The Marvels' Iman Vellani Shares Her Favorite Marvel Comics

Comics Marvel

the marvels' iman vellani shares her favorite marvel comics
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Iman Vellani has captured the hearts of viewers thanks to her excellent portrayal of Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the Canadian actor bringing the hero to life with all of the excitability, nervousness, and pluck she radiates in the comics. Vellani, who most recently played the character in “The Marvels,” has made it no secret she’s a huge comic book fan,as she’s even currently co-writing the ongoing “Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant” series (by Vellani, Sabir Pirzada, Carlos Gomez, Adam Gorham, Erick Arciniega, and Joe Caramagna) for Marvel Comics. Her comic book fandom led her to become the live-action version of Ms. Marvel, and in fitting fashion, her love for the MCU was built around this.

Speaking with Marvel.com as part of the Marvel Unlimited “Creator Spotlight” series, where comic book creatives go over what stories inspired them and/or first got them hooked into the medium, Vellani listed her favorite titles. The talented actor included some comics you might expect to see, such as the first issue of Ms. Marvel’s solo series. However, Vellani also highlighted a handful of surprise stories, including ones featuring the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, X-Men, and Thanos.

Vellani is a big fan of Ms. Marvel’s earliest days

the marvels' iman vellani shares her favorite marvel comics
Marvel Comics/Sara Pichelli

Kamala Khan first received her solo series after initial small cameos in “Captain Marvel” (by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Filipe Andrade, Jordie Bellaire, and VC’s Joe Caramanga), where her journey as Ms. Marvel began. Iman Vellani selected two issues from this original run that drew her toward the character, including “Ms. Marvel” #1 (by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Ian Herring, and Caramagna). The comic sees Kamala dealing with her new Inhuman powers and figuring out what it means to be a hero. Vellani wrote, “Not only did [series writer] G. Willow Wilson and team give us the epitome of a perfect origin story, but this book is also my IRL good luck charm, and it might just become yours too!”

She also specified Ms. Marvel’s hilarious team-up with Wolverine in “Ms. Marvel” #7 (by Wilson, Jake Wyatt, Herring, and Caramagna) as her favorite issue from the run. “I’m trying hard not to put the entire 2014-2016 run on here, but if I absolutely haaaad to pick one standout issue, Wolverine mentoring Ms. Marvel while fighting a giant sewer alligator controlled by the amalgamation of part-Thomas Edison clone and part-pet cockatiel—AKA The Inventor—would undeniably take the cake. Need I say more?” Vellani wrote. The unlikely pairing of Logan and Kamala is a total blast, so seeing it among her favorite issues is not at all surprising.

Vellani loves Marvel’s cosmic side

the marvels' iman vellani shares her favorite marvel comics
Marvel Comics/Ron Lim

Iman Vellani touched on the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe, mentioning “Silver Surfer” #16 (by Steve Englehart, Ron Lim, Joe Rubinstein, Tom Vincent, and Ken Bruzenak). The issue saw an iconic team-up between Silver Surfer and the Fantastic Four centered around the Soul Gems, and the actor expressed her love for Lim’s artwork. “My monkey’s paw wish? I’d like every dream I have to feature my guy Silverado in an epic team-up with the Fantastic Four brought to life by the masterful pencils of none other than Ron Lim,” she remarked.

However, the Silver Surfer issue being counted on this list is one that was important in Vellani’s creative growth. “Silver Surfer” #50 (by Jim Starlin, Lim, Tom Christopher, Vincent, and Bruzenak), one of the main precursors to the groundbreaking “Infinity Gauntlet” saga (by Starlin, George Perez, Lim, Rubinstein, Christopher, Bruce N. Sotoloff, Jack Morrelli, Max Scheele, and Ian Laughlin), immediately jumped out at her. “Enticed by that shiny cover, this is one of the first Silver Surfer books I ever purchased, and while I won’t insist that it’s a prerequisite for understanding MS. MARVEL: THE NEW MUTANT, it does hold value in understanding me—as a comics fan and now as a comics writer!” she expressed.

The modern X-Men are very important to her

the marvels' iman vellani shares her favorite marvel comics
Marvel Comics/Mark Brooks

With Ms. Marvel now having mutant powers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the pages of the comics, it’s no surprise Iman Vellani mentioned the X-Men’s most recent iconic reboot as one of her favorites. In discussing “House of X” #1 (by Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, and Clayton Cowles), Vellani offered nothing but praise to the beginning of the Krokan age for Marvel’s mutants: “This entire run is simply *chef’s kiss*, and if you are part of the 1% that hasn’t read Jonathan Hickman’s mind-shattering, paradigm-shifting, ingeniously executed reboot of future X-Men storytelling, what exactly are you occupying your free time with?”

Vellani shouted out another modern X-Men book as one of her favorites that was crucial in introducing a reborn Ms. Marvel. Writing about the 2023 “X-Men: Hellfire Gala” (Gerry Duggan, Adam Kubert, Luciano Vecchio, Russell Dauterman, Rain Beredo, and more than 20 total writers, artists, and designers), Vellani stressed the importance of the action-packed affair and Kamala Khan becoming a mutant and the “Fall of X,” saying, “Ever since Kamala Khan hatched out of a Krakoan egg and learned about her latent X-Gene (crazy, I know!), she, along with the dwindling remnants of mutantkind, cannot seem to catch a break! This book has it all—death, destruction, airborne Juggernauts! [Writer] Gerry Duggan does NOT hold back!”

Given the significance of the “Hellfire Gala” comic in Ms. Marvel joining the X-Men and setting the stage for Vellani’s “Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant” comic, it certainly deserves to be on her list.

Ms. Marvel joining the Avengers was a dream come true

the marvels' iman vellani shares her favorite marvel comics
Marvel Comics/Alex Ross

In one of the most fitting selections, Iman Vellani put Ms. Marvel joining the Avengers in “All-New, All-Different Avengers” #3 (by Mark Waid, Adam Kubert, Sonia Oback, and Cory Petit) on her “Creator Spotlight” list. The issue sees the Avengers reassemble with Captain America, Iron Man, and Vision welcoming a new generation of heroes to the superteam. Among them are Nova, Jane Foster’s Thor, Miles Morales’ Spider-Man, and Ms. Marvel.

The moment represented a dream come true for Kamala Khan, who longed to join Marvel’s premiere hero team. Vellani gave kudos to Alex Ross’ excellent cover featuring Nova surrounded by several of his fellow Avengers’ greatest weapons while expressing excitement that Kamala made it to the big leagues: “I geek out over any Alex Ross cover, let alone one featuring Kamala—I mean, come on! Also, three cheers for the newest Avenger! Dreams really do come true exactly like we imagined, right? Right???” The issue makes Kamala’s journey go full circle and is understandably one of her most important stories — even if she didn’t stay a member of the Avengers long-term.

It’s great to see the actress so enthusiastic about the comics, as they clearly played a massive role in shaping her fandom and leading her down the path to playing Ms. Marvel on the big screen. You can see what other picks Vellani made on Marvel.com.

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