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Nnedi Okorafor to Write Black Panther Comics for Marvel

Nnedi Okorafor’s Collaboration with Marvel is Genius. Here’s Why.

Nnedi Okorafor’s stories are always a breath of fresh air. African literature used to be all about colonialism, slave trade, poverty, bad government, and corruption. Until Nnedi came along with her daring stories of magic, fantasy, and science fiction. Her stories are Afrofuturistic, engaging, bold, and genius. Her literary genius and creativity has won her couple of literary awards, screen adaptations for a TV series and a short film. We shouldn’t also forget to add that Nnedi Okorafor’s style of writing has paved way for other writers to explore the rich and expansive niche of African fantasy and sci-fi.

It’s no surprise that Marvel chose Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor to write a three part series comic of the Dora Milaje, the all women squad of the king of Wakanda, T’Challa also known as the Black Panther. Black Panther has been making a lot of wave on the big screen, shutting down cinemas, breaking records and getting lots of positive reviews from movie critics.

Which is why Marvel decided to create a three-part spin off comic series that will focus on the fierce ladies of the Dora Milaje. How cool is that?

And who else can accurately portray the fierceness of these ladies but Okorafor?

There were lots of speculations about the comic series and Okorafor’s involvement with Marvel until Marvel made an official announcement of the comic series. Okorafor later confirmed the announcement on Twitter.

In an interview with Vogue, Okorafor discusses her plans to focus on the humanity of the characters and not just their strength. And we totally support this. For Okorafor, it’s not just about their strength as icons, it’s also a way to make these women as real and human as possible.

The comic series will also give the Dora Milaje freedom to express themselves outside of the throne and T’Challa. The three series comics will narrate the adventures of Okoye, Ayo, and Aneka teaming up with other Marvel heroes. In the series, these women will team up with the Amazing Spider Man, X-Men, and the Avengers.

The first issue, Wakanda Forever: The Amazing Spiderman is set to be released on June 27th. In this issue, the Dora Milaje teams up with Peter Parker in New York to save Wakanda. The second issue, Wakanda Forever:X-Men which will be released sometime in July features the X-men. The final series, Wakanda Forever: Avengers, released in August, features the Avengers.  Okorafor will pair up with Marvel comic illustrators Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque and Terry Dodson to thrill us with some Wakanda awesomeness.

This is not the first time Okorafor has had to work with Marvel. Last year, Okorafor wrote a six-part comic series, Black Panther: Long Live the King. The first series was released in December. Also last year, Okorafor wrote an eight-page comic for Marvel. The comic which was written for Marvel’s Venomverse Anthology was set in Lagos, Nigeria. She keeps getting cooler and cooler, right?

Okorafor’s love for Afrofuturisim originates from her dream to make Africa all she wants it to be. She creates this Africa in all her stories, using magic, advanced technology and science fiction. Okorafor is popularly known for her trilogy Binti, and her adult novel, Who Fears Death, which has been adapted to a series by HBO. Popular novelist and Game of Thrones producer George R.R Martin is an executive producer of the series.

A technologically advanced African country like Wakanda is definitely Okorafor’s turf and we are more than confident she will handle it like a pro. As part of the interview with Vogue, she talked about how easy it was writing on Wakanda.

“With Wakanda, a place set in the present but with a futuristic outlook, it wasn’t a hard transition—it made a lot of sense,” she said.

The Dora Milaje are not only comic characters but also cultural symbols. The characters are believed to have sprung from an all female military unit in Benin Republic. This unit fought French colonial forces in the 1600’s and also engaged in slave raids in neighbouring kingdoms.

The Dora Milaje have also appeared in the Black Panther comic series from as far back as 1998. They’ve gained a lot of popularity ever since they showed up on the big screen, and we can boldly say that the fierce performance by the cast has earned them their very own comic series.

We can’t wait to see the first issue on magazine stands and comic shops! We can’t also wait to see the many possibilities unfurl for these all women crew. What could come next? An animation series perhaps?