Marvel introduces new Native American superhero in What If...? Season 2

Meet Kahhori, the new Mohawk superhero introduced in Marvel
Meet Kahhori, the new Mohawk superhero introduced in Marvel's What If...? Season 2 (Image via Marvel Studios)

Marvel Studios is expanding its cinematic universe with the introduction of a new superhero in the highly anticipated second season of What If...?.

Kahhori, a young Mohawk woman, will make her debut in an episode that explores an alternate reality where the Tesseract lands in the sovereign Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The Tesseract is a powerful object in the Marvel universe.

Created specifically for the show, Kahhori represents Marvel's commitment to diversity and representation in its storytelling. The episode was written in collaboration with members of the Mohawk Nation to ensure that the character's story is both respectful and historically accurate.

What If...? is an animated series by Marvel Studios, streaming on Disney+, that explores alternate scenarios of events from the MCU. The show offers fresh takes on familiar characters and storylines by imagining what could have happened if certain things had gone differently.

It features both new and familiar characters and offers a wider range of storytelling possibilities than live-action, allowing for more unexpected twists and turns. The show's second season is highly anticipated by fans and is expected to drop in early 2024.


Marvel introduces a new Native American superhero and expands possibilities for future storytelling

Kahhori: A Mohawk superhero (Image via Marvel Studios)
Kahhori: A Mohawk superhero (Image via Marvel Studios)

Kahhori's introduction to the MCU is a significant milestone for the franchise, as she is the first superhero to originate entirely from the studio without any ties to the comics.

Her creation was a collaborative effort between the studios and members of the Mohawk Nation. It was intended to present a culturally authentic and historically accurate portrayal of a Native American character.

Kahhori's story development was a delicate process. Writer Ryan Little worked closely with Mohawk historians and language experts to ensure her tale was respectfully done. Her name, which translates to "she stirs the forest," reflects her importance as a character who inspires and motivates those around her.

The Mohawk language and history inspire an episode in What If...? Season 2 (Image via Marvel Studios)
The Mohawk language and history inspire an episode in What If...? Season 2 (Image via Marvel Studios)

In the episode, viewers will see Kahhori discover the Tesseract on Mohawk territory, embarking on a journey to discover her power. The episode was delivered entirely in the Mohawk language and draws inspiration from the history of the Akwesasne region in upstate New York.

Kahhori's introduction to the Marvel universe is significant because of her cultural representation and because it opens up new possibilities for original characters in future projects.

The studio's willingness to work with diverse communities and incorporate their perspectives into their storytelling bodes well for a more inclusive and representative MCU.


Collaboration with the Mohawk Nation

The studio collaborates with Mohawk Nation for authenticity (Image via History Defined)
The studio collaborates with Mohawk Nation for authenticity (Image via History Defined)

The studios' commitment to cultural authenticity and representation is exemplified by their collaboration with members of the Mohawk Nation to create Kahhori. This collaboration involved working closely with historian Doug George and Mohawk language expert Cecelia King to ensure accuracy in Kahhori's portrayal.

The studios worked closely with members of the Mohawk Nation to ensure cultural authenticity. The members included the historian Doug George and Mohawk language expert Cecelia King.

George praised the episode for its unique perspective on the land's first peoples and the studio's cooperation with the Mohawk people, from dialog to adornment.

The studios' dedication to collaborating with diverse communities reflects its commitment to creating nuanced and authentic portrayals of characters and cultures in its cinematic universe.


Potential for future storytelling

Kahhori opens the door for more original characters in the MCU (Image via Marvel Studios)
Kahhori opens the door for more original characters in the MCU (Image via Marvel Studios)

The introduction of Kahhori in What If...? season 2 brings a fresh new character to the MCU and opens up exciting possibilities for future storytelling. As the first hero to originate solely in the MCU without any ties to the comics, Kahhori represents a bold step for the studio in creating their unique characters.

This move opens up a new avenue for Marvel to explore, introducing even more original characters in animated and live-action offerings. And with Little mentioning Kahhori's "debut adventure," it's clear that Marvel has big plans for this new hero, potentially paving the way for future appearances beyond What If...?

With the addition of Kahhori and the endless possibilities for future original characters, fans have even more reason to be excited about the future of the MCU.


A new frontier of storytelling and representation

The studios pushes the boundaries of representation in their cinematic universe (Image via Marvel Studios)
The studios pushes the boundaries of representation in their cinematic universe (Image via Marvel Studios)

In addition to introducing Kahhori, What If...? season 2 is expected to explore a range of alternate scenarios to re-imagine events from the MCU. The first season was well-received by audiences and critics alike, with praise for its creativity and ability to offer fresh takes on familiar characters and storylines.

The animated format also allows for a broader range of storytelling possibilities. In the animated format, the show can feature characters and events that may not be feasible in live-action due to budget or logistical constraints.

Get ready for even more unexpected surprises in What If...? Season 2 (Image via Marvel Studios)
Get ready for even more unexpected surprises in What If...? Season 2 (Image via Marvel Studios)

This means fans can expect even more unexpected twists and turns in the upcoming season. As mentioned earlier, collaborating with the Mohawk Nation to create Kahhori highlights the studios' commitment to diversity and representation in their storytelling.

By incorporating diverse voices and perspectives, Marvel can develop more nuanced and authentic portrayals of characters and cultures. This can help to broaden the appeal of its content and make it more accessible to a wider range of viewers.

The introduction of Kahhori and the upcoming second season of What If...? are exciting developments for fans. They hint at the studio's continued commitment to pushing the boundaries of storytelling and representation in their cinematic universe.

While the show's season two is expected to be released in early 2024, fans can still watch season one on Disney+.

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Edited by Madhur Dave