WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Shuri #6 by Vita Ayala, Paul Davidson and Triona Farrell, on sale now.
Princess Shuri was the breakout character from 2018’s Black Panther film, while Miles Morales also enjoyed on-screen success in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse that same year. While Miles Morales had his own solo comic series, Shuri did not until Nnedi Okorafor’s Shuri, which, at present, has six issues. In Shuri #6, writer Vita Ayala and artist Paul Davidson took over the series for two issues and introduced two of our favorite heroes to each other.
Shuri #6 has Shuri traveling to Brooklyn because she’s tracking black holes. This problem arose because an alien who leaves behind black holes as waste product followed her back to Earth after she astral projected into space. Though her mission doesn’t go as planned, she meets Miles Morales and helps him with his own problem -- a kid who’s trying to emulate Gravitron with unstable technology that is creating black holes.
This is a pairing that people likely didn’t see coming, but it absolutely works. On the surface, they don’t appear to have much in common -- we’re comparing spider powers to science and Wakandan spirits. However, Shuri and Miles have had similar life experiences and work well together.
They both shoulder the pressures of having a successful elder brother figure in their lives. For Miles, this figure is Peter Parker, the famous Spider-Man whose shadow Miles is always under. For Shuri, this is obviously her big brother T’Challa, who was Black Panther and ruler of Wakanda before she was.
Miles struggles with being Spider-Man at multiple times in his life, including giving it up entirely for a year in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. Meanwhile, in Shuri, the Wakandans and other African rulers have to implore Shuri to take the Black Panther mantle again in T’Challa’s absence. Shuri resists, but eventually relents, just as Miles takes on his own (great) responsibility again.
Shuri and Miles both have close relationships with their families, which we see in Shuri #6 as they’re both on their respective phones. Miles lost his mother in a previous run, but she was later restored. Therefore, we know his family must be a strong motivator for him to be a hero. Miles wants to protect his family, friends and city. Likewise, Shuri has always had a strong bond with her brother and is doing whatever it takes to find him in space. This has included recruiting T’Challa’s ex-girlfriends, accidentally astral projecting herself into Groot’s body and teaming up with Tony Stark.
Miles respects Princess Shuri, and she offers the same respect back. While Miles may not have Shuri's superior scientific smarts, they make a good team because he thinks fast and is so enthusiastic to fight and solve problems. They have a quick rapport in their scenes together and do not give up, even when a black hole is threatening to swallow them whole.
This is probably indicative of how the younger heroes are generally more enthusiastic and less jaded than their older role models, hence the success of shows like Marvel Rising. There’s something appealing about watching younger heroes want to prove themselves. While Shuri and Miles have proved themselves more than once, their vibrancy is nonetheless entertaining to read. And Shuri #7 is likely going to be just as entertaining with Ms. Marvel joining Miles and Shuri.