Writer: Nnedi Okorafor / Artist: Leonardo Romero / Marvel Comics
Stormy Weather Approaching
Nah yall I just screamed reading Shuri #2. The twists, the turns, the agony! Let’s pick up where we left off. T’Challa is stranded in space (yikes). Shuri was asked to take on the roll of The Black Panther till her brother returns. Now, Shuri is like nah, I am not taking up the role of Black Panther, not again. (rightfully so because chile ain’t nobody can finesse like Shuri). Problem is Shuri is more of the logical thinker, who likes to use science to backup her claims and push forward. Whereas the basis of The Black Panther is using the ancestors as an inspiration towards making the best decisions for the people of Wakanda. The “spiritual” versus the “logical”. Which is more legit? What kind of balance is necessary in order to propel forward and get the best results? Shuri #2 frustrates the reader then challenges their dependencies.
This week I reaffirms that womanhood is inherently spiritual and often finds luster in the entities that stereotypes don’t associate with it. Shuri is a never ending ball of ideas. What will it take for her to use that strength and channel it with her connection to the ancestors? Conveniently an opportunity presents itself for her to strengthen these bonds, but attachment to habits and processes often shuns opportunity for growth. I love that Okorafor notices that strength is not always attached to “being the best”. It often comes with learning dependency. This unlimited series is not what I thought it would be. This Shuri series is about relearning black womanhood. Being forced to working three times harder than those around you and still not having all that is necessary to achieve a goal? Shuri taught me that I haven’t lost a thing learning from other people.
This collaboration with Romero is genuinely bringing me all the joy. I observed in the previous series how the art style resembles hieroglyphs. The sharpness and intent in every stroke? It still gets to me y’all. Now in this issue, while keeping that base can we talk about how the ancestors are drawn right quick? In this discussion about spirituality, I love how the ancestors are easily distinguishable. They are meant to be seen as a light, a form of guidance. Even in Shuri’s sly remarks towards their commentary they do not dim out. Rather they retain form and overtime become more distinguishable from the scenery. The spirituality that Shuri’s peers are trying so hard to get her in tuned with, essentially follows her everywhere. The balance she needs to obtain is essentially a part of her but is not coming to terms with it. Imagine? The main aspect of yourself you need to pay attention to is the brightest thing in the room?
Okorafor and Romero cultivated a beautiful partnership that extends into this Wakandan paradise. By using ancestral practices as a foreground to pushing the craft forward, it not only opens up opportunities for historical appreciation but a new profound understanding of where it can take us.
9.3 Baobab Trees out of 10
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