Shuri No. 4 review: Space invaders, forced identities and Stark


In the fourth issue of the Shuri comic, the conflict of Shuri’s identities continues to play out, with her people’s expectations pulling one way and her own another. There’s not much time for her to dwell though, as an alien insect monster descends upon Wakanda, leaving Shuri to call on some familiar faces.

Having safely returned from her space adventure with Rocket and Groot, Shuri is faced with a whole new set of problems with both feet on the ground.

Firstly, for some reason, she has been rendered unable to access the powers of her ancestors, a blip which she writes off, but may very well be an indicator of a greater disturbance in the balance of forces that live within Shuri.

Credit to Marvel Comics

Her ancestral guides attempt to warn her that all may not be as simple as it appears, before vanishing quite suddenly, but ever stubborn, Shuri focuses more on the concrete problems before her, than problems of her spirit.

Although Shuri was able to astral project, and although she has gifts that transcend science, the setbacks of her latest journey have her returning to where she began, turning away from “mystical mumbo jumbo” to inventions, technology, and understandings she can wrap her mind around.

Credit to Marvel Comics

Fortunately for the princess, at least her mother has been located, or perhaps that is, unfortunately, because against Shuri’s wishes, Queen Ramonda promises a delegation of individuals called the “Egungun” that Shuri will take up the mantle of Black Panther, forcing her daughter’s hand in the matter.

The Egungun is a pan-African Alliance with which T’Challa was working with before his disappearance, facilitating the two-way flow of resources and information between Wakanda and the rest of Africa and helping to open the door between his country and all of those surrounding it.

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It is incredibly interesting to see how isolationist Wakanda still is in these issues, though with clear strides made by King T’Challa to reverse this truth, supported by his mother. For other players in the story, such as General Okoye, this is a less than desirable pursuit, preferring Wakanda stayed closed to those around them. Most fascinating of all, however, is that Shuri does not seem to share much of a perspective with neither her relatives nor her guard, preferring to avoid political thinking altogether.  A continued mark of how she sorely does not wish to take on the mantles being thrust upon her.

And yet, it seems unless T’Challa finds his way back from wherever he is lost, she may not have a choice.

Credit to Marvel Comics.

Queen Ramonda seems certain that without a Black Panther to serve as guardian of the land, Wakanda will fall vulnerable to those around it. In a sense, this sends Shuri a message that her mother does not believe that she alone is enough to defend her nation, without the symbolic weight the Black Panther imbues.

But as the pages unfold and Shuri launches into action, taking on the Lubber (giant alien insect monster) that has followed her home alongside Storm and Okoye, we see her being quite capable in her own right, Black Panther suit and claws, or not.

Credit to Marvel Comics

But the Lubber seems to have an unfortunate habit of disappearing, leaving destructive black holes in its wake, and Shuri thinks she could use just a touch of back up on the science front…

Credit to Marvel Comics.

The two smartest (and sassiest) characters in the Marvel Universe teaming up? If anyone can remind Shuri where loyalties truly lie in the spirit vs. science spectrum, it’s one Tony Stark.

What an incredible meeting of the minds this will be, as incredible as that Captain America mug, at least.

Only the next issue will tell how this one will go.

Next. Representation, heart, phenomenon: Black Panther should win Best Picture at the Oscars. dark

Shuri No. 4 is available now in-store and online. Make sure to look out for more on February 20th.