Nigerian-American afro-futurist writer, Nnedi Okorafor will write a new standalone comic book series about Black Panther’s Shuri for Marvel, she announced Thursday afternoon.
Shuri, who most will remember as the tech genius little sister of T’Challa in the Black Panther comics, will take the lead in the new series.
The new comic book set will be released in October 2018.
With T’Challa in the backseat, the new series will throw Shuri on a demanding course.
According to an official release by Marvel, the new series will throw Shuri into a demanding journey as Black Panther disappears in space.
Next in line to take the throne of Wakanda, she steps up out of her comfort zone and into a much stronger role.
The official Marvel Comics synopsis reads “Shuri is happiest in a lab, surrounded by gadgets of her own creation. She’d rather be testing gauntlets than throwing them. But a nation without a leader is a vulnerable one — and Shuri may have to choose between Wakanda’s welfare and her own.”
Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning sci-fi author, Nnedi Okoroafor, who has previously contributed to a story on Black Panther: Long Live The King, made the announcement on Twitter.
“💥Announcement: I’m writing Shuri,” Okorafor wrote on Twitter, alongside a photo of Shuri with Marvel heroes like the Hulk in the background.
Okorafor already enjoys a reputation as one of the most exciting authors in the sci-fi genre. She is known for building stories with strong female characters in neo-African settings heavy with symbolism.
One of her most acclaimed works to date, “Who Fears Death?” won the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. It is presently in the works to be an HBO drama series produced by Game of Thrones creator, George R. R. Martin.
Okorafor has also worked on other Marvel projects in the past, including an eight-page comic set in Lagos about a young girl, Ngozi, titled ‘Blessing in Disguise’ for Marvel’s Venomverse anthology.
The author explained that she loved Shuri for being a young African genius who loves technology and “has traveled spiritually so far into the past that she’s seen Wakanda before it was Wakanda,” she told Bustle magazine.
“She’s a character in the Marvel Universe who really sings to me,” she added.
Fans of the comic and its author expressed their excitement at the announcement.
Moved by the reactions from her followers, an excited Okorafor took to Twitter to appreciate the outpouring of support.
“Wow, what an overwhelming outpour of excitement. The draft for the second issue is due today. Thank you, everyone, for giving me some extra energy while I’ve been working,” she wrote on Twitter.
She also unveiled the cover art for the first issue in the series, designed by New York-based illustrator, Sam Spratt who is known for working on covers for musicians, Janelle Monae, Logic and Donald Glover.
Acclaimed Eisner Awards-nominated visual artist, Leonardo Romero will bring the writing to life and add color to the stories.
Shuri first took the big screen, courtesy of an astute performance by actress Leticia Wright in the Marvel blockbuster, Black Panther, released in February 2018.
There, she was depicted as a young, gifted princess with an affinity for gadgets who designs armor and devices for her superhero brother, T’Challa.
The Black Panther movie was one of 2018’s most successful releases, racking up more than one billion dollars in global earnings as of July 17, 2018.
The movie also whipped up a wave of pro-African sentiment for its rich depiction of a futuristic civilization on the continent.
The Smithsonian says plans for when and how the objects from “Black Panther” will be displayed are still under consideration.