'Ms Marvel' backstory has left some Muslim fans unhappy

The Disney+ show's explanation of where Kamala Khan's powers come from differs drastically from the comic books

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The newest show to be launched on Disney+, Ms Marvel has been praised since its release on June 8.

The series about Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan has an impressive 96 per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus being that it is a "genuinely fresh addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe".

Pakistanis also applauded the show for its representation of South Asians in pop culture.

Spoilers for episode three ahead

However, the latest episode of the superhero series has left some Muslim fans confused. In episode three, Kamala learns more about the source of her powers and it is revealed to be drastically different to her portrayal in the comic book.

In the comics, Kamala discovers that she’s an Inhuman, part of a group of superhumans created by extraterrestrial race the Kree, when her dormant powers are activated after coming into contact with Terrigen Mist. However, the latest episode instead tied her powers to being a jinn.

The backstory in episode three explains how her great grandmother is a member of the ClanDestines, a group of jinn exiles from the Noor Dimension.

Kamala also learns that the bangle she finds, which belonged to her grandmother, helps her to channel Noor, a light power that all ClanDestines possess, but can't unlock fully outside of their own dimension.

Kamala later tells her best friend Bruno about the discovery. "I found out what I am, and it's not Asgardian or alien, or anything cool like that. I'm, like, the stuff of my childhood nightmares," she says, referencing the jinns' place in Islamic mythology. "See, there's, like, ghost stories, and then there's jinn stories, and the jinn stories are always worse because they're real."

This twist in Ms Marvel has left a number of Muslim fans feeling frustrated.

One fan tweeted that he was especially disappointed considering how much had been made of Ms Marvel being the first Muslim MCU superhero.

Another fan questioned why Marvel would even bring in the storyline of being a jinn to begin with when it is a complicated concept.

Another fan explained the problem with jinns and why it could put other Muslim fans off the show.

However, there are other fans who believe the jinn storyline could simply be a red herring and that there might still be more to Kamala's story.

There are three more episodes of Ms Marvel still to be aired, so there is plenty of time to see whether the storyline is a red herring or if Marvel has decided to go that way with the character.

The show was initially planned as a limited series to introduce Kamala into the MCU and to set up her appearance in the Captain Marvel sequel The Marvels. However, there is still hope for a second season.

"I mean, it is laid out as a limited series for her to go off and do other things," said Ms Marvel show writer Sana Amanat in an interview with Screen Rant. "It certainly establishes her [as a] hero. She will be going into The Marvels next, so that's kind of there. I hope we get a season two is all I'm going to say. I hope we're a part of that."

Updated: June 23, 2023, 3:09 PM