Ms. Marvel, played by Kamala Kahn, has taken Tom Holland’s place as the young and cheerful Avenger. Move over, Spider-Man, because there’s a new wide-eyed youngster mingling with the MCU’s seasoned vets, and her name is Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel if you’re nasty).
According to Screen Rant, now that Peter Parker has matured as a result of the life-altering events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Marvel is looking for new talent to play the spirited kid struggling to find their footing in a world of gods and monsters. That’s where Iman Vellani’s Kamala enters the picture.
Spider-Man himself isn’t leaving the MCU (as far as we know), but he no longer plays the same role he once did. Spider-Man and his alter ego Tom Holland were initially presented to Marvel fans as newcomers to the superhero world in Captain America: Civil War. During the legendary airport combat sequence in Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker spent as much time admiring (pardon the pun) everyone’s fantastic powers and outfits as he did fighting.
But, over the span of three solo features and two more Avengers excursions, Peter Parker matured considerably. He was no longer the star-struck kid he once was by the end of No Way Home, leaving a void in the MCU’s fabric that Kamala Kahn must now fill.
Aside from providing comic relief with his incessant one-liners, Spider-Man also fulfilled another purpose: audience surrogate. In many respects, Peter Parker symbolized the movie’s audience. He refers to the Avengers’ heroic identities as “made-up names” because that is what the average person would call them.
Now, Kamala Khan is taking over the job, possibly better than Peter. Sure, Peter Parker symbolized our nerdy delight at witnessing the Avengers in action, but Kamala takes it a step further. Kamala Khan attends AvengerCon, a fictitious stand-in for real-life ComicCons like the ones actual Marvel fans attend, in the Disney Ms. Marvel series.
Many MCU fans’ love for Robert Downey Jr.’s damaged millionaire playboy was mirrored in Peter Parker’s hero worship of Iron Man. Kamala Khan, on the other hand, takes her hero worship to new heights. Her room is a Captain Marvel shrine, with walls filled with images of the hero cut from magazines and even drawn by Kamala herself.
Comic book aficionados used to do this all the time, buying two issues of a book so they could read one and cut pictures out of the other.
The Marvels, the upcoming Captain Marvel sequel, will be Kamala Khan’s first MCU appearance outside of her self-titled Disney+ series. The teaser for The Marvels suggests that Kamala’s infatuation with all things superheroes is amplified throughout the film. We see her geek out over meeting Nick Fury not once, but twice in the trailer.
And she bothers him about joining the Avengers both times.
Marvel has been tight-lipped on when we’ll see Tom Holland’s Spider-Man return to the MCU, but odds are when he does, he’ll be too acclimated to living in the superhero world to offer any new insight for fans on how strange it is to live in the Marvel universe. Fortunately, Kamala Khan is now available to fans for this purpose.