The Women of Wakanda
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, one of the most anticipated movies of the year has made its mark. With the world cherishing the legacy left behind by the late Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is one of the best Marvel movies yet. From the cinematography to the soundtrack, the Marvel film features many strong-willed, powerful, dynamic women who are dedicated to protecting Wakanda and its people. Let’s dive into how Wakanda Forever has given rise to the women who will be shaping the future of the MCU.
Powerfully taking on the role of a sister-in-grief, Shuri, played by Letita Wright, was the definition of strength throughout this movie. As the new queen, and soon, new Black Panther, Shuri had to deal with the loss of both her brother and mother while defending the country of Wakanda from Namor and the Talocan. Choosing to be noble like her brother, Shuri in the end decides that she will not take revenge on Namor, but rather make a peaceful deal with him so that both Wakandans and the Talocan can coexist.
“In the comics, he’s equally as complex and often finds himself, in turns, allied with or fighting against the traditional do-gooder teams like the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four.” writes TIME. With Namor plotting at the end of the film, I’m sure we’ll get to see the new Black Panther in action soon.
“Have I not given everything?” questions Queen Ramonda, in the first glimpse we get of Wakanda after King T’challa is gone. As the Queen of the most powerful nation of the world sends chills down our spines, we later watch as she is killed by Namor. After Shuri takes over the crown and becomes the Black Panther, we see a conversation between her and M’Baku about whether or not she will continue her mother’s plans and ideas for the country. Though Queen Ramonda has died, her legacy still lives on within Shuri, and that is evident throughout the rest of the film.
19-year-old genius Riri Williams (aka Ironheart) had several Ironman parallels throughout the film. One being that she built an iron-man like suit, which she used when her, Shuri, and Okoye had to escape from cops attempting to raid her warehouse. The film showed a scene where she went above normal-level oxygen altitude, and showed her suit freezing, her falling, and then quickly as she approached the water, she rose back up. This was almost exactly like what happened with Tony Stark in the first Iron Man. Riri and Shuri later work together to make another Heart-Shaped-Herb, giving Shuri the strength and agility of the Black Panther.
“Ironheart has, at times, been part of the Young Avengers team. A much-anticipated (but yet to be announced) Young Avengers project could include her, alongside Ms. Marvel, Wanda Maximoff’s twins Speed and Wiccan, and America Chavez from Doctor Strange, among others” says TIME Magazine. I can’t wait to see Riri’s story in the upcoming Disney+ show, Ironheart.
A war spy, “Nakia is the secret weapon in Wakanda’s chest, bringing all the intel that is essential to protect them from the outer world. In the absence of the love of her life, the only thing driving her forward is the love of her country” (WION). After about a fourth of the movie, we see Queen Ramonda go to Nakia for help to find Shuri after she had been kidnapped by Namor. Nakia finds Shuri, and finally returns back to Wakanda to help fight the Talocan. At the end of the film, we see a very emotional and powerful moment: Shuri meeting her son, T’Challa, whose father was King T’Challa.
Presumably screenwriters Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole introduced little T’Challa for a reason. Will some bad guy try to expose his identity, threatening the future of Wakanda? Will he return to his homeland and begin to learn how to rule the country? If so, we can expect Nakia to be there fighting for Wakanda, herself, and her son.
As the general of the most powerful group of warriors of Wakanda, the Dora Milaje, Okoye has always fearlessly fought to protect Wakanda. After “losing” Shuri to Namor, Queen Ramonda removed Okoye as a general of the Dora Milaje, however that did not stop Okoye from fighting. Later during the final battle between the Wakandans and the Talocan, Okoye, along with Nakia, led the Dora Milaje and other Wakandan soldiers, fighting for the safety of Wakanda and the Black Panther. I cannot wait to see what else is in store for Okoye in the MCU.
I am itching to see what these powerful women do next in the Marvel Universe!
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