Okoye has the first words in Black Panther: Protectors of Wakanda, and she makes sure fans know that this book is sacred for the Dora Milaje. For fans of the Marvel Comics franchise, Protectors of Wakanda will end up being a guiding text for the uncertain waters ahead. Despite their popularity, the Dora Milaje have largely functioned as the hyper-capable flank to the Black Panther of that moment in history. All of that changes with Karama Horne's text. Okoye and her sisters take center stage as the history of Wakanda comes into focus through the story of the celebrated warriors.
Horne makes sure to include a ton of voices in Protectors of Wakanda. Fans will get to see entries from all across Black Panther's history. Princess Shuri and Okoye have their own annotations around the text. Queen Ramonda also gets to inject some of her wisdom into the pages as well. If you've ever wondered what the larger structure of Wakandan military and life was like, you'll find almost every answer in this book.
Protectors of Wakanda serves as a training manual for the Dora Milaje Kanwata initiates. This is the bedrock text for every single warrior that picks up a spear for that unit. Mistress Zola founded the Dora and took great pride in helping defend their lands from all types of adversaries.
In the book, Thanos' Black Order and Namor's Atlantean siege are both mentioned. (Also of note for MCU fans would be Doctor Doom's presence in all of this as the wars for vibranium stretched o the ends of the Earth.) But, at the core, Horne's text focuses on how these women warriors provide a true backbone for everything the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda does.
Shuri's technological advancements are given a spotlight alongside the Research and Development division that outfits the fans' favorite heroes. Viewers hurting to learn a bit more about Michaela Cole's character in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be excited to hear there's a ton of information about the Midnight Angel task force in these pages as well. Even the Dora Milaje have moments where they need an elite strike force to deal with thorny encounters.
Another nugget for people trying to scratch that Wakanda Forever itch is the mention of Mimic-27. In the country, they use a piece of living vibranium for training. (MCU fans will note some similarities to other elements probing around the movies right now.) In her process Horne has left no stone unturned when it comes to the larger mythology of this storied country.
From the First Panther and King Negus to more modern day entries on King T'Challa and Shuri's time in the Panther suit, there's so much to glean. For fans looking for the entire Wakandan pantheon, The Orisha is outlined. Everything has been taken into account, from weapons, to ships, governing structures, how the Dora Milaje Academy was founded, it's all there in the text.
Horne has presented the single best resource on the Dora Milaje and Wakandan History that Marvel has printed to date. If you have any affection for Black Panther or The Adored Ones, you owe it to yourself to go out and get a copy. With Wakanda Forever on the way, this book is a great resource for reading up on everything in that corner of the Marvel world.
Black Panther: Protectors of Wakanda gets a 5 out of 5.
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