“A Friend in Need part #2”
Writer: Vita Ayala
Artist: Paul Davidson
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Color Artist: Triona Farrell
Cover Artist: Kirsi Fagan
Previously on Shuri…
On her search for her brother lost in space, Shuri falls into a slight detour. She is followed by a huge alien bug called a Space Lubber, who loves Aretha Franklin. As Shuri follows the black hole energy to see if she can find the Lubber, she comes across Spider-Man and a young bank robber Collision. The high schooler wields a pair of unstable gravitational gloves that attract the villain Graviton. Oh, did I mention Ms. Marvel comes along to play as well?
Well yes, she does and now it’s a party.
Guest author, Vita Ayala takes on a two-part Shuri side story to give Nnedi a break. This is a fun and interesting story that really comes to life in the final and second part in Shuri #7. In this issue, we get the backstory of what might have been just a throwaway villain, Augustin Torres aka Collision.
Torres happens to be a friend of Miles Morales and he has a tough life. Stories that have complicated characters make me very happy. Villains are not made from some inherent evil, and I actually use it very loosely for this character, but from living through difficult circumstances to an extreme. I think it might be because of my life and the experiences I know of from close friends but this was real to me. Loss and lack of options make for hard choices. How many geniuses have been shrouded under the weighty shadow of poverty? How many inventions has our society missed out on because someone wasn’t born in the right neighborhood, with the right name and the right networks? Ayala really paints that picture at the front end of the story. I was hooked in.
The story is not necessarily about Shuri but she attacks the issue head-on. The tone does shift significantly as Miles, Ms. Marvel, Shuri, and Torres face off against Graviton but it is not jarring. I loved the Jersey joke from Miles and quipping. The grumpy old man attitude of Graviton contrasted with the youth of the heroes is delightful. I also loved how Shuri comes in and saves the day and turn his whole life around. The art tells the story really well. Davidson pencils an emotive and exciting spread. I think it really hit the mark for a short and sweet story, wrapped up in a nice bow. Sometimes we need that but onward to find T’Challa.