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Where do Kamala Khan’s powers come from? It is an ongoing mystery on Ms. Marvel, the latest streaming series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The origin of her powers is different than it is in Marvel Comics, but ultimately it doesn’t really matter. The heart of Kamala’s story has always about family, and that is where the series continues to excel.
Conveniently, it is family that ends up being the key to Kamala’s MCU powers. There is love and support within the Khan family, but there are also secrets. Kamala (Iman Vellani) and her mother Muneeba (Zenobia Shroff) may have more in common than either of them think.
***WARNING: From this point forward, there will be spoilers for Episode 3 of Ms. Marvel. If you have not watched yet, then platform jump your way out of here.***
We pick up right where we left off, with Najma (Nimra Bucha) explaining herself to Kamala. In flashback, we see her and her comrades find the bangle in British Occupied India back in 1942. It came off of a severed blue arm. The mysterious Aisha arrives, who we know is related to Kamala. “If there’s even a chance this bangle can take us back home, we have to try,” she says.
What the heck does that mean? Najma tells us in the present, who is with several of her friends that we saw in the flashback. None of them have aged. As she says, “Aisha was from another dimension, and so are we.” That moment in the flashback was the last time they saw Aisha, by the way. Outside, Najma gives Kamala a little more to go on. They come from the “Noor Dimension” and it is the presence of “Noor” that slows their aging. They cannot unlock it’s full potential in this dimension. The bangle has helped Kamala unlock her own Noor; it is not the source of it.
Najma then drops a deep cut from Marvel Comics to further explain who they are. “In our home dimension, the Noor dimension, we’re known as Clandestines.” There’s more on where we’ve read about that group below. Najma's simple explaination is that they are Djinn.
This is not at all what Kamala wants to hear. Aside from Djinn references coming from both of the first two episodes, she explains to Bruno (Matt Lintz) that Djinn are the stuff of childhood nightmares. Now, she is one. “See, there’s like ghost stories, and then there’s Djinn stories. The Djinn stories are so much worse because they’re real.”
Najma and the others want nothing more than to return to this dimension, and they need Kamala’s help to do it. She turns to Bruno, asking, “Do you know anything about interdimensional travel off the top of your head?”
After getting some unexpected help from Mr. Khan (Mohan Kapur) who tells Bruno about a group of exiled Djinn yearning to return home (and how others are represented as genies and demons), Bruno tells Kamala that it is theoretically possible, but “some things might go boom.” They’d need the energy of a sun, and it would be very dangerous. Better to wait and future it out.
“Carol Danvers wouldn’t wait,” Kamala says. “She’d punch a hole in space and time and she’d help them out now.”
No time to worry about that, because Kamala has family duties. The wedding of Aamir (Saagar Shaikh) and Tyesha (Travina Springer) is imminent. Everyone is concerned about how the new masked superstar is making them look, but Kamala does her best to ignore it. The ceremony takes place, and the celebration shortly follows. Unfortunately for everyone, Najma and her crew don’t want to wait. They storm the place and Kamala has to defend herself.
After pulling a fire alarm to clear the place out, she uses her powers to fend off Najma’s crew. When Bruno is threatened, we get our first good look at this show’s version of an “embiggened” fist punch. Damage Control eventually arrives and helps for once, taking Kamala’s adversaries away for the moment.
Back at home, Mrs. Khan knows something is going on with Kamala. They have an incredible scene earlier in the episode where Muneeba opens up to Kamala about her own life more than she possibly ever has. When it’s time for Kamala to tell her the truth about what’s going on, Kamala can’t do it. As much as we want her to unburden herself to her mother, we saw how Muneeba reacted to the bangle in Episode 1, and her comments on Aisha in Episode 2. There's snark about her own mother in this episode. Certain things in this family are not discussed, the end. But please Kamala, spill your guts.
The truth is going to come out anyway, because Kamala’s grandmother Sana gets her on FaceTime. During the fight with Najma, the bangle showed a vision of a speeding train. It turns out that Sana saw it as well, and she is insisting that Kamala come to Karachi as soon as possible.
She is to bring her mother with her. Once daughter, mother, and grandmother are all together, the family secrets are likely going to flow free whether they like it or not.
-The severed arm seen in the opening (that the bangle is taken off of) is blue. Is it the arm of a Kree, or it is possibly the arm of a Djinn?
-The “ClanDestine” first appeared in Marvel Comics Presents #158 in 1994. The race became a thing after a man named Adam Destine freed a female Djinn who was trapped inside of a gem that was controlled by a wizard. She fell in love with Adam Destine after that. Will this show’s “Clandestines” have any similar history? We hope so, because it's wonderfully bonkers.
-Bruno gives Kamala her signature mask in this episode, so she is finally on her way to wearing her real costume.
-Before Damage Control helps out, they cause trouble at the Mosque. They’re on the trail of this new masked person, and the Mosque is where they were last seen. Sheik Abdullah (Laith Nakli) puts Agent Deever (Alysia Reiner) in her place quickly: “Is this serious because the person they are looking for is enhanced, or because she was spotted at a Mosque?”
-Nakia (Yasmeen Fletcher) backs him up on this, saying that Damage Control needs a warrant. She later lets Kamala know that she’s been officially elected to the Mosque Board.
-Bruno tells Kamala about the Caltech news (she’s been preoccupied), but before that he drops a reference to Dr. Erik Selvig, a recurring MCU character played by Stellan Skarsgård.
-The look of the “embiggened” punch is not the same as what it looks like in the comics, but it doesn’t look like a Green Lantern light show, either. The Noor energy gives off a big cosmic glow, but Kamala’s actual fist grows in size along with it.
-Our favorite scene of the episode is the first one between Kamala and Muneeba. Kamala asks her mother for advice: “Have you ever felt like you were up against the world?” She absolutely has, because starting a life in America was no easy thing. She found her family and she let them love her, but that was Muneeba’s mountain. Her best advice to Kamala: “Whatever mountain you’re facing, you don’t have to do it alone.”
-Our favorite line of the episode is more advice given to Kamala (who is dealing with a ton of issues in this episode), this time from Sheik Abdullah: “Good is not a thing you are, Kamala. It is a thing you do.”
Ms. Marvel streams on Disney+ every Wednesday. Don’t call her Night Light.