I Have Strong Shoulders (Shuri #10 Comic Review)
Writer: Nnedi Okorafor
Artist: Rachel Stott
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Color Artist: Carlos Lopez
Cover Artist: Kirbi Fagan
Previously on Shuri…
The Princess Shuri agreed to take on the mantle of Black Panther to protect Wakanda as her Brother and Father before her. T’Challa is still absent and the giant space bug is wreaking havoc but has now taken it to Djalia the home of Wakandan memory. Shuri had been dealing with some issues with her Ancient Future powers, primarily because some of the memories were missing. We know that is due to them visiting T’Challa in Black Panther #12 (see my review here). She finally meets her online friend Muti (a mutant hacker) and she takes him along as she faces the Space Lubber in Djalia.
It is with joy and sadness that I deliver this review of what appears to be the final issue of Shuri. No final word on that according to Newsarama which reports that Dr. Okorafor has left the book. I have clamored for this book to exist when I started reviewing Black Panther and adjacent books a year and a half ago and when it arrived I was ecstatic. This issue culminates a great arc that takes on some solid adventures with Princess Shuri. The book has been fun and the art perfectly reflects that light airy fun in this issue. I have also loved the design and the color scheme. The story beats in this issue are a delight. Okorafor brings back the Ancient Future powers in perfect timing. In order to win out in the end, it was a strong connection to the past of Wakanda is what was necessary. I think it is important as well that there is a bridge between Shuri and the future return of T’Challa which is established. One of my favorite parts is when Shuri calls upon the power of Wakandan strongman Mgwazeni and beats the space bug like he stole something. This is what I have been waiting for since it was introduced. It’s like Okorafor is speaking for the audience when Shuri says, “I am so sick of you!” Okorafor was the perfect person to write this book and ends it perfectly. Any book that ends with a party (drumming circle), an invention, and a meeting to unite Africa is an African-futurist win. The only problem I have is that the fun is over.
Summary Unfortunately, it looks to be we are at the end of Shuri. But the fun is not over yet. With the contest to take place in Djalia, the home of Wakandan memory, it’s about to go down. The space bug that has been wreaking havoc on earth, across Africa, and in Wakanda, has taken to consuming Wakandan memories. Accompanied by her online friend, the mutant hacker Muti, Princess Shuri is going head up with the Space Lubber in the final showdown. How will this battle end? What are the next steps for the Princess and how does this connect with the future of the Black Panther mantle? Take a moment and pick up Shuri #10 in your favorite comic location now.