November 2, 2016


Roxane Gay's 'Black Panther' Spinoff Comic Inspired by 'Scandal,' 'La Femme Nikita'


Over the summer, Marvel announced that a new comic, World of Wakanda, would emerge out of the rebooted Black Panther run launched by Ta-Nehisi Coates in April. It was noted for being the company's first project authored by black women, with Roxane Gay, Purdue University professor and author of the essay collection Bad Feminist, and Yona Harvey, University of Pittsburgh professor and author of the poetry collection Hemming the Water, at the helm.

World of Wakanda #1 drops next Wednesday, Nov. 9, and Gay has given Entertainment Weekly an early idea of what to expect. "I have definitely thought a lot about Olivia Pope in Season 1 of Scandal and the original USA [Network] version of La Femme Nikita," she says of her non-comics influences. Of writing two female characters, Ayo and Aneka, in a romantic relationship, Gay said, "I was just so excited to write black queer women into the Marvel Universe, and to write women who are lethal? That’s even better."

EW says World of Wakanda focuses on "the Dora Milaje, the Wakandan royal family’s elite all-women fighting guard" and "female revolutionary Zenzi, who fights for her country’s rights." Gay explains her approach to the mythology:

“Historically, the Dora Milaje have served the Black Panther loyally and without question. But because of a series of events that culminate in the current arc of Black Panther, the Dora Milaje are questioning their loyalty and their mission. World of Wakanda looks at how this evolution rises.”

Gay's comics intake has risen since starting on World of Wakanda; she's a fan of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga and Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze's Black Panther, "of course." Next up is Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's Sex Criminals.

Next, visit New York Comic Con 2016 with Fuse: