The Midnight Angels story that could have been in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

If you are one of the millions of people who have seen Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opening weekend, then you’ve probably noticed some members of the Dora Milaje appearing in enhanced blue-feathered amphibious gear. In the Black Panther sequel, Shuri built the “Midnight Angel” armor for “the new army”, and the events of the film saw Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Aneka (Michaela Coel) don the high-tech gear first. The unique design, translated to the screen by Academy Award-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter, was taken straight from the comics and was designed by award-winning comic book artist Brian Stelfreeze.

However, the Midnight Angels existed long before Black Panther debuted in the MCU. The first time the Midnight Angels appeared in Marvel comics, they were hanging out with Deadpool.

Who are the Dora Milajes?

The Dora Milaje are bald, tattooed, spear-wielding female warriors who serve as the Black Panther’s personal security force. They also lead the Wakandan army and protect the royal family. Created by writer Christopher Priest and artist Mark Texeira in Black Panther Vol. 3 #1 in 1998, these women have been an integral part of the Black Panther comics ever since. But the Midnight Angels didn’t appear in the comics until over a decade later.


Credit: Marvel (screenshot)

Introduced in Johnathan Maberry’s 2010 “Doomwar” arc, the Midnight Angels were a special wetworks team within the Dora that T’Challa created to infiltrate and sabotage Victor Von Doom’s defenses after the Latvian leader attacked Wakanda and fled with all the vibranium in the country. reservations.

This early version of the Midnight Angels combined technology with spiritual weaponry and easily adapted to almost any situation they faced. They even battled Vibranium Armed Doombots using shadow particle laced weapons. Their first mission also saw them team up with Deadpool (as his mutant powers of regeneration and resurrection would come in handy in infiltrating Dr. Doom’s defenses). Unsurprisingly, Deadpool was instantly smitten with the angels and did whatever they asked him to do.

The evolution of the Midnight Angels

In 2016, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Stelfreeze revived the Midnight Angels in Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet. T’Challa returns to Wakanda as king in this story to lead a disillusioned and fractured nation. Princess Shuri is in a coma after a battle with Thanos’ army, and their mother, Queen Ramonda, rules in her place.

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Aneka, former chief of the Dora Milaje, was arrested by Queen Ramonda for killing a chief who attacked women and girls in his village and allowing his men to do the same. Countrywoman Dora Ayo defends Aneka’s actions and pleads with the Queen for her release. However, Queen Ramonda argues that Aneka must face death to atone for her deeds. Having lost faith in the monarchy for having the Wakandans’ best interests at heart, Aneka steals the Midnight Angels’ prototype armor gear and breaks Ayo, who is both her sister lance and her lover, out of prison.

Together, the pair led part of a rebellion that forever changed Wakanda’s history. Not only did Ayo and Aneka restore order to many parts of the country using their Midnight Angels gear, but they convinced other Doras to join their ranks. A resurrected Shuri eventually persuaded the Midnight Angels to raise their weapons alongside T’Challa to protect Wakanda again. However, the Midnight Angels and their mantra, “No one man” played a vital role in creating Wakanda’s first-ever constitutional monarchy.

Angels are reborn in wakanda forever

I may be a bit biased (since I wrote a book on the Dora Milaje), but I think the Midnight Angels could have used a little more screen time in wakanda forever. For example, their armor is teased in Shuri’s lab for most of the film, but we don’t see it in action until the fourth act, near the end of the Wakandan/Talokan fight at sea.

Michaela Coel as Aneka in the Midnight Angels costume, a black woman with a shaved head wearing bright blue armor.


Credit: Marvel (screenshot)

Also, Ayo and Aneka’s comic book story would have been an interesting side arc to continue in. wakanda forever, mainly because it was based on the vulnerability of Wakanda after the fall of one of its leaders. If the angels had been introduced earlier, we also could have seen them helping the people of Wakanda and fighting Namor more effectively when he attacked.

In the film, it was Okoye, rather than Ayo (Florence Kasumba), who flew alongside Aneka to help in the fight against the Talokani. However, it would have been nice to see more of Ayo and Aneka’s relationship (as they’re one of the few canon queer couples featured in the MCU). In the film, their relationship is only briefly acknowledged between the characters in a post-battle scene.

Of course, like Riri Williams’ Ironheart gear, the Midnight Angels weren’t the primary focus of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and so their brief screen time might have been by design. And since a The Wakanda-related Disney+ series is already in the works with Danai Gurira as Okoye, the Midnight Angels could play a larger role there.

The icing on the Disney+ cake would be if Deadpool made a guest appearance.

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