Avengers: Wakanda Forever #3 Review
Chapter Three: Reflections
Writer: Nnedi Okorafor
Artist: Oleg Okunev
Colorist: Erick Arciniega
Lettered by: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover: Terry & Rachel Dodson
Variant Cover: Yasmine Putri; Vanesa R. Del Rey
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
This series reveals that the start of the issue goes back much further than it’s first issue. Christopher Priest introduces Nakia, also known as Malice, as a member of the Dora Milage was enamored with the young King T’Challa but her love was unfortunately unrequited. Her jealousy grew and she ditched the Dora and became the antagonist Malice. She had been enhanced due to taking a special drug and has resurfaced in this series emaciated and with a top secret Dora weapon, the Mimic 27. Ayo, Aneka, and Okoye give chase and they fight is taken to New York. Along the way, Spider-Man, the X-Men and now the Avengers are involved in the fray.
Last issue went deeper into the origins of Malice and this issue goes a step further and brings the past to heal the present. Kurt still provides comedy when he says, “ Why is everything from Wakanda so cool? I need to visit there again — it’s been too long.”) Yes, everything in Wakanda is cool and we all want to go there all the time. But at the same time, the turmoil that leads to Nakia’s turn and the shift in her arc, is dealt with delicate care by Okorafor. There is a lot of action and there’s a lot of exposition of the past but it is well balanced with each other. T’Challa being there and finally apologizing for contributing to Nakia’s situation going wrong is poignant and an important statement. Apologies don’t fix the past but it gives an opportunity for a better going forward. I also love the connection of two other great serieses, Priest’s introduction of Nakia back in Marvel Knights line of Black Panther and Okorafor’s Black Panther: Long Live the King
In addition, the art tells the story. Okunev perfectly captures the surprise of the audience with the shock on the faces of the three Dora, Rogue, Kurt, Storm, and even Nakia when T’Challa gets on his knees to apologize. It shifts everything. I think there few moments that can catch up to the magnificence of that one. Especially with how Aneka looks for Storm’s response. But this issue was on the whole an awesome conclusion to this short series. I think shares the strength, the loyalty, genius, and unmatched skill of the Dora, that while there are heavy hitters on the team, they still led the way. But it also shows the Marvel style of creating dynamic villains that we fear for our heroes in their throes and also humanize their perspective. Very well done. We need more of this and we need to support more stories like these.