marvel was originally planned to be a mutant in Marvel Comics, she was the first to be outed as having a “mutation” in her genes. However, The Marvels may have just changed her backstory, as Ms. Marvel’s information on SABER’s database lists the young superhero as a polymorphic Inhuman. This reflects Kamala Khan’s Marvel Comics origins more closely, but perhaps backtracks on what was established in Ms. Marvel.

In Marvel Comics, Inhumans are a subsect of humanity who can have superhuman abilities unlocked through a process known as Terrigenesis. Inhumans were featured prominently in Marvel Television’s Agents of SHIELD and Inhumans series’, though these shows’ canonicity to the MCU has been disputed.

Marvel Has Tried To Ignore The Failed Inhumans TV Show

Marvel Studios had originally planned an Inhumans movie to release as part of the MCU’s Phase 3, but this project was taken off the release schedule in 2016. Instead, following their successful introduction in Marvel Television’s Agents of SHIELD season 2, the Inhumans were gifted their own TV series, which premiered on ABC in September 2017. Unfortunately, Marvel Television’s Inhumans series was a huge critical flop, with the show’s sole season suffering from poor writing, dull production design and low budget nature. Since its cancelation, Marvel Studios has made a conscious effort to avoid Inhumans references, but this idea has recently been changing.

Anson Mount reprised his role of Blackagar Boltagon, a.k.a. the Inhuman King Black Bolt, in 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In Phase 4, Black Bolt was featured as a member of Earth-838’s Illuminati team, marking the first time Inhumans had been seen or mentioned in the MCU’s main continuity. After years of Marvel Studios ignoring the species, even going so far as blocking Eternals from filming in Hawaii as that was where Inhumans was set, it now seems as though the studio is embracing this complex and interesting offset of humanity in the MCU. The Marvels may have just taken the next huge step in introducing Inhumans.

The recently-released MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios book revealed that Marvel Studios stopped Chloé Zhao’s Eternals from filming in Hawaii as the studio didn’t want audiences to be reminded of the Inhumans series.

Why The Marvel’s Inhumans Mistake Actually Makes Sense

Kamala Khan using her powers in Ms. Marvel's series finale

At first glance, it seems as though Kamala Khan’s Inhuman designation in The Marvels is a mistake. This idea is exacerbated by the fact that she’s listed as a polymorph, which is Ms. Marvel’s superpower in Marvel Comics – where she is an Inhuman – but not in the MCU. However, it’s possible that she could still be officially known as an Inhuman in the MCU, not least because the only two people who know of her mutation are herself and Matt Lintz’s Bruno Carrelli. Kamala Khan’s potential Inhuman genes would show up as a mutation, so Bruno stating she has a mutation could have simply been referring to this.

While Agents of SHIELD and Inhumans’ canon status to the main MCU continuity have been disputed, it’s possible that Inhumans have been known about for years, potentially even since their Agents of SHIELD debut in 2014. This means that it would make sense for SABER to assume Ms. Marvel is an Inhuman, rather than a mutant, as that term isn’t widely known. Also, in Marvel Comics, Kamala Khan has been an Inhuman, a mutant, and more recently has been both concurrently, so there’s precedence for her to bridge this divide in the MCU, so The Marvels may be hinting at the Inhumans having a larger role in the MCU’s future.

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