We loved Shuri, whether in Black Panther or in Avengers: Infinity Wars, but many of us have been marveling (pun intended) at the bravado, bravery, and ingenuity of Shuri since she was first imagined by director and creative Reggie Hudlin and John Romita Jr back in 2005.
Indeed, not only is she the single-most badass Disney Princess you’ve ever seen when portrayed by actress Letitia Wright but has become a template that younger audiences can aspire to and older audiences can appreciate.
In a move that seemed to come out of the blue, Shuri will be getting her own title on Marvel in October 2018. The surprising part is that Marvel just did away with two Black Panther-related titles in 2017; Black Panther and The Crew and Black Panther: World of Wakanda.
It seemed like groups that had traditionally been underrepresented in the pages of comic books, as well as on the creative side, had finally been getting the props they deserved just two years ago. Three years ago, it seemed like every major comic book publisher jumped on the bandwagon.
But it is indeed a smart move. The initial lack of Black Panther toys geared toward girls and young women may have cost Marvel and toy manufacturers millions. So it is simply good business for Marvel to get down with the get down and jump aboard while the Shuri fan train is going full steam ahead.
Shuri has stepped into the shoes of the Black Panther, aka older brother T’Challa, in the past and the siblings have even come to the brink of war with each other. However, Wakanda’s safety and longevity was always their bone contention.
The world is still riding the concussive wave that was unloaded when Black Panther struck the very bedrock of Hollywood’s long-held, yet senseless viewpoint on Black cinematic products. Dating back to Birth of a Nation in 1915, which depicted the KKK as valiant white saviors ravaged by grotesque black men, Hollywood has rarely been interested in producing anything showing black folk in a positive light.
The new series, written by Nnedi Okorafor and drawn by artist Leonardo, finds Shuri placing Wakanda on her back like a convict doing a bid as T’Challa’s intergalactic concerns leave Wakanda vulnerable.
According to the official Marvel synopsis, “Shuri is happiest in a lab, surrounded by gadgets of her own creation. Shed rather be testing gauntlets than throwing them. But a nation without a leader is a vulnerable one and Shuri may have to choose between Wakandas welfare and her own.”
Here is the illustration for the first issue of Shuri (written by me, art by @Leo__Romero). I love it soooooo much! The cover artist for this is @SamSpratt. He did the album cover for @JanelleMonae’s Electric Lady. !!!#WakandaForever
“[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,” Okorafor tells Bustle via email. “She’s a character in the Marvel Universe who really sings to me.”