Staking Out A New Path In Shuri #2

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
The Elephant’s Trunk, a council of influential Wakandan women, just asked Shuri to take up the mantle of Black Panther once again in the absence of T’Challa. Shuri turns the offer down, much to the chagrin and confusion of Ramonda, Shuri’s mother. However, Shuri wants to walk her own path, and she thinks Wakanda should do the same in the absence of a monarch. Later, Storm comes to visit Shuri about T’Challa and Eden’s disappearance. This turns out to be a boon, as Ramonda goes missing as well. Shuri and Storm go to the Town With No Name to seek spiritual advice in finding Ramonda.

Shuri #2 cover by Sam Spratt
Shuri #2 cover by Sam Spratt

Shuri #2 and writer Nnedi Okorafor take a bold turn in this second issue by opting to not simply make Shuri into the Black Panther again. This allows the comic to take a different turn than previous stories about Shuri, and it allows the comic to avoid becoming yet another tale of her following in her brother’s footsteps.
Unfortunately, the comic doesn’t do a whole lot. Shuri and Ororo team up, which is objectively cool. However, they only chat a bit and then go to the Town With No Name. The dialogue could have carried the issue better, but it’s pretty standard–it’s never particularly interesting, insightful, or funny.
The Town With No Name only causes Shuri to chafe against the idea of trusting spiritualism over science, which seems odd considering that Shuri is literally constantly in touch with her ancestors.
The ending is bizarre twist that seems only like a shameless opportunity to bring in some guest stars.
Shuri #2 art by Leonardo Romero, Jordie Bellaire, and letterer VC's Joe Sabino
Shuri #2 art by Leonardo Romero, Jordie Bellaire, and letterer VC’s Joe Sabino

Leonardo Romero’s artwork is still quite good. It’s that same balance of classically cartoonish comic artwork with a few drops of modern sensibility. I absolutely adore Shuri’s Midnight Angel-esque costume, and it the overall fashion of the characters is quite good. Jordie Bellaire uses a bright color palette throughout, and it imbues the book with an overall lively personality.
Shuri #2 is a decent read, if quite slow. It further seeks to give Shuri her own identity outside of T’Challa, but the story doesn’t do anything especially interesting in this issue beyond that bold decision. I can recommend it to the Shuri fan and anyone who loved the first issue, but I worry if the comic might already be stagnating. We will see with the next issue.
Shuri #2 comes to us from writer Nnedi Okorafor, artist Leonardo Romero, color artist Jordie Bellaire, letterer VC’s Joe Sabino, cover artist Sam Spratt, and variant cover artist Afua Richardson.

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