Black Panther’s Sister Shuri is Getting Sidelined in Marvel Comics, Too

Both the MCU and comics make the same mistake and ignore Princess Shuri, preventing her from ever becoming Marvel’s next Black Panther.

Warning: contains spoilers for Black Panther # 4!

Marvel’s Black Panther franchise is committing a cardinal sin in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel Comics: putting Princess Shuri on the sidelines while T’Challa is continually elevated and put on a pedestal. After the MCU’s Black Panther film grossed over $ 1,000,000,000 US dollars worldwide, the story of Wakanda created even more fans around the world than before. But Black Panther # 4 refuses to accept the fact that Shuri can be just as capable of a warrior as her brother, and the series is missing out.

While Shuri was not introduced in the Black Panther mythos until some time after T’Challa’s debut, the character has quickly gained a small following (and a much larger one following the release of the successful film). As is the case with her MCU counterpart, the comics version of Shuri is an undisputed genius and one of the best authorities on vibranium (and much later, shadow physics, a domain of science invented entirely by her). While T’Challa is out in the field, Shuri often stays behind in her Wakandan lab, giving her brother advice and intelligence (in a similar manner to how Oracle gives Batman real-time data on Gotham City’s surveillance network).

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Black Panther is tracking down assassins in Black Panther # 4 who may or may not be Wakandan operatives that he himself ordered to hide in places around the world. Shuri analyzes their fighting data and discovers that her brother’s suspicions are correct: they were Wakandan spies. She figures this by programming a computer to analyze what can only be called martial arts forensics. This is light-years ahead of any technology developed by the likes of Tony Stark or Reed Richards, but Shuri is still relegated to the lab.



Shuri as the Black Panther in Marvel Comics

Shuri has proven her worth as a capable fighter and warrior in both the comics and the MCU. She is not as strong as T’Challa, but that may be because she has precious little time to train while working on her brother’s latest piece of advanced technology. A mind as sharp as hers should be fighting alongside T’Challa, not placed in a tower far from any battlefield.

Later on in the issue, Shuri is almost assassinated by a bomb, but manages to shield herself. It’s entirely possible that the assassins knew exactly where Shuri would be – because the lab is where she spends nearly all of her time. With the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman in 2020, fans wonder if Shuri will assume the mantle of Black Panther in the comics as well as the MCU – but alas, Marvel seems keen on keeping the Wakandan genius out of the fight for good.


Next: Black Panther May Be King, But Wakanda’s Throne Is A Terrible Idea

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