What this has to do with the MCU, I don’t know, but Marvel’s What If…? animated series is introducing a new character that will ensure cultural authenticity so at least the good news is that Marvel didn’t replace an original character again.
Art actually leaked a week or two ago where fans thought it was a What If? take on Echo, but Marvel.com has officially announced it’s a new character, Kahhori.
How it relates to the MCU (sorta) is that it’s what if the Tesseract (Space Stone) fell to Earth and landed in the sovereign Haudenosaunee Confederacy before the colonization of America.
“The Tesseract takes on a new life and a new mythology, transforming a lake into a gateway to the stars and leading Kahhori, a young Mohawk woman, on a quest to discover her power,” states Marvel.
Created in close collaboration with members of the Mohawk Nation
The episode is written by Ryan Little who is listed as a story editor on the I Am Groot special, a script coordinator on the first season of What If…? and Runaways, was an assistant on Marvel’s Daredevil, Agent Carter, Iron Fist, and a writers assistant on Inhumans.
Similar to Disney’s Predator: Prey movie, the details for the Kahhori episode include the episode “was created in close collaboration with members of the Mohawk Nation like historian Doug George and Mohawk language expert Cecelia King to ensure cultural authenticity. The episode takes place in the Mohawk language and is informed by the history of the Akwesasne region in what is now upstate New York.”
“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,” said 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.”
Added Little, “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. Kahhori, pronounced ‘KAH-HORTI,’ is a real, Wolf Clan name, meaning ‘she stirs the forest’ or is someone who motivates those around her. 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.”
Marvel also says director Bryan Andrews (What If…? ), Executive Producer A.C. Bradley (What If…? , Ms. Marvel), Story Editor Matthew Chauncey (What If…? ) and the entire production team also worked with members the Mohawk Nation to design Kahhori’s look and environment, and to help incorporate traditional Mohawk music to use in the score.
Kahhori has a Funko
Marvel also announced merchandise for the character.
“Kahhori marks a significant new edition to the pantheon of Marvel Super Heroes. Ahead of her debut on Disney+, FUNKO is celebrating Kahhori with a special glow-in-the-dark Funko Vinyl Soda that teases the new hero’s cosmic powers. The Funko Vinyl Soda collectible will be on sale March 29, exclusively at Wal-Mart retailers,” says Marvel.
It’s unknown when What If…? Season 2 premiers, but it looks to have been pushed to early 2024.