This week the Shuri series comes to a full stop as the trade paperback hits comic shops. Collecting the final issues #6 through #10, Shuri teams up with Miles Morales and Ms. Marvel and gains the aid of Storm to fight a space bug that loves music.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
At long last, Shuri faces her destiny! With her brother gone and Wakanda in peril, the Black Panther is needed-and Shuri must step up once again to fill the void. But the Princess of Wakanda is more than any mask – and she’s about to face a threat unlike any her home has seen before! When it appears that an enemy of Wakanda has left a signature behind in America, Shuri heads overseas to investigate. But she’s not the only hero on the case. With New York City and New Jersey on the line, there’s no way that Miles “Spider-Man” Morales and Kamala “Ms. Marvel” Khan are sitting this one out! Prepare for a high-tech, star-studded adventure as only Shuri can serve up!
Why does this matter?
This series sprouted from the huge popularity of Shuri in Avengers: Infinity War and Nnedi Okorafor has done a good porting the movie version into this comic book version. Along the way, Shuri has done her super-smart tech thing while also becoming Black Panther (something we’ve all wanted for ages). In this finale, Okorafor and Rachael Stott close out the series with a little help from Vita Ayala and Paul Davidson who offer up a team-up two-parter. That’s a nice chunk of storytelling to envy.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The first two issues to open this collection feature Shuri attempting to close out black holes that are popping up in New York. Enter Spider-Man, who just so happens to be fighting the villain who can bring black holes into existence. This story is a fun team-up that introduces a new classmate of Miles who is a smart science geek, but has a father who influenced him to become a criminal. It’s fun to see Shuri interact with these other younger heroes while also reminding us Shuri is probably more seasoned than both of them. The story has just enough connection to the alien Shuri has been attempting to stop, so that it makes sense to the bigger story.
The last three issues are by Okorafor and Rachel Stott following Shuri as she has been crowned the Black Panther. With the help of Storm, they attempt to protect a girl named Mansa who has a connection to the Space Lubber. This chunk of storytelling closes out the alien storyline well, explaining what it was after all along and once learning that Shuri makes peace with the alien. There’s a nice connection to music and tranquility that suits Shuri and the Wakandian culture.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The team-up chunk of storytelling may connect in a distant way to the Space Lubber, but it still reads like filler issues that are off track from the bigger story. I wasn’t a huge fan of the art which can be very expressive and hyper-realistic with faces, but also cartoonish in an inconsistent way. Some of the characters can come off as caricatures.
The last few issues probably could have wrapped up sooner. Each issue has the characters zipping here and there only to learn the threat isn’t a true threat at all. At one point Shuri shouts “We let it get away again!?” which is a sentiment you’ll feel with the story in general. It reads like it’s biding its time rather than telling a purposeful story every page of the way.
Is it good?
A good finish to Marvel’s attempt at making Shuri a much bigger character than ever thanks to Avengers: Infinity War. It’s pretty clear the characterization was spot on, but overall the story itself isn’t purposeful enough, meandering rather than telling a succinct and interesting story.