After months of anticipation, the extended cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has finally been released. Dubbed the Ultimate Edition, this three hour epic contains tons of previously unseen footage, which adds some much needed depth to the movie. From Superman actually saving people, to Batman crossing dozens more people off his kill list, the Ultimate Edition has so many interesting tidbits that it really begs the question as to why these scenes were sacrificed in favor of, say, Clark having a semi-hallucinatory conversation on a mountain with his dead dad.
Then of course there are the characters. There was a lot of buzz when Jena Malone's enigmatic character was finally revealed to be a S.T.A.R. Labs scientist, and the hint that Jimmy Olsen might actually be a Court of Owls assassin was certainly something we didn't see coming.
But there's another character who few people are paying attention to, but who could have been one of the most interesting characters in the film. We are speaking of Kahina Ziri, who plays an interesting role in framing Superman for the desert incident. And she's also a compelling character from the comics, with superpowers of her own...
Testifying Against Superman
Kahina plays a very similar role to Miriam Sharpe in Civil War, providing the audience — and the heroes — with the perspective of someone who suffered because of a superhero's destructive actions.
"I would say [to Superman] that my family too had dreams. To look him in his eye and ask him how he decides which lives count, and which do not."
We see Kahina being interviewed by the news, talking about her son's death and how what happened in the desert was a horrific tragedy. But her story does not end there. She also testifies to the Senate, and her account contributes to the US case against Superman. After the bomb goes off at Superman's hearing, Kahina realizes the hero was framed and she played a crucial role in helping Lex Luthor massacre innocent people.
Kahina intends to testify again, revealing to the world that Luthor was the one to hide the bomb in the hearing. But before she gets the chance, Luthor sends one of his lackeys to silence her, pushing her in front of a train.
This is a compelling part of the story, and adds a bit of depth to Dawn of Justice. It shows that Superman can be forgiven by even those he inadvertently hurt most, and it's a shame Kahina's role in the plot was cut. However, what's more aggravating is that she could have had a bigger role in the DCEU still.
A Hero In Her Own Right
In the DC comics, Kahina is far from a major character but she is a key player in Aquaman's New 52 plotline. Kahina is known as "the Seer" — gifted with the powers of prophecy, Kahina was a member of the superhero group The Others, often fighting alongside Aquaman.
In the seventh issue of Aquaman's New 52 debut, we find Kahina searching for her ally Ya'Wara in the jungle. She faces the villainous Black Manta in battle, using her precognition to fight, dodging poison darts.
Ultimately though, Kahina is cut down and killed by the villain. This is the last we see of her for a while, though she does appear in flashbacks, telling her story of how she and Arthur Curry were friends.
Granted, she's not really a major enough character to merit a big storyline in the DCEU, but it would have been nice to have seen her used in accordance to her comic book counterpart. Why bother taking a name from the comics if you're not going to give the cinematic version of the character the same powers? Maybe it would have been better to save Kahina for the Aquaman movie, as she could have been an interesting ally for him.
Ah well. It looks like Zack Snyder only meant Kahina's name to be a little Easter Egg hint, a nod to her comic book namesake. At least we can rest assured that her story within the film was compelling without her powers of prophecy — though of course she didn't make it to the final cut.