BLACK VOICES
03/19/2018 03:24 pm ET

‘Black Panther’ Female Warriors Take Center Stage In New Spinoff

The Dora Milaje will kick butt with Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Avengers in the comic series.

Some “Grace Jones-looking chicks” are about to take a bite out of the Big Apple.

Marvel announced Friday that the Dora Milaje, AKA the badass female warriors from “Black Panther,” are getting a new comic miniseries, starting with the book Wakanda Forever: The Amazing Spider-Man.

Wakanda Forever: The Amazing Spider-Man
Marvel
Wakanda Forever: The Amazing Spider-Man

The comic, which will be released in June, will be followed up with Wakanda Forever: X-Men in July and Wakanda Forever: Avengers! in August.

Author Nnedi Okorafor is writing the three-issue miniseries that begins with Okoye, Ayo and Aneka on a mission to New York City in which they team up with Peter Parker.

“Typically when you see them, they’re with T’Challa, representing and protecting him,” Okorafor told Vogue of the soldiers, who have become fan favorites since the film “Black Panther” premiered in February. “Now you’re going to see the Dora Miljae for the first time as an independent entity; they’re not under the shadow of the throne.”

Okorafor is a Hugo and Nebula award-winning author whose fantasy and sci-fi works are inspired by Nigerian folklore and explore Afro-futurism.

“I like to write the future; the Africa I feel can be and the Africa that will be, that has always been my vision,” she told Vogue.

This is not the first time the Dora Milaje has gotten its own Marvel spinoff, however. Black Panther: World of Wakanda, written by New York Times best-selling author Roxane Gay, was cancelled after only six issues in 2017 — just a few days after the trailer for the “Black Panther” film was released.

Gay’s spinoff followed warriors Aneka and Ayo as they lead a revolt against women’s oppression and the Wakanda monarchy, according to The Root. Aneka and Ayo were also characterized as very out and open lesbians.

In the film, Ayo (Florence Kasumba) plays a minor role and no details about her sexuality are showcased.

An earlier version of the movie reportedly had a scene in which Ayo flirts with Okoye (Danai Gurira) — though Marvel has said that their relationship was never supposed to be interpreted as romantic. Kasumba has said the scene was filmed, but does not know why it was cut.

She told Vulture in February that she suspects that the scene was taken out due to time restraints — but said she’d “love to” see Ayo’s sexuality get fleshed out more in future films.

So, it will be interesting to see how Ayo’s characterization develops in “Black Panther” movie sequels and in Okorafor’s comic series.

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