Marvel Studios is officially crossing into new territory in its adaptations of Marvel Comics by introducing a brand-new superhero who is original to the MCU, with no known comic book roots.
Meet Kahhori, who will make her first appearance in a season two episode of the Disney+ animated streaming series What If…?, which has yet to receive an official premiere date.
Marvel Entertainment officially unveiled Kahhori ahead of her MCU debut, also revealing the premise of the What If…? episode that will introduce her.
In the episode, Kahhori is a young Mohawk woman who discovers a strange destiny when the Tesseract, AKA the Space Stone, lands in pre-colonial America in the Akwesasne region in what is now upstate New York.
But the episode doesn't stop at depicting Kahhori and the Mohawk Nation. It was written by Ryan Little in conjunction with members of the Mohawk Nation including historian Doug George and Mohawk language expert Cecelia King to ensure an accurate portrayal of the pre-colonial Mohawk Nation and the larger Haudenosaunee Confederacy - right down to the episode actually taking place in the Indigenous Mohawk language.(opens in new tab)
"It tells a remarkable story from a Native-Mohawk perspective which is truly unique and historical, and will give the viewers a new, challenging and entertaining perspective on this land's first peoples," states Mohawk historian Doug George.
"The story is dramatic, the characters fully realized, and the action sequences are breathtaking,” says George. “The episode is exceptional in another sense - it is done with the complete cooperation of the Mohawk people from dialogue to adornment."
Members of the Mohawk Nation were also consulted by the Marvel Studios production team to ensure Kohhari's look and environment would be accurate to Mohawk culture of the era, and respectful of present day Mohawk people as well.
"I had a wonderful writing mentor who worked extensively with the Indigenous community in upstate New York, and I was excited to draw on that experience to build an entirely original corner of the MCU with storylines for new Indigenous heroes written from a place of respect for past generations and optimism for future ones," adds writer Ryan Little.
"Kahhori, pronounced ‘KAH-HORTI,’ is a real, Wolf Clan name, meaning ‘she stirs the forest’ or is someone who motivates those around her," he continues. "In her debut adventure, Kahhori will have to live up to her name to recruit powerful allies into the fight to save her people and change the course of history forever.”
From the sound of it, Kahhori and the group she assembles (we use that word intentionally) could have a future in the MCU, and perhaps a profound impact on its hidden history.
It might even be worth noting that none other than Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel's powers also originate with the Tesseract in the MCU.
What If...? season 2 is expected to premiere some time in 2024.
Another of the MCU's Indigenous heroes, Echo, is getting her own live-action streaming series on Disney Plus.