Did Kevin Feige Order a Comic Book Superhero Killed?

The MCU’s mastermind may have blood — and ink — on his hands.

Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics has always served as source material for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there’s been an informal division between the two that allows the MCU to create its own version of events. The Infinity Stones, for example, were originally called the Soul Gems, and the comics only gradually updated their name to match the MCU’s terminology. Other MCU changes go completely ignored by the comics, allowing the books to have their own continuity.

Now, however, it’s been alleged that Marvel’s head honcho, Kevin Feige, ordered one of the most shocking comic book events of the past year. Does the claim have merit? Here’s what you need to know.

In Amazing Spider-Man #26, a beloved Marvel hero — Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel — died at the hands of The Emissary. Like many Marvel deaths, it didn’t last long, but fans were still upset.

During an appearance on the Amazing Spider-Talk podcast, comic writer Cody Ziglar recounted an anecdote from fellow writer Zeb Wells. “[Wells] had told me months before the plan, [Kevin] Feige was like, ‘Hey, I don’t do this very often, but can you please do this to make things in line with Marvel because we have some stuff we want to do with Kamala,’” Ziglar said. “So [Wells] was like, ‘Fuck, I’m the guy that drew the short straw? People are going to be very mad that I have to kill Ms. Marvel.’”

Ms. Marvel’s death in The Amazing Spider-Man #26.

Marvel Comics

However, in a statement given to ComicsXF, Marvel said Kamala’s death was “a collective Marvel editorial decision that the team had been working on for a while for her development in the core comics.”

Which story is true? In the comics, Kamala sacrifices herself to save Mary Jane, and is later resurrected. But unlike the old Kamala, who was an Inhuman, the new Kamala is different is a mutant. It’s a key difference that makes her mirror the MCU. The live-action version of Kamala has a completely different origin story related to an ancestral bangle and the Partition of India, but when her friend Bruno investigates her powers, he mentions “a mutation.”

Ms. Marvel doesn’t bring up the X-gene or the X-Men, but with the X-Men finally being folded into the MCU via the post-credits scene for The Marvels, it seems like there’s a good motive to rework Kamala’s comic book character as a mutant. The Inhumans, while similar to mutants in many ways, never quite caught on, and the MCU has kicked them to the curb.

Ms. Marvel’s MCU variant may hold the answer for Feige’s involvement with the comics.

Marvel Studios

So there are means, motive, and opportunity for Feige to make this deadly decision... but the clarification from Marvel still throws cold water on the theory. It’s possible Kamala’s demise was a long-term plan, but the finer details — like her mutant status — were a mandate from the higher-ups. Ultimately, we can only speculate.

Kamala’s comic book death, however temporary, was still controversial, and that controversy is now bleeding into the MCU. But perhaps the reveal that Kamala is a mutant, while emotional, will allow both versions of the character to tell more compelling stories moving forward.

Ms. Marvel is streaming on Disney+.

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