Thursday, November 7, 2019

Review: SHURI #1


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Nnedi Okorafor
ART: Leonardo Romero
COLORS: Jordie Bellaire
LETTERS: VC's Joe Sabino
EDITOR: Wil Moss
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Akira Yoshida
COVER: Sam Spratt
VARIANT COVER ARTIST: Travis Charest; Jamal Campbell; Skottie Young; John Tyler Christopher; Carlos Pacheco; Rafael Fonteriz with Laura Martin
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (December 2018)

Rated “T”

Black Panther created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee; Shuri created by Reginald Hudlin and John Romita, Jr.; Dora Milaje created by Christopher Priest and Mark Texeira


Shuri is a Marvel Comics superhero character.  She was created by writer Reginald Hudlin and artist John Romita Jr. and first appeared in Black Panther (Vol. 4) #2 (cover dated:  May 2005).  Shuri is a princess of the (fictional) African kingdom of Wakanda and is the daughter of the late king, T'Chaka.  Shuri is best known as the sister of T'Challa, the king of Wakanda and the Black Panther.

Shuri has a genius level intellect which matches that of her brother, T’Challa, and she has also once replaced him in the role of the Black Panther.  Shuri gained additional fame when she appeared in Marvel Studio's record-setting film, Black Panther (2018), portrayed by actress, Letitia Wright.

Shuri now has her own comic book series in the obviously titled Shuri.  It is written by author Nnedi Okorafor; drawn by Leonardo Romero; colored by Jordie Bellaire; and lettered by Joe Sabino.

Shuri #1 (“Gone”) opens as Shuri directs the mission that will send Black Panther and the mutant, Manifold, into deep space on Wakanda's first human space mission (as seen in the current Black Panther series).  After a few weeks past with no contact from the mission, however, Shuri may find herself taking on an important mantle... again.

It is clear from the beginning that writer Nnedi Okorafor intends to establish Shuri as a both a personality and as a superhero outside of her relationship to T'Challa.  This book will be about Shuri's own identity, goals, motivations, desires, etc., and that is a good thing.  She is an interesting, indeed, even alluring character.

As for the art:  In Sam Spratt, Shuri has a cover artist with a bold, eye-catching style that captures the power and potential and regalia of an African woman who is full.  The interior artist and storyteller, Leonardo Romero, has become something of a Chris Samnee acolyte (if not clone).  Stylistically, Romero's illustrations here suggest a sense of wonder and discovery, as if Shuri was a child, seeing a world of possibility for the first time.  Thus, the storytelling seems a little disconcerting and disconnected to what I think Okorafor intends.

Jordie Bellaire's coloring goes right along with Romero's graphical angle.  Joe Sabino's lettering seems neutral, as if he focuses on merely efficiently finding place for the dialogue.  I am curious to see where Shuri is going, and while I have questions about this title's direction, I do recommend it to Black Panther fans.

7 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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