Skip to main content

Did Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige personally ask for the comic book death of Ms. Marvel? One writer says yes, but Marvel denies

A second-hand report suggests that the Marvel Studios head asked for the character's death to bring her in line with the MCU, although Marvel says it's not so

Kamala Khan's death in Amazing Spider-Man #26
Image credit: John Romita Jr/Marvel

Popverse's top stories of the day

Just how hands-on is Kevin Feige when it comes to his role at Marvel’s chief creative officer? A new interview with a creator who’s worked for both Marvel’s comic book and studio divisions is suggesting that the answer might be “far more than you would have expected” — especially when it comes to one recent controversial decision... although Marvel is pushing back at the claim.

During an appearance on the Amazing Spider-Talk podcast, Cody Ziglar — who currently writes both the Miles Morales: Spider-Man and Deadpool comic book series for the company, and has previously worked on the She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law series for Marvel Studios — talked about his relationship with current Amazing Spider-Man writer Zeb Wells… AKA, the man who killed Kamala Khan.

“It was funny watching when the whole Kamala stuff was going down,” Ziglar said, explaining that Wells “had told me months before, the plan — which was, 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,’ so he [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.’”

Ziglar continued that he “felt bad” for Wells because fans didn’t know that Marvel was already planning on resurrecting the character months later as a mutant, with Ms. Marvel actor Iman Vellani co-writing the character. “I was like, ‘Yeah, it sucks for you, I’m glad I don’t have to do that,’” he said, “but it was funny watching him get savaged online knowing that he’s the guy who had to answer the call of Daddy Feige to make this sacrificial play.”

At first glance, Ziglar’s quotes seemingly not only suggest that Kevin Feige was the decision maker behind the death and speedy resurrection of Kamala, which proved to be upsetting enough to fans — in part because it felt gratuitous and cynical in the moment, something not helped by the event being literally forgotten in the minds of Marvel’s characters just months later — but also confirm fan suspicion that the entire scenario was the result of Marvel Studios’ larger plans with the character, rather than any intent originating with the comic publishing division of the company.

Related: 2024 is the year Marvel Studios & Marvel Comics rebuilds and is reborn, with Kevin Feige fully in charge for the first time

It should be noted that Ziglar’s comments are, at best, incomplete, being a secondhand account of a conversation he was not present for, and ascribing emotions to Wells that the Amazing Spider-Man writer may or may not have felt. It should also be noted that it’s unclear even in Ziglar’s story if Wells was specifically told to kill Kamala, or simply come up with a way to transform her into a mutant in Marvel’s comic book canon, with the death/resurrection plot coming from another source or even Wells himself.

For its part, Marvel has released a statement denying Ziglar's version of events, with a spokesperson explaining that Kamala Khan'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."

That's backed up by previously published material: In August 2023, Amazing Spider-Man editor Nick Lowe offered his version of the behind-the-scenes thinking behind the decision to kill the character in a letter column. "As we were planning out Kamala’s story, the opportunity to take advantage of Krakoan rebirth presented itself. We wanted to make sure that we put the biggest spotlight on Kamala’s journey that we could, which is ASM," he wrote, adding, "She risked everything to save a life, which is what a hero does. It cost Kamala her life. Was she the central focus of the book or the story? Nope. But honestly, to me, that’s also life. Things happen that don’t go the way stories ‘should’ go. But what Kamala did was completely in character on the biggest stage in comics, getting more people talking about her than had in years." No mention was made of any input or suggestion from Feige in this version of events.

Lowe had also told writer Zeb Wells "not to do any comic conventions after this issue comes out," Wells told Popverse prior to the issue's release, joking, "People will be upset."

In that same interview, Wells implied that the decision to kill Kamala had to be presented to the editorial department of Marvel's comic book division, saying, "Nick's a mad man, so he was completely down [when I pitched the idea]. I don't know how it went when he ran it up the ladder, but I'm very excited for people to read issue 26." (For those looking to be conspiratorial, in addition to his Amazing Spider-Man writing duties, Wells has been working on a number of Marvel Studios projects - including She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law, The Marvels, and the upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine - which would give him a line of communication with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige outside any publishing heirarchy.)

If nothing else, Ziglar's story - if true - would appear to confirm that there is a dialogue between Marvel Studios and Marvel’s publishing arm about future directions for characters and ensuring that there’s a synergy between the two divisions when it comes to high profile properties… which might make things like the upcoming X-Men: From the Ashes comic book reboot more likely to contain clues about the X-Men’s eventual debut in the MCU, for those who are looking for such things.

Marvel's most reliable superhero has proven he can do a whole lot more than just 'whatever a spider can.' Swing into Spidey's history with Popverse's 10 best Spider-Man comic books, our Spider-Man movie watch order, and if you want our opinion on the subject, our article on the Spider-Man actors ranked.