Black Panther: Wakanda Forever finds Wakandan princess Shuri, Queen Ramonda, and the grieving populace of the titular nation struggling to move on in the wake of Black Panther and royal leader King T’Challa’s unexpected passing. As if contending with vibranium-hungry international governments and grief weren’t enough, Wakanda finds itself at odds with Namor, the leader of an equally secretive underwater nation known as Talokan. After a deadly attack on Wakandan soil by Namor and his army, Shuri enlists former Dora Milaje leader Okoye and her confidante Aneka to form a new class of warriors. Shuri presents them both with gold and blue vibranium battle suits and dubs them the Midnight Angels.
The pair of newly minted Midnight Angels acquit themselves exceedingly well in the final confrontation with the Talokan army, proving to be powerful additions to the Wakandan forces. But for those uninitiated to the proverbial deep cuts of Marvel lore, questions remain: Are the Midnight Angels a new invention of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? What possible impacts might the Midnight Angels have on the future of the MCU?
What Are the Origins of the Midnight Angels?
The Midnight Angels’ origins lie in the Black Panther comic books. First appearing in 2010, the Midnight Angels were initially crafted by the (very much alive) King T’Challa as an even more elite subsection of the Dora Milaje. The Black Panther forms the highly trained squad as living weapons against fan-favorite villain Dr. Doom, who is attempting to steal all of Wakanda’s most precious resource, the exceptionally rare vibranium ore, for nefarious purposes. As Dr. Doom has yet to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wakanda Forever‘s interpretation of the Midnight Angels is instead tasked with serving as a key military unit in the final battle against the Talokan army.
What Sets the Midnight Angels Apart From the Dora Milaje?
The suits worn by the Midnight Angels in Wakanda Forever are crafted from the ever-sought-after metal known as vibranium and are nearly impenetrable as a result. They also endow the wearer with the ability to fly and are stocked with several electricity-enhanced vibranium weapons (best represented on screen by the Shuri-designed shock knives Aneka wields). Combine these Iron Man-esque armored suits with the already impressive combat skills of Dora Milaje warriors like Okoye and Aneka, and the Midnight Angels cut an impressive and intimidating figure.
The Midnight Angels are extremely formidable in the fight between the Wakandan and Talokanil armies, despite the ship-bound combat being Okoye and Aneka’s first experience in the armor. With time and training in their new digs, the duo is sure to be in the same powerful ballpark as Shuri’s Black Panther, if not equal to it.
What Does the Future Hold for the Midnight Angels in the MCU?
With the announcement of an Okoye-centric Disney+ show already in the works, it’s an easy assumption that the Midnight Angels are here to stay. Wakanda Forever sees Okoye removed from her position as the head of the Dora Milaje, meaning she is no longer restricted to acting as royal bodyguard. Alongside fellow warrior Aneka, who has seemingly reneged on her Dora Milaje duties as well, the Midnight Angels will undoubtedly be tasked with more diplomatically-fraught missions than the more notorious Wakandan military unit are capable of handling in the open.
Okoye has been a standout in both Black Panther entries, and Aneka has proven to be a compelling addition to the MCU stable of characters. With the inevitable promise of the pair’s adventures set to resume with the upcoming Okoye series, it’s fair to say audiences will become extremely familiar with the Midnight Angels moving forward. Additionally, considering the Midnight Angels’ original connection to Dr. Doom in the comics and a Fantastic Four movie on the way, the two armored warriors may serve as links to the introduction of several classic Marvel characters to the MCU.
Catch the Midnight Angels in action in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, now in theaters everywhere.