In the Marvel comics, Terrigen Mists turn the teenage Ms. Marvel into a shapeshifter who can polymorph her appendages. However, the upcoming Disney Plus series will tweak her power origins and also the way they look. This has, as you may have suspected, caused some controversy online among the comic-book faithful. Yet, the creator of Ms. Marvel is adamant that it’s not really a big deal.
“I think the essence of the messaging is all there – we’re just manifesting it in a different way,” Sana Amanat tells SFX magazine in the new issue, featuring Ms. Marvel and The Orville on the cover. “With the powers themselves, the ‘embiggen’ fists are still there. The way that her powers are comported and used are very, very similar to the overall look in the comics. I think people will be satisfied. I don’t think there’s any powers that look like this that are out there. And they do look weird and wonky,” she laughs.
Showrunner Bisha K. Ali, who worked on Loki, stresses that care for the source material and keeping Khan’s journey relatable was paramount for everyone working on the show. “All the writers involved in this, all the directors, and all the cast feel this love for this character,” Ali says. “And beyond just the character, we know what this show means. We know. I know. I’ve been hunting for this my entire life.”
As part of a creative team who see themselves in Khan’s story, Ali says they also feel the incredible weight of getting her right in this medium, but also making a story that genuinely changes how Desi people and Muslim people are portrayed. “We suffer the consequences of bad misrepresentation. We know. We out here,” she emphasises with a knowing smile.
“It affects our lives. It affects our families. It affects our careers and everything in our world. It’s not like I’m oblivious to it. It’s inherently part of my lived experience. For me, and I can’t speak for anybody else, there’s a feeling of a great sense of responsibility around it. But also, the counterbalance to that is we can’t represent a billion people.”
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Ali and Amanat talk at length about Ms. Marvel in the current issue of SFX Magazine (opens in new tab), which you can order through that link. The new series reach Disney Plus on June 8.
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