SHURI #1 BY NNEDI OKORAFOR, LEONARDO ROMERO, JORDIE BELLAIRE
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
In SHURI #1, Black Panther has disappeared, lost on a mission in space. And in his absence, everyone's looking at the next in line for the throne. But Shuri is happiest in a lab, surrounded by gadgets of her own creation. Will she look within to see her true potential?
100 %
Great build up for cool things to come
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With great power comes vibranium wings? In SHURI #1, King T’Challa has been missing, lost in space for two weeks. In his absence, Wakanda has been without a leader. Nigerian comic writer Nnedi Okorafor along with Eisner nominated artist Leonardo Romero have put together a noteworthy story about a woman discovering her worth, true purpose, and more importantly, herself.

Shuri #1
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Shuri #1 takes the stubbornness, humor, and intellect of the beloved character from the Black Panther film and helps expand upon another character from Wakanda. This issue feels like it picks up where the movie left off and does a great job showing you her personality. Furthermore, it shows you her strengths, empathy for others, and the will to do what’s right. In other words, it gives you a bunch of qualified reasons why Shuri makes for a great hero. If you’re looking for a new series to get into, SHURI #1 is definitely one you’ll want to check out.

SHURI #1

SHURI #1 from the first page picks the story up and runs with it. During the first few panels, it gives us a quick backstory on Shuri. For instance, it briefly talks about how as Shuri watched her brother rule Wakanda as the Black Panther, while she was developing her own skills including creating weapons and gadgets made out of vibranium for the country. Even more, there’s an interesting element that is brought up about Shuri’s spirit abilities she received from the Wakandan ancestors. It’ll be interesting to see how these abilities manifest through the series.

Shuri #1
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

SHURI #1 is a good example of the potential that sometimes others see in us that we don’t often see within ourselves. If you take a deeper look it’s the story of a younger sibling coming into her own. Shuri is the brains behind a lot of tech and weaponry often used by T’Challa. This story gives Shuri a chance to step out of her brother’s shadow and become her own person. While it is a book that has to do with the Black Panther it does an excellent job of highlighting Shuri.

Nnedi Okorafor

If you liked Shuri in the Black Panther movie, you’ll continue to love her in SHURI #1. Nnedi Okorafor finds the perfect blend of humor, wits, and charisma to breathe life into the character that made her a break out star in the film. There are very few superhero stories often told with a strong, smart, and powerful female protagonist. There are even less with women of color. Okorafor strives to bring more stories like Shuri to life to fill that void. I can’t wait to see what else Okorafor has in store for Shuri’s character.

Her authentic vision of African heritage and storytelling helps bring a high-quality element to the table. Because of her experience with telling stories involving characters and events set in Africa she adds her unique blend of real-world experiences to every story.

What Shuri Stands For

SHURI #1 continues to acknowledge the strides that diversity is making within the comics industry. First, it gives a voice for not just people of color but other minorities whether it be Asian, Indian, Hispanic, etc who may not often see themselves depicted in comic storylines. Second, it stands for feminism and uplifting the message that women are born leaders just like men. Third, books like SHURI #1 keep the culture moving forward by continuously telling stories about people from different cultural backgrounds. Stories like SHURI #1 inspire young women to believe in themselves and teach them to take risks in life.

shuri #1
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Art

Romero’s work on SHURI #1 feels flawless and fun. Also, I liked his earlier work on Old Man Hawkeye so it wasn’t hard to convince me to read this book once I found out he was doing the art. What I like most about his artwork is that it coincides perfectly with the character. Romero brings Shuri to life from her distinctive outfits to the great background architecture of Wakanda with his daring and often joyful panels.  His pages tell a story easily without dialogue. One of my favorite visual moments is a flashback segment involving Shuri and T’Challa. The use of colors by colorist Jordie Bellaire are breathtaking.

shuri #1
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Final Thoughts

SHURI #1 is a fantastic start to a new series that I predict will be an instant fan favorite. The first issue does a good job at setting up the path to Shuri ultimately becoming the Black Panther again. Also, it’s a good inspirational comic that has impeccable timing with bringing powerful female-driven characters to life. In addition, this shows future generations of women they are strongly independent and don’t need men to be effective leaders in society. I’m excited to see what kind of a journey this series takes Shuri on.

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