Roxane Gay’s New 'World of Wakanda' Will Break Your Heart

Marvel/The Walt Disney Company

Roxane Gay’s Marvel comics debut is a tear-jerking love story for the ages, encapsulating all the emotion, romance, tragedy, and fearsome intelligence of Black Panther’s Wakandan civilization.

Gay’s Black Panther: World of Wakanda will follow the story of two Midnight Angels, Ayo and Aneka, when they were first recruited to join the Dora Milaje, the elite fighting force that protects the Crown of Wakanda. She’s writing alongside Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Alitha E. Martinez, and Marvel has promised that the emotion of the story will be “matched only by its brutality.”

As a whole, the series will explore the lives of the Wakandan people, citizens of the most technologically rich nation in the Marvel world that also happens to be the main source of Vibranium, the most versatile metal in existence.

The Midnight Angels, the most elite members of the Dora Milaje, were introduced when they were recruited by King T’Challa (Black Panther) to assist Deadpool in retrieving stolen Wakandan Vibranium from Dr. Doom in Marvel’s Earth-616. Ayo and Aneka were the two main members of the Midnight Angels at the time. Now, we get their backstory.

Below is a sneak preview of the series.

Stelfreeze variant coverMarvel/The Walt Disney Company

There are a total of three variant covers to go along with the series. The first is the “Stelfreeze variant,” a cool watercolor of Ayo and Aneka in full armor leading a group of warriors, overlaid on a beautiful portrait of a woman we assume is one of the two.

50th Anniversary variant coverMarvel/The Walt Disney Company

The “50th Anniversary variant” cover celebrates the 50th anniversary of Black Panther with a fierce and colorful art piece featuring a character decked out in the classic Black Panther armor.

Divided We Stand variant coverMarvel/The Walt Disney Company

Lastly (as far as variant covers go) is the “Divided We Stand” variant cover as a nod to Marvel’s latest mantra, featuring, again, cool colors and a female warrior facing away from Black Panther.

Marvel/The Walt Disney Company

We also get a look at some of the panels in the first issue. Here we see a group of women (possibly) training or trying out for the Dora Milaje. They seem equally fierce and confident, and we’re all about it.

Marvel/The Walt Disney Company

Next up are several panels of the warriors (including Ayo and Aneka) capturing a villainous figure in a broken down part of a city.

Marvel/The Walt Disney Company

Here it’s revealed that one of the characters is, possibly, one of the last remaining survivors of her family. Before she can be executed like them, though, she uses (possibly) latent abilities to save herself and end her captors.

Marvel/The Walt Disney Company

And, finally, we get what we assume is a flashback for the character who saved herself in the last panel. While running from the scene, she recalls running through the same place in her childhood.

Marvel/The Walt Disney Company

We also get to see on of Marvel’s classic action figure covers!

Be on the lookout for Black Panther: World of Wakanda #1 on November 9.

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