Shuri #1 “Gone”
Writer: Nnedi Okorafor
Artist: Leonardo Romero
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Cover Artist: Sam Spratt
Variant Cover Artists: Travis Charest; Jamal Campbell; Skottie Young; JohnTyler Christopher; Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, & Laura Martin
What you need to know
There is a lot of folks who do not know about Princess Shuri. This long-awaited series will take some time to showcase this staple character from the Black Panther mythos. Luckily, for newbies, Okorafor provides some history in the beginning and end of the book on her creation, and what’s she been up to lately. But for our purposes here, Shuri is one of, if not the most intelligent Wakandan. She is a genius, a warrior, and also a priestess and historian of the religion and past of Wakanda. As evidenced in the prequel series, Rise of the Black Panther by Evan Narcisse, she fought alongside and on the sidelines with T’Challa, creating innovative gadgets and making great technological advances for Wakandans. In T’Challa’s absence, she even has served as the Black Panther. Later, after losing her life to Thanos’ Black Order, she journeyed to the Djalia (Plane of Wakandan Memory), and absorbed all the history and secrets of the ancient African Land. The ancestors dubbed Shuri, “Ancient Future,” an amalgam of Wakanda’s past and advanced future.
I have been waiting a while for this. When I opened it up, I wasn’t sure that the art matched my expectation from the cover. The cover art is realistic and dynamic, while the art inside is more classical. However, once I advanced and focused more on the story, I was enthralled. Okorafor knows how to tell a great story. Shuri grew up in the shadow of her older brother promised to rule over Wakanda as the eldest son. Although she holds a great deal of power, Shuri is disinterested in wielding it for herself. Okorafor perfectly weaves in elements from movie Shuri with her carefree attitude and tech-savvy ways. How will her role as “Ancient Future” show up in the issues to come? That is yet to be seen, but it intrigues me in various panels where the ancestors are speaking to her. The author anticipates the questions in the end notes by saying, “My suggestion is that you quiet your expectations about how this is going to go, Shuri does what she plans to do, regardless. And she’s super smart, so have some trust.”
I will do just that. I anticipate some interesting perspectives and some new much needed background on the motivations, leadership, and adventures of Shuri.