Iman Vellani — breakout star of Ms. Marvel on Disney Plus and the upcoming The Marvels — will have a new notch on her creative belt this fall when Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant hits comic shop stands. The new four-issue series will be co-written by Vellani and Sabir Pirzada, with art from Carlos Gomez and Adam Gorham.
Kamala Khan will return from her untimely death for the book — which is not particularly surprising. And she’ll have a new superhero status as a mutant — also not too surprising. But that her series will be written by the actor and the writer behind her MCU debut? Now there’s a comic book twist.
Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant will be Vellani’s first writing credit, but before she graced Marvel screens, she was already putting in the work on the storytelling side of the film industry, participating in a selective Toronto Film Festival committee of up-and-coming youth. And her nerd cred as a comics fan is absurdly well-established.
To wit, even in the first announcement of the series’ existence, Vellani took time to unpack its big, obvious change to comics canon: Ms. Marvel, the world’s most famous Inhuman, will follow her MCU counterpart in becoming a Mutant just like the X-Men.
“I want to make it very, very clear that we are not reconning [sic] her Inhuman origin,” Vellani said in Marvel Comics’ news release. “That’s a part of Kamala’s identity that Marvel editorial and myself would very much like to keep and protect. Our book will absolutely reflect all those core themes of identity that the Ms. Marvel comics have consistently explored — only now there’s a whole new label that Kamala has to learn to accept. It’s going to be pretty crazy.”
Vellani and Pirzada will be only the third and fourth writer to tackle Kamala Khan’s solo series in Marvel Comics, following Saladin Ahmed and the character’s co-creator and original writer, G. Willow Wilson. Kamala will also get a new yellow and blue costume from her original designer, Jamie McKelvie, befitting her new X-Men-y origin.
So wait, how is Ms. Marvel going to become a mutant?
It’s not entirely clear, but Marvel’s X-Men and Spider-Man comics have been making some hints throughout the spring.
Back in 2019 the House of X/Powers of X miniseries changed the status quo of Marvel Comics’ mutants in a lot of ways. Chief among those ways was the new “technology” of mutant resurrection. It’s a wacky process involving giant eggs and psychic backups and a genetic database, but it literalized the overworn “death to improbable resurrection pipeline” of superhero comics and lead to some truly fantastical scenarios. The X-Men had conquered death, and they were going to use it to reverse mutant genocide.
Then, last year, that status quo changed again. Following pressure from inside and outside the mutant community, the resurrection process was opened to a limited number of deserving humans as well. And in the superhero community, Ms. Marvel is pretty close to one of the X-Men’s most stalwart allies.
Via a series of time-travel shenanigans that made them both teenagers a the same time, Cyclops and Ms. Marvel got to be pretty close friends, a connection that the now back-to-grown-up Cyclops still cherishes. What’s Cyclops gonna do to bring Ms. Marvel back to life? How is that gonna involve her becoming a mutant?
“After being brought back via Krakoan Resurrection Technology, Kamala is shocked to learn she is mutant,” reads Marvel Comics’ news release. “But before she has a chance to come to terms with this revelation, the catastrophic FALL OF X will throw her world into chaos…and a secret mission on behalf of the X-Men.”
All signs point to something happening around this year’s Hellfire Gala — a big party the X-Men throw for the superhero community that’s become a yearly editorial hook that Marvel plans big mutant plot developments around. X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023 #1 will hit shelves in a couple weeks on July 26. Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #1 will hit shelves on Aug. 30.