Shuri No. 5 review: Shuri, Iron Man and a black hole


Shuri calls on Iron Man for help, as a black hole threatens to swallow up everything in sight. And their ensuing team-up does not disappoint.

Shuri No. 5: “When Geniuses Unite”

Picking up from where Issue No. 4 left off, Shuri No. 5 begins with Tony Stark answering Princess Shuri’s call for help, as they try to undo the consequences of an alien attack threatening the world, together.

Credit to Marvel Comics.

This is one of the more light-hearted issues of the series so far, focusing more on the immediate threats at hand, a growing black-hole and a power-hungry madman, than on the larger themes that have been present so far in the story.

And given that it involves two the smartest and sassiest characters in the Marvel universe, it’s no surprise there is a great focus on their interplay. Tony and Shuri are seamless together, a little arrogant, but in a kind-hearted way, and constantly playful, even when the situation appears to be going south. There’s a humor and synergy to them ,which crackles with charisma and flies off the page. Tony is there to guide Shuri to the right answers he sees, and in return, Shuri’s ingenuity and sheer genius surprises and delights Tony.

In short, they are incredibly well-matched and one amazing Marvel team-up.

Credit to Marvel Comics.

For Tony and Shuri, undoing a black hole, taking down a super-powered terrorist, and saving the world is really, all in an afternoon’s, maybe an hour’s, work.

Credit to Marvel Comics.

Despite this overall focus, there is still some time for the greater arc of the story to creep in. The reader is reminded that T’Challa is still lost somewhere in space, despite everyone’s best attempts to find him, Shuri is still relying on a friend whom is an anonymous stranger on the internet, far more than she should be given she doesn’t truly know who she is talking to, and there is still the question of Wakanda being without a Black Panther to defend and protect it.

Though the first two questions go unanswered for now, the last of them seems to finally be nearing a closer conclusion.

With the pressures of her mother’s expectations, the voices of her ancestors in her head, and the advice of the Egungun collective, representing all of the countries on the continent of Africa, combined, Shuri is finally moved to do what she so sorely protested…

Credit to Marvel Comics.

… Take up the mantle of Black Panther.

Credit to Marvel Comics

But this decision creates a whole host of new questions for Shuri and the series. Is doing what is best for a country, or even a continent, more or less important than doing what is best for oneself? Is Shuri in a Black Panther suit any different, any stronger, and any more heroic than Shuri as she simply is? Should symbol and expectation be weighed more heavily than the desires of an individual?

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These are interesting questions whose answers are still unclear, but they do set up an interesting duality. Because Shuri is a woman of reason, she prizes her science and her rationality, beyond less provable factors, such as faith and belief. And yet here, it is her heart that has been preventing her from taking up the mantle up to this point, her stubborn desire to be herself. Though, reason suggests the smartest and most helpful action would be to become the Black Panther, at least for the time being. Though she always sides with science on this, the biggest question of all is whether she wants to lean towards the more ephemeral of her choices. All are observations that will surely feature in the issues to come.

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Given the largely lighthearted tone of this issue, it is incredible that so much can be packed into the quieter conversations and the subtext surrounding the big battles, a true testament to the depth of the Shuri comics and the creators of the series.

Shuri No. 5 is available now in-store and online.