The Ms. Marvel premiere packed in many Easter eggs and nods, not just to Captain Marvel but to the rest of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and more.
The following contains spoilers for Ms. Marvel Episode 1, “Generation Why,” now streaming on Disney+.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the new wave of Marvel Cinematic Universe properties is how they homage everything that’s come before. It’s been over a decade since the first Iron Man, which then barreled into the Avengers movies and also solo films, such as Captain Marvel. As such, it’s no surprise that new TV shows like Loki, Hawkeye and even Moon Knight addressed key events and battles that have taken place.
With Kamala Khan being a devout follower of Carol Danvers, it’s only natural that the Ms. Marvel premiere packed in quite a few Easter eggs and nods not just to her but the rest of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as well. With that in mind, let’s dissect the biggest ones.
Kamala referenced the Endgame battle in Ms. Marvel‘s opening credits, summarizing it similarly to Luis from Ant-Man. However, she did so in an animated, Gen Z manner for her web series, using info from Scott Lang’s podcast. There, she had cardboard cutouts and sketches of the Avengers fighting Thanos’ forces, with Kamala embellishing a lot of details. She did get Carol’s arc somewhat right, though, with how she destroyed a war fleet and gave the Mad Titan a tough fight.
When Kamala’s parents gave her permission to attend New Jersey’s AvengerCon, they didn’t want her wearing tight-fitting costumes. As a result, her dad dressed up in green, while her mom offered up a South Asian Hulk-inspired costume — something they felt was conservative enough for their traditions. In addition, Bruno (her best friend) dressed up in a lab coat as Bruce Banner for the event, nodding to his love of science.
Carol got a lot of air-time in this Ms. Marvel episode, with Kamala wearing a tee that referenced her, Wasp and Valkyrie. Kamala’s room also contained a ton of posters and artwork from the comics, including Captain Marvel from the ’70s, a clock depicting art from the Kelly Sue DeConnick run drawn by David Lopez, and a poster drawn by Terry Dodson. In Kamala’s aforementioned video, she also had Carol rocking her various hairstyles, her flight jacket, and her possible missions in space, and in the credits, street graffiti also depicted the Ms. Marvel #1 cover from Sara Pichelli. Lastly, her nemesis, Zoe, wore Carol’s iconic red sash at the cosplay contest, mixing in elements of the classic black suit.
Kamala decked herself out as Carol, helmet included, and at the con, she met a bevy of cosplayers who imitated so many members of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, from Iron Man to Doctor Strange. Kamala also found a mural honoring Black Widow and Iron Man’s deaths, as well as many homages to Steve Rogers. The event was held at Steve’s old stomping grounds, Camp Lehigh, with “Star Spangled Man with a Plan” playing when they entered. There was even a poster honoring his iconic butt.
In addition to the giant Ant-Man that Kamala knocked over, there was a giant Mjolnir at the con. Kamala also spotted an Asgard pride tee, possibly nodding to Valkyrie’s bisexuality, as well as a tour booth for New Asgard. Along with the many Loki, Thor and Valkyrie cosplayers, there were Guardians of the Galaxy cosplayers, too, from Star-Lord to Gamora. Kamala even spotted a Drax selling a documentary on Peter Quill’s life, as well as tees with Groot.
When they initially brainstormed ideas on costumes, Bruno and Kamala mentioned mixing Carol with Doctor Strange, passing graffiti depicting this awesome variant. This may have been nodding to the arc where Carol tried to learn magic from Strange, only to end up in a fling with the sorcerer. They even joked about Carol as a zombie, nodding to Marvel Zombies, as well as Steampunk Carol and hybrids with Black Panther, Iron Man and Valkyrie.
Yelena Belova made fun of Black Widow constantly doing her superhero pose while fighting — something Deadpool poked fun of at Fox in the past. Moon Knight also had Steven doing it when he first rocked the business suit. In Ms. Marvel, Kamala did it in her imagination when she jumped out of her bedroom window and envisioned herself heading to the con.
When Kamala and Bruno met on the rooftop after she failed to get permission for the con, an Edison Electric sign was spotted in the background. This was the base that Gregory Knox used to plot against Kamala in the comics. He’d make a bird-hybrid clone of inventor Thomas Edison (aka the Inventor), too. A drawing of this cockatiel was also seen in Kamala’s sketches, possibly teasing a future rivalry.
In Kamala’s high school, a plaque showed the names G. Willow Wilson, Stephen Wacker, Adrian Alphona, Jamie McKelvie, Ian Herring, Takeshi Miyazawa, Joe Caramagna, and Nico Leon. They all worked on Kamala’s first comic run in 2014. Wilson was Kamala’s first writer, Wacker served as editor, Alphona was the main artist, with Miyazawa and Leon also on art. Herring was a colorist, VC’s Caramagna was the letterer, while McKelvie worked covers. Kamala’s guidance counselor is also a Mr. G. Wilson, nodding to the Ms. Marvel writer.
Ms. Marvel‘s post-credits scene had Agent Cleary from Spider-Man: No Way Home seeing a video of Kamala’s budding powers endangering lives at the con. He wanted her brought in ASAP, which honored his no-nonsense attitude. He worked for Damage Control, angrily interrogating Peter and his friends, which indicates he’ll be hunting Kamala just as fervently.
Kamala’s YouTube Channel is called “Sloth Baby,” which homages her love for sloths and fanfiction pen name in the comics. She’s even got stuffed toys to show her love for the lazy animal, but a deeper cut on her home life came with the exchange between her dad and brother, Aamir. Mr. Khan was found telling Aamir early on to stop praying long enough to eat. This was a nearly identical recreation of their first conversation in the comics. It reiterated how religious Aamir was and added authenticity to their Pakistani/Islamic roots.
Ms. Marvel airs new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.
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