As anyone who has seen Black Panther can tell you, the Dora Milaje are a force to be reckoned with. The fierce female warriors sworn to protect Wakanda’s throne are an essential part of the boundary-breaking blockbuster—so it should come as little surprise that Marvel’s latest release takes their story beyond their service as protectors of the throne and Wakanda.
In Wakanda Forever: The Amazing Spider-Man, the Dora Milaje are getting their own comic arc, with Okoye, Ayo, and Aneka headed to New York to investigate a threat to national security, and connecting with Peter Parker in the process. Written by acclaimed sci-fi and fantasy author Nnedi Okorafor, with illustrations by Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque and Terry Dodson, the three-part comic series will shed new light on the heroes who have become fan favorites and for the first time since the Dora Milaje were introduced in the Black Panther comics we will see them act as an independent entity; out from under the shadow of the throne.
Writer Nnedi Okorafor has won and been nominated for many coveted prizes in science fiction and fantasy, including the Andre Norton, James Tiptree Jr., Locus and World Fantasy Awards. Okorafor’s 2005 novel, Zahrah the Windseeker, won both the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and the Black Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature. And she has already won the Hugo and Nebula awards for her books which explore themes of Afro-futurism and fantastical mythology inspired by Nigerian folklore. She’ll bring that to the new Marvel comics series showcasing the complexity of the lead Dora Milaje—presenting them not just as elite warriors with the ability to take down super-villains but as people, with problems, insecurities, and internal struggles.
You feel that you can relate to these characters, and feel they are real, not just iconic, but also human.
As for the story, Okorafor hinted that it’s an adventure narrative with topical matters, such as issues happening in the world, woven into the story.
Seeing more of the Dora Milaje in any media is a fantastic step forward, particularly when we get to see them act as super heroes on their own. Who’s to say this won’t lead to a Dora Milaje televised series or another major motion picture? And hopefully others will see the demand for stories that center black women and other women of color. “This moment has been coming for a long time,” says Okorafor. “People have craved these types of characters for a while, and I don’t think that craving is going to pass; it’s something that is here to stay.”