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How the Marvel Universe is reacting to (and ignoring) Ms. Marvel’s death

How are Spider-Man, the X-Men, and Captain Marvel reacting to Kamala Khan’s death?

Fallen Friend #1
Image credit: Marvel Comics

Ms. Marvel has fallen. Kamala Khan gave her life to protect Mary Jane Watson in Amazing Spider-Man #26. As writer Zeb Wells predicted, the reaction has been passionate. However, while comic book readers have had plenty to say, the reaction within the Marvel Universe has been another story. So far only three books have addressed Ms. Marvel’s sacrifice, and one of those references was indirect. In fact, one title is already seeding Kamala’s resurrection. Let’s check in to see how the Marvel Universe is reacting to Kamala Khan’s death.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Amazing Spider-Man #27, Captain Marvel #50, and X-Men #23!

How is Spider-Man dealing with Kamala Khan’s death?

Spider-Man mourns Ms. Marvel
Image credit: Marvel Comics

Spider-Man is not taking Ms. Marvel’s death well. Peter Parker is no stranger to tragedy, having lost his Uncle Ben, his girlfriend Gwen Stacy, and many others throughout his heroic career. Throughout Amazing Spider-Man #27 (written by Zeb Wells and penciled by Ed McGuinness) we see Peter Parker struggle to come to terms with Kamala’s sacrifice.

We see Peter clutch Kamala’s Ms. Marvel mask as he sleeps, and we’re given the impression that this is a nightly affair. “She’d want us to go on. Keep fighting the good fight. And I will. For her. Eventually,” Peter muses as he drifts to sleep.

Norman Osborn is seen wrestling with his own guilt over Kamala’s death. Osborn was once the villain known as the Green Goblin, but he’s currently trying to atone for his past crimes by operating as the heroic Gold Goblin. Guilt is an emotion Norman is unfamiliar with, and one he doesn’t enjoy.

“I know that if I had never been the Green Goblin in the first place, Kamala never would have joined Oscorp. She never would have suspected I had evil intentions. It’s all my fault,” Osborn tells Peter. Norman and Peter then share a heartfelt moment where each tries to comfort the other over Kamala’s death.

Although the issue deals with the aftermath of Ms. Marvel’s death, Kamala’s family is never mentioned. The fact that Peter has her mask, and not her family, leads one to wonder if Spider-Man or Osborn have reached out to them.

Will the X-Men resurrect Kamala Khan?

Scott and Emma debate reviving Kamala Khan
Image credit: Marvel Comics

Over in X-Men, Kamala’s death is being treated differently. While Spider-Man mopes over in his title, the X-Men are discussing how to resurrect Ms. Marvel. In X-Men #23 (written by Gerry Dugan and penciled by Joshua Cassara) Emma Frost tells Scott Summers about Kamala’s sacrifice. “I summoned you because, before Krakoa, you were close to Ms. Marvel. She was killed in New York,” Frost says. Emma is referring to the time when Kamala and Scott were both members of a team called the Champions (Scott was a teenager at the time due to time travel shenanigans).

“I’m going to assume that this changes your calculus on our previous conversation,” Frost asks. “Yes, of course. Emma, she has a secret identity and a family,” Scott replies, before Emma cuts him off. The conversation is vague, but it appears they’re talking about resurrecting Kamala. If you’ve been away from the X-Men titles for a while, the team has figured out a way to cheat death.

A group of powerful mutants known as the Five work together to reverse death. This is done by copying someone’s psychic imprint, or their soul, and placing it within a cloned body. It works like respawning in a video game. This is different than other clones in the Marvel Universe, like Ben Reilly or Madelyne Pryor, because these clones contain the psychic imprint from their original bodies, which makes them the same person.

The X-Men prefer to use the process on mutants only, but in the past they’ve revived non-mutant heroes. During the A.X.E.: Judgement Day crossover event, the X-Men used their resurrection powers to revive heroes like Captain America. Could Ms. Marvel be next? The MCU has established their version of Kamala Khan as a mutant, and this move could bring the comic character closer to her live-action counterpart. Perhaps something will happen during the resurrection process, and Kamala will be regrown with an X-Gene.

It's also worth noting that Scott mentioned Kamala’s family, something that nobody else has done. We still don’t know if anybody has told them that Kamala is dead.

Carol Danvers mourns someone, but not Kamala Khan

Kamala Khan in Captain Marvel #50
Image credit: Marvel Comics

Captain Marvel #50 (written by Kelly Thompson, penciled by Javier Pina and David Lopez) is the final issue of Kelly Thompson’s pivotal run, and the last issue of the series. Carol Danvers spends the issue mourning the death of a heroine who took up one of her former personas - and it’s not Kamala Khan.

Binary was an energy-based lifeform modeled after Carol Danvers. Thompson’s Captain Marvel run spent a lot of time developing the partnership between Carol and Binary. Sadly, the heroine was killed during a battle against the Brood in Captain Marvel #48.

Carol mourning Binary is the natural conclusion to Thompson’s run. Unfortunately, the timing couldn’t be worse. This means that we’re seeing Spider-Man and Norman Osborn mourn Ms. Marvel’s passing, while Carol mourns a different heroine in her own title.

From her inception, Kamala Khan has been closely tied with Carol Danvers. Prior to the launch of her first series, readers were given an early look at Kamala in Captain Marvel #14 (2013). Ms Marvel #1 (2014) established Kamala as a huge fan of Carol Danvers. In fact, Kamala chose the name Ms. Marvel because it was Carol’s original superhero persona.

Yet despite all those ties, Amazing Spider-Man is the title dealing with Ms. Marvel’s death, while Captain Marvel focuses on memorializing Binary. This can all be chalked up to bad timing. Would it have been better for Thompson to devote the final issue of her run to the events of another title? You only get one shot at ending a comic book run, so it made sense for Thompson to have Carol reflect on Binary’s sacrifice. It’s the emotional culmination of her arc and gives the run a better sense of closure. It’s just unfortunate that it comes on the heels of Kamala’s death, which we still haven't seen Carol react to.

However, Captain Marvel #50 did touch on Ms. Marvel’s death in its own way. Carol’s superhero friends throw a massive party for her, and Kamala Khan is one of the attendees. Needless to say, this issue clearly takes place before Amazing Spider-Man #26. Kamala, still a fangirl at heart, freaks out over all the Marvel heroes in attendance.

Carol and Monica Rambeau watch Kamala and admire her spirit. “Kinda hard to feel worried about the future when she’s around, isn’t it,” Carol asks Monica. “Indeed. She’s got the stuff no doubt,” Monica replies. This seems to be Thompson’s way of paying tribute to Ms. Marvel, without directly addressing her death.

We’ll probably see Carol and Monica react to Kamala’s death in Fallen Friend: The Death of Ms. Marvel #1. The special one-shot will be released in stores on July 12.

As for Kamala herself, the MCU version of the character will be appearing on the big screen alongside Monica Rambeau and Carol Danvers later this year. The Marvels is set to be released in theaters on November 10. Will Kamala’s comic book counterpart be revived by then? Time will tell.

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