- Ms. Marvel’s new costume in “The Marvels” is over-designed and unnecessary, deviating from the strong comic-accuracy of her original suit.
- The decision to change Kamala Khan’s costume is driven by marketability and a desire to create a more uniform look for the heroes in the film.
- The MCU has a persistent problem of over-designing superhero costumes, with examples like Adam Warlock’s unnecessarily detailed costume in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” Marvel Studios should provide meaningful narrative reasons for costume changes and consider sticking to more comic-accurate designs.
Unlike her original costume in the Ms. Marvel show, Kamala Khan’s new costume for The Marvels continues an annoying MCU trend. Marvel Studios has had an ongoing problem when it comes to costumes and their overall designs. Now, Ms. Marvel is the latest victim of a very unnecessary and avoidable issue.
Debuting in her own series on Disney+, Kamala Khan was introduced as the biggest Captain Marvel fan of all time in the MCU. Inadvertently unlocking powers of her own, Kamala embarked on a journey to become a hero herself, inspired by Carol Danvers while still forging her own unique identity. In that same vein, Ms. Marvel’s original costume was perfect with very strong comic-accuracy. However, Kamala will be wearing an all-new costume in The Marvels (and it’s not exactly an improvement).
Ms. Marvel’s New Costume For The Marvels Is Over-Designed
As seen in both trailers for The Marvels and promotional materials, Ms. Marvel’s new costume is very over-designed. Essentially a modernized upgrade of her original costume, the new suit still retains the red-and-blue color scheme and classic logo, though it also features several additions such as gold detailing on both the arms and legs. Likewise, Kamala no longer has her mask and red sash, both of which were key parts of her original MCU costume and her suit from the original Marvel comics.
While there’s yet to be a narrative reason why Kamala is getting a new suit when her first one was only featured in Ms. Marvel’s final episode for less than 45 minutes, the real-world reason comes down to marketability. New costumes allow Disney and Marvel Studios to sell new merchandise like shirts and toys, attracting new purchases by having their heroes dressed in all-new styles. Likewise, the costume change is also likely coming from a desire to give all three heroes in The Marvels a more uniform look that meshes well on-screen.
The MCU Has A Problem With Over-Designing Its Superhero Costumes
Ms. Marvel’s new costume being over-designed for The Marvels is far from an isolated case in the MCU. Most recently, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s Adam Warlock also has a costume carrying far more detail than necessary when something simpler and more in line with his original comics design would have more than sufficed. On the page, Adam Warlock has a simple red suit and yellow cape with a skull at the collar, so what’s seen on the screen is quite an unnecessary departure (the aforementioned skull being the only true standout from the comics).
So much of Kamala Khan’s original costume was motivated by her origin story in the MCU. Individual pieces and inspirations were discovered before they all came together in Ms. Marvel’s finale, providing Kamala with an incredibly comic-accurate costume with key narrative significance. As such, it’s unfortunate that this costume is seemingly being discarded simply because a sequel is on the way. It does seem doubtful that an equally meaningful in-universe reason will be given for the upcoming costume change.
How Marvel Could Fix Its Over-Designed Superhero Costumes
Although there have been some solid stand-outs for simpler and more comic-accurate costumes in Phase 4 (like Ms. Marvel’s), the typical trend in the MCU is that a hero’s costume continues to deviate away from the source material with every new appearance. Given that’s the case, the very least that should be done by Marvel Studios is to provide key narrative reasons for said changes. The best example is Tom Holland’s Spider-Man with more costume changes in the MCU than appearances, though there have been strong reasons for the changes every time such as his Iron Spider suit in the Avengers films coming from Iron Man’s mentorship.
As a bigger solution beyond meaningful context, it would be nice to see more heroes in the MCU hanging onto their costumes for longer periods. As critical as costume changes have become for merchandising, every new style change comes with a greater risk that they’ll be disliked. It certainly makes things challenging when a beloved hero’s new suit is seen as a downgrade (the majority consensus for Ms. Marvel’s new costume).
Additionally, it’s likely going to be harder to create new styles with every new hero that’s introduced in the ever-growing MCU. As such, falling back on more comic-accurate styles will likely serve Marvel Studios quite well going forward, rather than continuing to over-design costumes into uninteresting oblivion. With any luck, Ms. Marvel’s original costume will hopefully make a comeback once she presumably comes back to Earth following The Marvels.