Since debuting in 2014, Ms. Marvel has had a huge impact on the Marvel Universe, but she got her start fighting one of the downright weirdest villains ever: The Inventor! Her conflicts with The Inventor were instrumental in her development as a character, as it helped her master her newfound powers, as well as brought her into contact with the larger Marvel Universe. Created by G. Willow Wilson (Wonder Woman) and Adrian Alphona (Runaways),Kamala Khan received her powers after exposure to the Terragen Mists, the source of power for The Inhumans. Granted shape-shifting abilities, Kamala set out to emulate her hero, Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel. Adopting the moniker Ms. Marvel, Kamala embarked on a crime fighting career while juggling family and school.
In issue #3, Kamala attempts to foil a robbery at a convenience store where her friend Bruno works. It turns out the robber was Bruno’s brother Vick, who was robbing the store because he owed money to someone called “The Inventor.” After the robbery was foiled, Vick went missing; in issue #4 she tracks Vick to a house in Greenville. She rescues him from the house, and unknown to her, she is now on the radar of The Inventor. From his very first appearance in issue #5, readers see he will be a villain unlike any other – because he has a humanoid body – with a cockatiel’s head!
Kamala further infuriates The Inventor when she and Wolverine, on the trail of a missing mutant who ultimately had been kidnapped by The Inventor, destroy one of his lairs and liberate the missing mutant. A back and forth between Kamala and The Inventor ensues until she ultimately confronts him, and he reveals his bizarre origin.
Years prior, a scientist named Gregory Knox attempted to clone the inventor Thomas Edison. Knox was almost successful, but the clone’s DNA was tainted by the DNA of Knox’s bird, a cockatiel. Taking the name “The Inventor” in honor of Edison, he embarked on a scheme to exploit the youth of the world. By turning them into power batteries; their life force energies would power everything from appliances to whole cities. Kamala foiled The Inventor’s schemes, liberating the children he held captive. The Inventor ultimately fell to his death and has not been since issue #11.
It is said that best villains are mirror images of the heroes they fight, and The Inventor and Kamala fit this mold perfectly. The Inventor wishes to exploit the youth while the older generations profit – everything Kamala Khan is against. Their struggle is a classic one: the old versus the young. During her tussles with The Inventor and his goon squad, Kamala gained the confidence she needed to learn and master her powers. More so, she became a leader during this time—rallying the children kidnapped by The Inventor to fight back against him. This is an aspect of the character that other creators still come back to, and here is what it began.
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