Welcome to our weekly feature titled From Comics To Cinema, where we take a look at Marvel Comics and try to decipher how they could (or have) influence the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward. This week, I’ve decided that, rather than looking at comics from this week, I want to take a look at a future comic series and how I’d like to see it influence the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The comic series of my choosing? The recently announced Black Panther: World Of Wakanda.
In between all of the massive news dropped by Marvel Television and Marvel Studios at SDCC last week, a huge bit of Black Panther comics news also dropped. It was announced that author Roxane Gay would be tackling a spin-off series from Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ acclaimed series. (If you’re not reading Coates’ current Black Panther run, fix that immediately.) Perhaps even more exciting? That this new series would focus on the people of Wakanda, including the ever-important Dora Milaje. So why is it that I picked this upcoming series as my choice of topic for From Comics to Cinema this week? Well, the day after this series was announced, Marvel Studios confirmed multiple castings for the upcoming Black Panther film, including Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia and Danai Gurira as Okoye, the head of the Dora Milaje.
We know that the long-awaited Black Panther film will focus primarily on T’Challa and the Dora Milaje, which is great, however, how wonderful would it be if we were to get a film (or even a series of One Shots) that would serve as a spin-off form the Black Panther feature? Chances of it happening are slim to none, sure, but this newly announced comic series got me thinking about how I’d actually love to see that. Fans have been pushing Marvel for not only more diverse casting, but also more diversity within their line-up for years now, and while Black Panther and Captain Marvel are a great step in the right direction? There’s still plenty of progress to be made on the film side of things. (The TV side of Marvel has actually been pretty great at this.) Black Panther director Ryan Coogler has already stated that he’s taking influence from Coates’ current run, and I can only assume that means we’ll see a strong presence of the Dora Milaje in the film – not just as warriors, but as fully developed and complex characters. So why not give these women their own chance to shine? This would be the perfect opportunity to bring back the Marvel One Shots. We have these amazing actresses playing members of the Dora Milaje, a group of powerful warriors, surely they’re worthy enough to have the spotlight on them too.
Again, the chances of any of this happening are slim to none, and I know that. Doesn’t mean I can’t hope for it. Simply put? The more we get of the Dora Milaje within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the better.
Missed the press release regarding this new series? You can check that out below!
MARVEL COMICS ANNOUNCES BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA All-New Series, Co-Written by Roxane Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates and Drawn by Alitha E. Martinez, Compliments and Expands Marvel Comics’ Black Panther
New York, NY—July 25, 2016 — Wakanda, the African country and home of the Black Panther, is the most sophisticated and technologically advanced nation on Earth. Its influence reaches across all of the Marvel Universe, and today Marvel Comics is proud to present an all-new ongoing series devoted to the exploring the people of this fascinating locale with BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA!
The first arc, co-written by Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist, An Untamed State) and the best-selling Black Panther series writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, with artwork by Alitha E. Martinez, will focus on Ayo and Aneka, two members of the Dora Milaje, Black Panther’s elite squad of female bodyguards.
“Under the leadership of Ayo and Aneka, the Dora Milaje decide to expand their mission, to not only serve as protection for Black Panther, but to also right wrongs, particularly against women, in Wakanda and around the world,” Gay says. “They also have to deal with the repercussions of Aneka murdering a village chieftain, as well as a threat from within.”
As BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA continues, each arc will focus on characters from Wakanda, and the surrounding nations, creating a key companion title to Coates’ current Black Panther series.
Additionally, the first issue of BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA will feature a 10-page backup story co-written by Yona Harvey (Hemming the Water) and Coates with artwork by Afua Richardson. This story will focus on Zenzi, the mysterious and powerful co-leader of The People, the rebel group that is responsible for much of the strife and chaos seen in the current Black Panther series.
“Intelligent and willful, Zenzi’s intimate knowledge of her home and its people drives her belief that her way of revolution will correct the current path of Wakanda,” says Harvey. “This is the story of how Erik Killmonger’s creation learned to master her powers of persuasion at a young age and ultimately use them against the monarchy: only The People can lead the people.”
“BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA offers a new canvas for storytelling in the Marvel Universe where top-tier talent can explore the limitless possibility of the world of Black Panther,” says Marvel EiC, Axel Alonso. “Roxane, Alitha, Yona and Afua are crafting a series that is essential reading because it takes readers even deeper into the hearts and minds of the rich array of characters introduced in Ta-Nehisi’s groundbreaking story and further positions them for greatness within the Marvel Universe.”
On the edge of revolution, the nation of Wakanda stands at a crossroad, defended and challenged by those closest to its heart. Revolution has arrived and change is coming! Be here this fall as BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA breaks down the barriers and ushers in a new age that will further expand the world of the Black Panther across the entire Marvel Universe.
BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA #1 Written by ROXANE GAY, YONA HARVEY, and TA-NEHISI COATES
Art by ALITHA E. MARTINEZ and AFUA RICHARDSON
Cover by AFUA RICHARDSON On-Sale – November, 2016