Tough Like a Girl #44 – Shuri: The Search for Black Panther

Lis and Nathaniel take a look at a solo volume of Lis’ favorite Disney Princess!

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4 responses to “Tough Like a Girl #44 – Shuri: The Search for Black Panther

  1. I feel like this book and the current direction of the Black Panther comic are in one part designed as a soft reboot to bring characters more in line with the direction of their cinematic universe counterpart. What’s that? Sounds crazy, you say? No, it’s happened before, trust me!

    Shuri was killed off in the comics, I believe in the INFINITY event of 2013 or 14. When Marvel Comics realized the character was going to have some prominence in the 2018 movie, they decided to resurrect her in the new BP title written by Ta-Nahesi Coates. However, either Coates and Ryan Coogler never talked about the character or it never occurred to them to line them up, because when Coates brought Shuri back from the dead, she came with thousands of years of Wakanda spiritual and mystical history and power. She was very much a magic-based superhero in the comics, able to tap into her mystical bloodline and adopt the superpowers of heroic Wakanda women from past centuries and millennia.

    And in the movie, she’s a sassy tech genius. Okay, well, you do your own thing, Marvel Comics was probably thinking, except for the fact that 300 billion people saw the movie and fell in love with that version of Shuri, and the little (and not-so-little) girls who wanted to see more of her would find the Shuri in Marvel comics completely unrecognizable and impenetrable.

    So, last year, the BLACK PANTHER series is relaunched yet again (still written by Ta-Nahesi Coates) but the series puts T’Challa in a completely different environment: The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda. Familiar names, but wholly unfamiliar environment. Meanwhile, taking T’Challa off the board gives Marvel the chance to undo what they just did with Shuri six months earlier; making her the super genius of Wakanda in a series that feels a bit like its own continuity but can easily be slotted into the timeline once T’Challa comes back to Earth. It’s all a means to hide the big neon arrow pointing to the glaring inconsistency between pre-movie Shuri and current fan-favorite princess.

    Also, Moses Magnum is a longtime utility villain for Marvel who has gone up against Spider-Man, Luke Cage, and the X-Men.

  2. I’d love to introduce my daughter to Shuri in the comic books, but it sounds like this story might not be the best jumping on point for the character. Still, I enjoyed your coverage of this book.

    Now that I think of it, I’m not sure my daughter has seen the Black Panther movie. I know my wife and I offered to let her watch it with us, but I don’t remember if she took us up on it. I guess I’ll have to ask her about that at dinner tonight.

    1. Nope. My daughter did not watch Black Panther with us. I tried to remedy that this weekend, but Goose won out over Shuri, and we watched Captain Marvel instead. Maybe next weekend.

  3. Well, we had identical experiences reading this series, N&L. I haven’t read the latest Black Panther volumes, so I knew none of the other references. My inclination is to just roll with it, from the childhood of comics on spinner racks, getting new comics cold, and missing plenty of issues along the way. My training has served me well. 😉

    It was a fine lark of a story, definitely converting comics-Shuri into movie-Shuri, which honestly is a good move. This is a character that really can speak to an underrepresented group of readers. I don’t know if this series is the best way to do that. I’d rather they give Shuri a story that’s all her own, not overly tied to continuity, just a great sci-fi adventure. Because I did like her as a character here.

    But back to this series, I also agree the artwork didn’t click for me. It felt similar in style to David Aja or Chris Samnee, but those thick inks hold it back from being as dynamic. So just meh.

    Things I did like: wings in a can, equation talk with her bud Tony, hanging with Storm, and her outfit. I mean really, that’s some gorgeous colorful stuff she wears.

    That’ll about do it for this episode. Ooo, I just remembered 2 things. My daughters just received Volume 6 of Cleopatra In Space this week, and I still need to steal-I-mean-borrow it. And the Cleo In Space animated series is supposedly on NBC’s streaming service, so I’ll need to devote some time checking that out. (Word on the street is the service’s 1-week trial is long enough to watch the whole thing. Shh, podcast secrets.)

    Thanks again, my punchers.

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