The Marvels: Quantum Bands explained

You've now seen the brilliant The Marvels, so lets unpack the origins and powers of the astonishing Quantum Bands in the new MCU movie.

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel: Quantum Bands explained

Whether it’s a suit made of iron and lots of money, an indestructible shield, or a bow and a quiver of arrows, superheroes are often defined by the objects and equipment they use. Thanks to Ms Marvel, Quantum Bands have joined that list too, and they’re one of the most fascinating items in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thanks to their mysterious origins and immense power.

This is proven by the MCU’s latest film: The Marvels. The new movie is the next installment in Phase 5, and sees Carol Danvers team up with Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan to take down the vengeful Kree warlord Dar-Benn. The Quantum Bands, and their powers, play a central role in the plot and could be the key to unlocking the multiverse. So here’s everything you need to know about the bands.

What are the Quantum Bands?

In The Marvels, we learn that the Quantum Bands are a pair of ancient and legendary artifacts, most likely created by a long-dead Kree using lost technology.

Kamala Khan has one of the Quantum Bands, given to her by her grandmother. It was found on Earth, buried with a decayed, Kree-like corpse. Dar-Benn has the other Quantum Band, after uncovering it on some distant, mysterious moon.

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The MCU’s take on the Quantum Bands is an amalgamation of the Quantum Bands and Nega-Bands as seen in the comics. In the comics, the Quantum Bands grant their wielders powers like manipulating energy, creating energy constructs, and mastery over flight. Meanwhile, the Nega-Bands are linked to Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel, and were forged by the Kree. They connect the Negative Zone and when the Nega-Bands are united they transport their wearer to this zone.

The energy bangles used by Kamala Khan and Dar-Benn take inspiration from both of these concepts by giving the wearer both teleportation and energy-manipulating abilities.

Iman Vellani in The Marvels Quantum Bands

How powerful are the Quantum Bands?

The Quantum Bands are shown to be immensely powerful tools that can manipulate time and space when united, and seem to massively enhance the strength of their wielder when separated.

Dar-Benn’s Quantum Band allows her to absorb light energy, negating the powers of the trio led by Captain Marvel (as well as seeming to enhance her overall strength and stamina). She can also drain Carol of her power, and open powerful galaxy-spanning wormholes called jump points.

Kamala Khan’s Quantum Band is a bit more lowkey. It allows her to create platforms of light energy, and generate light-based objects by unlocking her innate mutant powers. She also uses Dar-Benn’s Quantum Band to shoot energy blasts, though ultimately gives that up.

How many Quantum Bands are there?

There are only two Quantum Bands, as far as we know, and it seems that they were created as a pair to be worn by a single immensely powerful warrior.

Their origins remain mostly mysterious and unknown, though with their reality-breaking power, we’re certain Nick Fury is going to want to get his most intelligent officers to examine and analyze their history. That could mean that we learn a lot more too, eventually.

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Does Shang-Chi have a Quantum Band?

Shang-Chi’s rings are entirely unconnected to the Quantum Bands as seen in The Marvels, and we know this because Captain Marvel explains that she doesn’t recognize them as being from alien design suggesting that they therefore originated from Earth.

The only real similarity, anyway, is that – like the bands – Shang-Chi’s rings are worn on his arm. But, (aside from the typical Marvel energy blasts) they give him completely different powers, including enhanced strength and reflexes. In fact, they act much more like Mjolnir, Thor’s Hammer, than they do Quantum Bands.

That’s it on the Quantum Bands. For more on Marvel, check out our guide to the upcoming Marvel movies, including Deadpool 3, as well as our thoughts on Marvel’s Phase 6. Or, you can learn about the best way to watch the Marvel movies in order.