The final core member of the Dora Milaje that we’ll be seeing in Black Panther is the first one we ever met in the MCU. Portrayed by Florence Kasumba, Ayo previously appeared in a memorable scene in Civil War where she humbly requests that Black Widow move out of T’Challa’s way. More than Nakia and Okoye, we see her in action during the trailer, teasing her key role.
In the comics, Ayo is one of the newest characters to make the jump to the MCU. Appearing in last year’s Ultimates #1, she just barely made the cut for inclusion in Civil War. More than Okoye or Nakia, she’s played a key role in recent events in Black Panther comics. The story started by Ta-Nehisi Coates introduced her as a renegade to the cause, choosing to defy the crown to free her love Aneka. Together, they become the Midnight Angels, an avenging force for the downtrodden in Wakanda. Whether we’ll see these sides of her in the MCU is unknown, but Ayo clearly has a big future in the world of the films.
Daniel Kaluuya’s W’Kabi gets the least amount of screentime in the Black Panther trailer, but his role will likely be significant. Glimpsed in the background a few times, his most prominent moment is escorting Killmonger into the throne room. Though he’s never had a major role in the comics, he’s long existed alongside T’Challa.
Debuting in 1969’s Avengers #62, W’Kabi is one of T’Challa’s most loyal allies. Equipped with a bionic arm, he’s a fierce and powerful warrior. Along with Zuri, W’Kabi perishes in the comics defending T’Challa. Hopefully, the same won’t occur in the first movie as Kaluuya’s work in Get Out has many anxious to see him in the MCU. One thing from the comics that is likely to carry over, however, is W’Kabi’s distaste for Ross.
Appearing towards the end of the trailer, Shuri is the sister to T’Challa and the next in line for the throne. Like her brother, she’s a gifted warrior and actor Letitia Wright looks like she’ll get more than enough chances to get physical. In the short scenes featuring her, we see Shuri wielding some panther-shaped hand cannons, teasing her mastery of technology.
In the comics, Shuri didn’t arrive until Reginald Hudlin and John Romita, Jr. kicked off their Black Panther run. Debuting in issue #2 in 2005, Shuri eventually took over as the Black Panther following T’Challa leaving his post. She served in the role for some time, even ruling Wakanda as its queen. Eventually, she and her brother both share the mantle, though the period is rife with conflict in their nation. We’re unlikely to see Wright don a version of Boseman’s costume anytime soon, but we certainly expect to see Shuri become the Panther eventually.
Getting about as much screentime as M’Kabi in the trailer is Angela Bassett’s Ramonda. Like in the comics, she’s known for her striking white locks and fierce nature.
Debuting in 1989’s Marvel Comics Presents #14, she’s the second wife of King T’Chaka and the step-mother of T’Challa. Upon becoming the new Queen of Wakanda, she births future Black Panther Shuri while continuing to assist in ruling. After T’Challa ascends to the throne, he continues relying on Ramonda as one of his most trusted advisors and one of the core group of Wakandans who help with the day-to-day rule of the nation.
M'Baku / Man-Ape
Shortly after we meet Ramonda, we see the final new character in the trailer. Leading the Jabari mountain clan, Winston Duke stands tall as M’Baku in a scene of him holding up another man by the neck. Black Panther will see a number of local factions vying for power in the new film, with T’Challa forced to attempt a reunification of his kingdom, and M’Baku’s tribe will be one of the fiercest.
In the comics, M’Baku is better known as Man-Ape, thanks to his ostentatious full-body costume made up to look like an albino gorilla. First appearing in 1969’s Avengers #62, Man-Ape is one of Black Panther’s oldest foes. With his incredible strength and durability, he’s nothing short of a challenge for the superhero. While his full comic book backstory and power set may not be on display in Black Panther, he’ll certainly be giving T’Challa one more issue to deal with as he tries to rule his fracturing nation.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) release date: Jul 07, 2017
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019