This article contains spoilers for Ms. Marvel Episode 4, “Karachi Blues.”
Ms. Marvel director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy discussed the show’s controversial decision to make budding superhero Kamala Khan part-Djinn.
In an interview with The Direct, Obaid-Chinoy, who directed the fourth and fifth episodes of Marvel Studios’ latest Disney+ series, shared her thoughts on Kamala’s ancestry. Her discussion of the topic came in the midst of backlash over the apparent switch-up in the source of Kamala’s abilities, with the teenager distinctly getting her powers from being exposed to the Inhumans ‘Terrigen mist in the comics. A number of Muslim fans have noted that the Quran specifically prohibits the worshiping of Djinn, some even going as far as to claim that Kamala’s powers could fall into the sin of idolatry or “shirk”.
However, Obaid-Chinoy had a different view on the matter. “I think Djinn is a word that’s loosely thrown around in South Asia and I think we, in telling that story, we wanted to open up to the fact that anyone who is different, or anyone who has powers that come from, you know, unexplained sources could be mistaken for origins,” she explained.
Telling a New Story
The director also shared the painstaking and impressive process of bringing the cliffhanger of Episode 4 to life, which saw Kamala suddenly transported to the height of the tumultuous India/Pakistan Partition in 1947. “You know, telling the story of The Partition comes with great responsibility,” Obaid-Chinoy said. “And I, in Episode 4 at the end, when she walks on the platform, I took hundreds of photographs from 1947. And I worked with the crew and the cast to recreate frames from real photographs. So when she walks onto that train, walks onto the platform, the conversation she’s hearing and the way people are being carried and the props, everything comes out of a real photograph.”
This is not the first time fans have expressed concern over the change to Ms. Marvel’s powers. When the first trailer for the series was released, many fans expressed disappointment that the series had changed Kamala’s “embiggening” powers from the comics, a significant change in the character’s origin story.
Based on the comic series of the same name, Disney+’s Ms. Marvel follows Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan, Captain Marvel’s self-proclaimed biggest fan and an avid consumer of all things Avengers-related. Dreaming of following in the footsteps of her heroes, Kamala suddenly finds herself equipped with superpowers when she stumbles across a mysterious bangle that once belonged to her great-grandmother. With the ability to now wield cosmic energy and create constructs from hard light, Kamala tries her best to balance her new life with high school, family and friends.
The first four episodes of Ms. Marvel are available to stream now on Disney+, with new episodes releasing every Wednesday.
Source: The Direct