SPOILERS follow for Ms. Marvel’s premiere episode.
MCU fans had some questions when 2021’s WandaVision aired and Darcy Lewis, Jimmy Woo, and Monica Rambeau seemed to have rather specific knowledge regarding what occurred during the huge battle the Avengers and their allies had with Thanos and his forces in Avengers: Endgame.
No non-combatants that we knew of were present for this epic showdown, so where did this public info come from? Who was sharing stories about what happened to who and when it happened during this battle – along with facts like Captain Marvel having gotten her powers from an Infinity Stone – to the extent that it was now something a group of people who’d never met previously could all talk about together in such a knowledgeable way?
Okay, sure, there might be some other random Asgardians or sorcerers blabbing too, but we got arguably our best, funniest, and “Oh, that makes sense!” answer for the Thanos-battle “leak” in the first episode of Ms. Marvel, “Generation Why.” In the episode, superhero superfan Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), while talking up her hero Captain Marvel’s accomplishments, noted that part of her own knowledge comes from her “diligent studying of Scott Lang’s podcast interviews,” as we see the imagery used to promote one of those podcasts, This Powered Life.
And there we have it, one of the guys who was right in the midst of the fight then went on to do more than one podcast interview discussing what happened. And given Scott Lang himself has been a bit of a fanboy when meeting the likes of Captain America and Scarlet Witch (“You’re great too!”), it all tracks that he might enthusiastically discuss it all with those eager to listen.
ANT-MAN AND THE POD
When I brought up to Ms. Marvel Head Writer Bisha K. Ali that they’d provided an answer for a question fans previously had, she replied, with a laugh, “We got it!”
Asked who specifically thought of the idea that Ant-Man would make sense as the person speaking openly about the battle with Thanos, Ali admitted it was hard to recall. “I can’t even tell you. It definitely wasn’t me who came up with that idea, because I had all kinds of bananas ideas for it at the beginning.”
Ali had previously written for Loki and noted, of coming up with those kind of specifics on Ms. Marvel, “That was one of the moving parts that we had a lot of time because, also, while you’re in the process of making a [Marvel] show, other shows at Marvel are going out, other movies are going out. So if something changes, it’s like, ‘Oh, can we use that to answer a question in our show?’ And so you’re adapting that piece as time goes on — elements like that — in terms of the interconnectivity. I really don’t know who came up with that piece, but when it all came together, it’s so funny. It’s so right.”
Ali added she particularly loved the idea because of her own fandom, noting, “I was obsessed with Ant-Man for a very long time, which is why you’ll see in further episodes how that comes into play. And the fact that that’s the solution just makes my heart soar.”
In fact, now that they introduced into the MCU the info that Ant-Man has recorded these podcasts, Ali said she would love to go further and make at least one of those interviews something fans could actually listen to themselves.
Exclaimed Ali, “I’m desperate. I’m desperate to be like, ‘Kevin [Feige], please let me write the podcast and call Paul Rudd!’ I bet we can get him to do it. I bet you anything he’d record a podcast for us.”
THE DEPARTMENT SPINOFF
OF DAMAGE CONTROL?
The mid-credit scene at the end of the Ms. Marvel premiere brought another part of pre-established MCU lore into the mix on the series with the arrival of the Department of Damage Control and the return of Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Agent Cleary (Arian Moayed), alongside a newly introduced character, Agent Deever (Alysia Reiner). When Deever shows Cleary footage of Kamala using her powers at AvengerCon, Clearly tells Deever they should bring Kamala in.
When it came to a role the the Department of Damage Control will play in Ms. Marvel as the series continues, Ali was tightlipped. “I can’t say a single thing about them. But I will say keep your eye on them. Keep your eye on old Cleary and Deever and what they’re up to.”
Indeed, everyone involved with Ms. Marvel was making sure to not say too much about how Damage Control factors in, though episode 2 and 3 director Meera Menon (The Punisher, For All Mankind) did tease, when the organization was brought up, “There had to be an engagement with the the community that is specific to Kamala and the community that she’s growing up in, this Muslim American community in Jersey City. But then it also has to connect into the MCU in a larger sense.”
Ms. Marvel episode one and six directors Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life) were likewise secretive when asked about the Department of Damage Control’s bigger role in the show, though El Arbi did add that he and Fallah – who directed the upcoming Batgirl film together – would love to tell more stories about the group.
Said El Arbi, “Arian Moayed and Alysia Reiner, we’re big fans of them and we loved Arian in Spider-Man: No Way Home, so to be able to have him back in our show, it was a big honor and a big privilege. You know, if we could do a whole show about the Department of Damage Control, we would do it! If Kevin wants to do it, we are game, because there’s so much that you can do with that storyline and those characters. And you’ll see as it evolves, it’s going to be… stakes are gonna get higher and Kamala Khan is going to have to grow up real fast and take on responsibilities.”
New episodes of Ms. Marvel premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.