The Dora Milaje are the most elite fighting force in Wakanda, an army of women loyal to the death to their kingdom’s ruler. These elite bodyguards have existed in the comics since the late ‘90s, and have become pop culture icons since their introduction in the MCU. But as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever revealed, there is an elite force within the elite force, Marvel’s Midnight Angels. They were one of the definite highlights of the film.
If the Dora Milaje of Wakanda are the best warriors on Earth, then Marvel’s Midnight Angels are the best of the best of them. While the Dora exist to protect the sovereign, the Midnight Angels protect the people of the kingdom and the people’s best interests—sometimes against what the royal family wants. But who are the Midnight Angels beyond that? Here is the Marvel Comics history of the Midnight Angels and how it ties into their MCU counterparts.
Marvel Created the Midnight Angels to Fight Dr. Doom
The elite Midnight Angels first appeared in Marvel’s Doomwar #5, back in 2010. The creative team of Jonathan Maberry and Scott Eaton created them. The Doomwar story centered on Dr. Doom attempting to steal all the vibranium from Wakanda. King T’Challa originally formed the the group, hoping his elite strike team could take out Doom themselves (with a little help from Deadpool).
Marvel Comics’ Midnight Angels wore winged stealth suits and carried electric weapons. They gave the wearer advanced abilities, like strength and agility, along with flight. They, of course, made all their suits of pure vibranium. The warriors all communicated with one another through their Kimoyo beads and responded to direct threats to the Wakandan royals. In the pages of the comics, their headmistress Zola trained them, and among their most prominent members were Dora Milajemembers like Ayo and Aneka. The team went on covert missions aboard their own Avengers-like Quinjet, which they called the Dagger.
Dora Milaje Gone Rogue Form a New Team
In the comics, Aneka and Ayo began to have issues with T’Challa and the royal family—particularly with some of the decisions they made. Aneka took justice into her own hands against a terrible tribal warlord, killing him. Because she went against the code of the Dora, they stripped the Dora Milaje title from her and imprisoned her. But her fellow Dora and love, Ayo, stole the Midnight Angels prototype armor and busted her out of jail. The couple became a new Midnight Angels squad and swore to protect Wakandans without the backing of the royal family.
The Midnight Angels in the MCU
In Wakanda Forever, the MCU’s Midnight Angels have a very similar look and backstory. Shuri was developing a new armor called Midnight Angel at the start of the film. When the second attack from Namor and his Talokan forces happens on Wakanda, we see the armor in action. Unlike the comics though, it was not Aneka or Ayo who wore it first. The movie gave much of Aneka’s Marvel Comics arc—her being stripped of her rank and disgraced, and then becoming a Midnight Angel—to Okoye. Although Aneka and Ayo are still a part of the story and get to wear Midnight Angel armor, their main story beats go to the general.
At the end of Wakanda Forever, it appears Okoye still has her armor. We see her bust Everett Ross out of incarceration wearing it. It’s likely that when she gets her own series or film, as has been announced, the title will be Midnight Angel, and we’ll see her in the armor again. Given that Okoye called the armor “ugly,” we imagine it will get an upgrade or two. We think she’s earned whatever armor upgrades she wants.