WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Shuri #2 by Nnedi Okorafor, Leonardo Romero and Sam Spratt, on sale now.
In Nnedi Okorafor’s Shuri solo series, T’Challa and Manifold have been lost in space. In response, Queen Ramonda assembles the Elephant’s Trunk, a group of Wakandan women from various backgrounds, to figure out what to do with their leader missing. Their consensus is that Shuri should take up the mantle of Black Panther like she did before, but Shuri refuses.
Shuri did not have a good experience being the Black Panther in the past, so instead she focuses all her efforts on finding her brother. In Shuri #2, this includes bringing together some of his former loves -- Ororo Munroe and Ikoko -- who have drastically different approaches to finding T’Challa than Shuri.
The Loves of T’Challa
Ororo, also known as Storm of the X-Men, was married to T’Challa for a while, with their nuptials taking place in the midst of the Civil War events. However, six years later, T’Challa annulled their marriage during the Avengers vs. X-Men event because she sided with the X-Men. While they have remained divorced, it’s clear the love is still there. It’s Ororo’s idea to team up with Chief Ikoko, a Mute Zone scientist and T’Challa’s ex-girlfriend.
Ikoko’s idea is for Shuri to go to a Baobab tree, which connects Shuri and T’Challa, where Ikoko will astral project Shuri into space. Shuri, as we know, is all about technology, but she’s getting desperate to find T’Challa, so she agrees to this plan. The astral projection works, but the ancestor voices that have been Shuri’s constant companions have to leave her, leaving Shuri all alone as she whizzes through space.
Crossover in Space
Shuri quickly comes upon T’Challa’s spacecraft, but she is unable to stop. She falls Alice in Wonderland-style down a mysterious hole in space and then finds herself in Groot’s body. Outside the spacecraft’s window in the distance, we see a baobab tree with a large alien creature crouching on it. This is probably a significant detail to remember for Issue #3.
With this revelation, Okorafor has greatly expanded the Shuri series outside of Wakanda by bringing in the Guardians of the Galaxy. At the very least, we will be seeing more of Rocket and Groot. Fans of crossovers (and honestly, who isn’t?) have a lot to look forward to in the next issue. We’re definitely curious to know what connects Shuri and Groot for her to so easily inhabit his body.
Shuri now has a lot more problems to fix. Finding her brother was already difficult, and now it’ll be even more difficult because her astral form is in Groot’s body. She will need to deal with whatever conflict Rocket and Groot are in, as well as figure out a way to get back to her body or find her brother while she’s already in space.
Also, now that Shuri is seemingly trapped in space in Groot’s body, Wakanda has yet another missing leader, which could potentially throw the country into chaos. Tiwa, one of the women at the Elephant’s Trunk, briefly mentioned that Wakanda’s best bet is a “modern African democracy.” If this plays out, Shuri could be coming home to a different form of government.