One of the major highlights of Marvel’s Black Panther was the Dora Milaje, the all-female special forces team that protects the secretive African country Wakanda. This week, Marvel announced that the characters will get their own arc in a three-part comic series, Wakanda Forever, which will be written by Black Panther: Long Live the King and Binti trilogy author Nnedi Okorafor.
The group is a team of special forces soldiers dedicated to protecting Wakanda led by General Okoye (played by The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira), who in the film helps rescue Wakandan spy Nakia when an undercover assignment goes bad, aids T’Challa in the capture of Ulysses Klaue, and later plays a pivotal role in helping him reclaim the throne.
Since the film’s release in February, numerous think-pieces have singled the characters out as an excellent depiction of powerful women characters in a superhero franchise. Marvel Studios president even noted that he’d “watch three action films [of] just Okoye,”
We’ll be getting more stories featuring the group, in comic form. According to Vogue, the three-issue series will follow Okoye, Ayo, and Aneka as they meet up with various Marvel characters as they work to protect Wakanda. In the first issue, Wakanda Forever: The Amazing Spider-Man they head to New York City in a mission to protect Wakanda, where they meet up with Peter Parker’s Spider-man. The book will hit stands on June 27th, and will be followed by two other team-up issues: Wakanda Forever: X-Men in July, and Wakanda Forever: Avengers in August. Okorafor will write the series, with art from Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque and Terry Dodson.
Okorafor tells Vogue that the comic will be a chance to break the characters out and have them act on their own while “they’re not under the shadow of the throne,” and that she’ll be focusing on the humanity of the characters, not just their strength in combat. “You feel that you can relate to these characters, and feel they are real, not just iconic, but also human.”
Okorafor is no stranger to the world of Black Panther: along with artist Andre Araujo, she wrote Black Panther: Long Live the King, a six-issue series in which T’Challa works to rebuild Wakanda after a revolution, and fights to protect its citizens from a monster that threatens it. Okorafor is also the author of the acclaimed novel Who Fears Death, and the recently-concluded Binti trilogy, about a young girl who leaves her home village to study at an interstellar school called Oomza Uni.