Black Panther: Wakanda Forever brought some new characters to the MCU. We know that Namor is the film’s antagonist… but certainly not the only one or even the biggest one to be honest. But we also got to see Michaela Coel portray Aneka, a Wakandan warrior in a romantic relationship with Ayo. So, who is Aneka in the Black Panther comics? Let’s dig into her comic book history and how Aneka shows up in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Aneka in the Black Panther Marvel Comics
In the Black Panther comics (2009), Aneka is a respected captain and skilled combat instructor for the Dora Milaje who trains new recruits to serve and protect the nation of Wakanda. Like her counterparts, she respects and honors King T’Challa, preparing the Dora Milaje to fight in the Doomwar after Doctor Doom swipes their vibranium. However, there’s more to Aneka. She falls in love with Ayo, which is forbidden, and the pair are assigned to protect Queen Shuri. But, their love for the royal family wanes after they discover that T’Challa and Namor, who attacked Wakanda, were coming together for a collaborative meeting.
This angers Ayo and Aneka reminds her of her place as a Dora Milaje. However, they both become disillusioned and bring their concerns to Queen Shuri, breaking their spears as a sign of lost loyalty. They leave the country and it is attacked by Thanos, who kills Shuri. Aneka does express regret but gets into deeper trouble after killing a chieftain in response to a woman’s accusations of abuse against the village’s women. Ramonda sentences Aneka to death but Ayo breaks her out. They take the Midnight Angels uniforms, the blue armor that we see Michael Coel and Danai Gurira (Okoye) wear in the Wakanda Forever.
Who Are Marvel’s Midnight Angels?
The group originally is a subset of the Dora Milaje. As “Macho Man” Randy Savage would say, they are the cream of the crop. T’Challa brought them together after Doctor Doom stole Wakanda’s vibranium to defeat him. Later on, Aneka and Ayo take this armor and officially form the Midnight Angels, an offshoot that seeks to defend those people that the royal family doesn’t acknowledge. Vigilante justice, if you will.
What Is Aneka’s Role in the MCU?
Interestingly, Aneka really doesn’t play as large of a role as many expected in Wakanda Forever. She gets a few cool scenes, including the one where the Dora take out a potential threat. It is here where we see she is onboard with Shuri’s technological innovations vs. Okoye who wants to stick with tradition. Later on, Okoye decides to use the new suits that Shuri invented—the Midnight Angel armor—and recruits Aneka to wear the other one in combat. And, we do get a confirmation of Aneka and Ayo’s relationship at the very end. It is literally a fleeting moment, but perhaps we will see them together more when that Dora Milaje series materializes. In fact, Michaela Coel told Vogue that Aneka’s queerness is why she signed onto the role.
It is quite the change from having the Midnight Angels being an offshoot. And it seems that this won’t happen with Okoye being onboard for the tech changes. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a future where Aneka and a group of Midnight Angels decide to go on their own missions to save people. Until then, we will have to see what happens. And we are glad that Aneka is apart of the MCU.
Featured Image: Marvel Studios/Marvel Comics
Originally published on July 27, 2022.