Marvel is expanding its Wakanda storyline by adding on yet another spin off. Titled Shuri, the spinoff revolves around T’Challa’s tech-savvy sister. Best part? Nnedia Okorafor is writing it!
Wakanda is the fictional African country where the story of the superhero Black Panther is set. When the movie came out in February, it broke several box-office records, grossing 1.3 billion dollars as of May 2018. Marvel would be silly to let such a successful franchise lie fallow until the next movie came out. So we weren’t surprised when barely a month after the movie’s release, Marvel announced a spinoff based on the elite all-female military crew called Dora Milaje. Nnedi Okorafor was commissioned to write the three-part series. The first part was released a few weeks ago on June 27th.
But Marvel is far from being done. Yesterday, Nnedi Okorafor announced on Instagram that yet another spinoff was under way.
Marvel has given Shuri (sister of T’Challa) her own comic series…and I’m writing it. Yup! 🤓!! Shuri is an African young woman of genius level intelligence who is obsessed with technology and has traveled spiritually so far into the past that she’s seen Wakanda before it was Wakanda. The Ancestors call her “Ancient Future”. And she’s super ambitious. What do I love about her? Alllll that and more.
#wakandaforever 🙅🏾♀️ #nnediokorafor#marvel
From an African literary perspective, this has to be the best news of the week. First, Okorafor, one of Africa’s biggest creatives, is leading the project, alongside artist Leonardo Romero who comes in as illustrator.
Second, Black Panther is a story about Africa. The movie made a global community of fans see Africa in a whole new futuristic light. Expanding the Wakanda story gives fans more ways to re-imagine the continent. Third, a stand-alone comic starring Shuri makes up for the movie not pushing its feminist narrative far enough. The Black Panther movie, for all its nod to feminism, was criticized for presenting a world were sovereign power was reserved for male figures like T’Challa. Bumping Shuri from her role as supporting character to the lead feature in a story helps to make Wakanda a far more feminist world.
The plot sounds exciting. Bustle.com reports that the story is centered on Shuri having to interrupt her geeky secluded life as a techie in order to answer the call of duty. Apparently, T’Challa has been away on a space odyssey for so long that he is considered lost. This creates a power vacuum that Shuri is compelled to fill.
Here is how the plot is described in Marvel’s synopsis: “Shuri is happiest in a lab, surrounded by gadgets of her own creation. She’d rather be testing gauntlets than throwing them. But a nation without a leader is a vulnerable one — and Shuri may have to choose between Wakanda’s welfare and her own.”
It’s good to know that fans will not have to wait too long to delight themselves in Shuri’s escapades. The series is due out sometime in October.
Congrats to Okorafor!