The character of Ms. Marvel has always been well-received among comic book fans due to her uniqueness and how she is able to break a lot of different barriers when it comes to superheroes. We all know that Kamala Khan’s powers in the comics and the MCU are different, but that doesn’t take away the fact that there is still something in common between her two different versions whenever she uses her powers. We are talking about the word “embiggen.” So, what does embiggen mean?
One of the most talked-about comic book superheroes in recent memory is Ms. Marvel, who goes by her given name of Kamala Khan. Ms. Marvel has appeared in many different forms of Marvel media, as she was in the ‘Avengers’ video game and was featured in her own TV series on Disney+. Of course, she is one of the co-stars of ‘The Marvels,’ which also features Carol “Captain Marvel” Danvers and Monica Rambeau in starring roles.
In ‘Ms. Marvel,’ Kamala Khan’s background and origin were given light as she discovered a bangle that once belonged to her great-grandmother. After wearing the bangle, she eventually learned that she had the ability to create light constructs that could solidify and take whatever form or shape. Of course, this was a big departure from her comic book storyline.
Ms. Marvel’s origins in the comics allowed us to see how she became an Inhuman after getting exposed to Terrigen Mist and undergoing terrigenesis. This gave her Inhuman powers unique to her, as she could morph any part of her body into whatever shape or form. As such, she was written to be much different from her MCU counterpart, who uses light energy instead of her own body.
While it may be true that Kamala Khan’s origins and powers are different in the comics and the MCU, one of the many things common between them is the word “embiggen.” In ‘Ms. Marvel,’ Kamala said this word in the final episode. However, in the comics, she often says this word as well. So, what does the word “embiggen” mean?
The comic book storyline of Ms. Marvel was the first to use and coin the word embiggen as part of the character of Kamala Khan. Before the word was used in the comics, it was never used at all as it wasn’t a real word.
However, due to the success and popularity of the Ms. Marvel comics, the word “embiggen” officially became part of the English dictionary as Merriam-Webster added it back in 2018 as one of the many different words added to the English language.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, embiggen basically means “to make bigger or more expansive.” Basically, it is a synonym of the word “enlarge,” as they both mean similar things. They are also similar in how they are structured as “enlarge” is a combination of “en” and “large,” while “embiggen” was basically derived from the word “big.”
Every superhero needs a catchphrase
As mentioned, Kamala Khan uses the word embiggen in both the comics and the MCU. In the comics, she often uses the word whenever she enlarges a part of her body, particularly her fists, before attacking an enemy. In the MCU, she first uses the word in an encounter with an enemy as she uses her powers to create a fist-like light construct on her arm to deliver a devastating attack.
So, in the context of both the comic book and the MCU versions of Ms. Marvel, the word embiggen is actually a simple catchphrase that she uses as part of her character. We know that Ms. Marvel is kind of an eccentric personality because she is a big fan of superheroes, particularly Captain Marvel. She always wanted to be a superhero, and we all know that classic superheroes have their own catchphrases and have attacks that they gave names to.
Naming her attack “embiggen” whenever she uses an enlarged fist in both the comics and the MCU is consistent with her character as a rather enthusiastic up-and-coming superhero who wants to make a name for herself in the world of heroes. As such, embiggen is Kamala Khan’s catchphrase as a superhero.
Of course, we don’t know why the word “embiggen” was used as her catchphrase instead of a pre-existing word that has the same meaning. The comic book writers had to come up with a new word to give Kamala a catchphrase instead of using the word “enlarge,” which has a meaning that almost every English-speaking person knows.
It is possible that Ms. Marvel was given an entirely new word to use as her catchphrase so that it would fit her enthusiastic and quirky personality. This new word also helped the popularity of the Ms. Marvel comic book and character as there is a word that can be traced back to her. All in all, it simply made Kamala Khan more unique compared to the other superheroes in the world of Marvel Comics.
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