In the highly anticipated upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe entry Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever, Michaela Coel plays the role of Aneka, and was initially a member of the Dora Milaje, the elite all-women cadre of guards charged with protecting the Wakandan royal family. But what role will she play in the post-T’Challa world of the MCU?
Introduced in 2009’s Black Panther #8 by Jonathan Maberry, Will Conrad, Peter Pantazis, and Cory Petit, Aneka was initially one of the members of the Dora Milaje who was trained to battle against robotic opponents in anticipation of the Doomwar, a conflict between Doctor Doom’s Kingdom of Latveria and Wakanda.
In the comics, Aneka has a relationship with Ayo, another member of the Dora Milaje who we have already seen onscreen in the first Black Panther movie and in several episodes of Captain America and the Winter Soldier. In the MCU, Florence Kasumba portrays the character.
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In 2016’s Black Panther #1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze, Laura Martin, and Joe Sabino, Aneka was incarcerated in Wakandan prison. Unable to accept this outcome (and believing the reasons for her incarceration to be unjust), Ayo stole the Midnight Angels armor and used it to rescue Aneka from prison. Aneka was subsequently given the other Midnight Angel armor, and the pair subsequently led a revolution that promised equality, democracy, and fatal consequences for those who had abused the women under their power.
The relationship between the two characters was further explored in 2016’s Black Panther: World of Wakanda #1 in a story called “Dawn of the Midnight Angels: Part 1” by Roxane Gay, Alitha Martinez, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Sabino. This story took place before the pair were known as the Midnight Angels when they were relatively fresh recruits to the Dora Milaje. The story emphasized that while the nation of Wakanda might demand their hearts and minds, they had already given them to one another.
Will MCU Aneka and Ayo Be Gay?
Whether Aneka will play a similar role in the MCU remains to be seen. Throughout their appearances in the 2016 run of Black Panther, the duo served as antagonists to T’Challa, who was forced to reckon with his role as leader of Wakanda in a brave new era. However, given the late Chadwick Boseman’s final appearance in the role of T’Challa took place in the animated Disney+ series What If…? it’s unclear just how the Midnight Angels might play into the story of Wakanda Forever.