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‘What If…?’ Introduces the MCU’s First Original Superhero, and She Exceeds Expectations

Close up of Kahhori (Devery Jacobs) in What If...?

What If…? season 2 has introduced an entirely new, original superhero. Kahhori (Devery Jacobs) made her powerful debut in episode 6, “What if… Kahhori Reshaped the World?”

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Since first launching in 2008, the MCU has worked on adapting countless characters from Marvel Comics to the big screen but has previously never debuted any original heroes. It has debuted original characters, like Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings), Luis (Michael Peña), Ralph Bohner (Evan Peters), and Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård). However, none of these characters are superheroes with unique powers or fancy suits. Even characters like Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) and Xu Xialing (Meng’er Zhang) are only semi-original, as they were either based on multiple comic book characters or their comic book origins were retconned. Every superhero in the MCU has always had some basis in Marvel Comics.

What’s different about Kahhori is that she is not adapted, based on, or inspired by any Marvel Comics character. She’s also not just a supporting character or a sidekick but a full hero in her own right. Viewers have been excited ever since learning about her ahead of her What If…? season 2 debut. Now that she’s here, she’s even more powerful than we expected.

Who is What If…?‘s Kahhori?

Kahhori (Devery Jacobs) using her powers in What If...?
(Disney+)

Kahhori arrived in one of the most unique and refreshing What If…? episodes yet. The episode takes viewers back to the Haudenosaunee Confederacy in the pre-Colombian era. Viewers get fully immersed in Kahhori’s story, with the episode playing out almost entirely in the Mohawk language. Before meeting Kahhori, The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) explains that in this universe, the Tesseract fell to Earth and landed in the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Viewers will later discover that the Tesseract shattered on impact, creating a magical lake that actually serves as a portal to another realm: The Sky World.

Meanwhile, Kahhori is a young, carefree woman who likes to go exploring with her little brother, Wáhta (Kiawentiio). However, her village’s peace and safety are disrupted when conquistadors attack while searching for the Fountain of Youth. While fleeing, Kahhori stumbles upon the magical lake created by the Tesseract and falls through it to the Sky World. She discovers that she and the fellow inhabitants of the Sky World are imbued with Tesseract power and immortal, though her powers are particularly elevated. Kahhori finds she has superhuman speed, strength, telekinesis, and element manipulation.

It’s not long before she uses her power to bring the portal between the Sky World and her world to her. She goes through it, using her powers to save her village against the conquistadors. The Sky people soon follow her, helping her in her fight. Her powers do a lot more than save her village. They mean she and her people have an edge over the colonizers who seek to take their land forcefully. Kahhori and her people later show up in the Spanish court, suggesting an end to colonization and for her people and their land to be left in peace. The episode ends with us pondering this scenario, “What if Europe never colonized the Americas?” Kahhori may have just changed the entire course of history in her universe.

Unsurprisingly, her actions have drawn the attention of Doctor Strange Supreme (Benedict Cumberbatch). It’s unclear what he wants with her, but it seems to tease her return in What If…? or elsewhere in the MCU.

What Kahhori means for the MCU

Viewers learned ahead of What If…? season 2’s premiere that Kahhori would be an Indigenous superhero. While this representation was exciting, there was also a bit of trepidation regarding whether the representation would be done authentically. Fortunately, What If…? does an incredible job of bringing Kahhori to life. Jacobs was an excellent choice to voice Kahhori, and the decision to tell the story mainly in the Mohawk language was bold. Kahhori’s culture is a fundamental part of her origin story rather than an afterthought. What If…? also avoids sugarcoating colonization and makes Kahhori a truly powerful and inspiring hero.

Ultimately, Kahhori’s debut was even more than what we hoped for. She was introduced to the MCU in a truly beautiful and meaningful work of storytelling art, and it makes us hopeful that she’ll continue to be a part of the MCU and that the cinematic universe will create more original characters to remedy any lack of diversity and representation in the comics.

(featured image: Disney+)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.

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