Pocahontas makes her Marvel debut in King Conan #3 (sort of)

King Conan #3 excerpt
King Conan #3 excerpt (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Conan has crossed over with many surprising characters in his time, but now he's meeting a real-life historical icon: Pocahontas.

Sort of.

In a preview for February 16's King Conan #3, the savage Cimmerian finds a woman marooned on an island of the undead - the same island he himself is now marooned on - that calls herself Princess Matoaka. 

Historians note that 'Princess Matoaka' is a common variation of the name 'Matoax,' which some believe was the actual birthname of Pocahontas. That would make 'Matoaka' a somewhat anglicized version of the name transcribed by contemporary chroniclers.

Check out this preview of King Conan #3 by writer Jason Aaron, artist Mahmud Asrar, colorist Matthew Wilson, and letterer Travis Lanham:

King Conan #3 main cover

King Conan #3 main cover (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Now, King Conan's Jason Aaron is no stranger to Native American culture - he wrote the critically-acclaimed Native American crime drama Scalped. It's possible this is the real-life Pocahontas written to be stranded in Conan's fantasy world, but it could be more of Aaron drawing inspiration from the Native American woman's alias to create a new, fictional character here in King Conan #3.

In history, Pocahontas was given the name 'Princess Matoaka' by a company which brought her to England on tour due to her popularity. Not content with her real-life story, the company created a fictionalized version that framed her as the princess of the 'Powhatan Empire of Virginia.'

Asrar and Wilson have drawn the main cover to King Conan #3, with variants by Jan Bazaldua/David Curiel and Jay Anacleto/Romula Farjardo Jr. Check out those variants here:

King Conan #3 (of 5) goes on sale on February 16.

Look for this and all of Marvel's Conan comics in your local comic shop.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)