Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the last Marvel Studios project to be released in 2022–in fact, it’ll be the one to close out Phase 4 entirely. While that might suggest the story being about endings, it seems that it’ll very much be the opposite. it may very much be the opposite.
While the world will have to close the book on T’Challa’s story, so many new beginnings will be blossoming. Shuri may be becoming the Black Panther, Namor and his Kingdom will be coming to the surface, and a new Wakandan named Aneka will be joining the party.
One of the biggest new faces to join the party will be Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams, aka Ironheart. She’ll be debuting in Wakanda Forever and going on to star in her own Disney+ show—the character Will undoubtedly be a key part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward.
Now, a new book has been revealed, which teases the introduction of yet another hero to both the MCU and Wakanda.
Wakanda Gets a New Hero
As reported by The Root, Disney and Marvel have announced a brand new book titled Black Panther Wakanda Forever: The Courage to Dream.
The story is said to be “the inspiring story of one girl’s journey to becoming a member of the Dora Milaje.”
The girl in question goes by the name of Assata, who, because of her disability, ends up letting go of her dream to be a Dora Milaje—though, upon meeting some new friends, maybe
“[The story follows Assata], a young Wakandan who hopes to become one of the Dora Milaje, the warriors who protect Wakanda. But because of Assata’s disability, she lets go of her dream. Assata’s light shows through, all the same, introducing her to surprising friends: the princess Shuri, the warrior Okoye, and the powerful M’Baku. But only Assata can give herself what she’s missing: the courage to dream.”
The book is written by bestselling author Frederick Joseph, who noted how he “wanted Assata to stand for… perseverance and hope:”
“Black Panther, in many respects, is a story of perseverance and hope, which is at the core of everything I wanted Assata to stand for: a young girl who can remind children and adults alike to never give up on our dreams.”
New York Times bestselling illustrator Nikkolas Smith, who has worked on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as a concept artist, also had words to offer in regards to the upcoming book.
First, the artist described how much fun he had creating new characters to populate the world of Wakanda:
“I had a lot of Wakandan background characters in my head to draw from… imagining what some of their backstories were, I sketched multiple ‘speed paintings’ to create new Wakandan characters who populate these beautiful villages, schools, and homes.”
When it comes to this main character having a disability, Smith revealed how he is “honored to be able to help young children with disabilities see themselves as the courageous heroes
“I recently received an email from a mom of a child with a disability, hoping
thatI could one day contribute art to a project just like this one… I’m honored to be able to help young children with disabilities see themselves as the courageous heroes thatthey are.”
The artist continued, explaining how he sees Wakanda as “an alternate universe where [Black people] were able to keep [their] vast wealth of knowledge and resources intact:”
“Black people in America have to constantly carry the weight of a history derailed by colonization… Wakanda is
that‘What If?’ scenario in an alternate universe where we were able to keep our vast wealth of knowledge and resources intact. It is an indescribable beacon of hope and inspiration for our community.”
Joesph added how she felt similar, saying
“Wakanda is my wildest dreams come true; a place where the seeds of Blackness have been able to grow unapologetically into a tree of free expression, creativity, and wonder.”
Amazon’s description of the book was also included, which read as follows:
“This book with its touching narrative and compelling illustrations is about the legacies we build and the heroic effort of doing good, even and especially when the work is difficult.”
The cover of the book can be seen below, and readers can pick up the story when it hits shelves on November 1 later this year.
Will Assata Move to the Big Screen?
The key question, however, is: will Assata end up showing her face in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? Or is the character only meant to star in a side story such as this newly revealed adventure?
This book could be a small preview of what Marvel Studios wants to do with its upcoming Wakanda show. The series, which is rumored to be animated, would focus on the people within Wakanda that aren’t always on the front line and help explore the city itself and the people that live within its walls. aren’t always on the front line and help explore the city itself and the people
Phase 4 has seen many new characters enter the MCU, dozens, in fact. New blood is always great, and they’ll all go on to be the next Captain America or Iron Man—hopefully, Assata will be on her way to becoming an important piece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11.