Black Panther first hit the Marvel Comics scene in 1966, but as is the case with all major comic book characters, the character's mythology has expanded as the years have passed. When writer Christopher Priest kicked off his Black Panther comic book run in the late 1990s, he introduced a number of elements to Black Panther's corner of the Marvel universe, including the Dora Milaje, the all-female team of special forces operatives that protects Wakanda's king. The Dora Milaje are just a couple of weeks from making their cinematic debut in Black Panther. However, in contrast with their comic book counterparts, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Dora Milaje members will not double as T'Challa's wives-in-training. As executive producer Nate Moore explained when asked if the betrothal aspect of these warriors would be explored in Black Panther:
Nate Moore revealed this change concerning the Doraj Milage's background to CinemaBlend's own Eric Eisenberg and a group of other reporters during a Black Panther set visit last year in Atlanta, Georgia. In the comics, the Dora Milaje is assembled from every tribe of Wakanda, and it's traditional for the nation's unmarried king to select one of its members to wed. But for the sake of the Black Panther movie, that element has been tossed aside due to its "creepiness." This version of the Dora Milaje only needs to keep its king safe, and that's enough to worry about. If Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa wants to find love, he'll have to do it like everyone else nowadays and go on dates.
Besides the Dora Milaje as a whole being present in Black Panther, several of its members will play integral roles in the movie. Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia, who is T'Challa's ex-lover, is one of the Dora Milage's "war dogs," i.e. an undercover operative who goes around the world and report back to Wakanda her findings. We'll also meet Danai Gurira's Okoye, the head of the Dora Milaje who hails from the Border Tribe. Florence Kasumba will also reprise Ayo, who debuted in the MCU with T'Challa in Captain America: Civil War. Even though T'Challa is the star of the show in Black Panther, from what's been shown in the previews so far, it doesn't look like the Dora Milaje will be lacking for action-packed scenes.
Black Panther slashes its way into theaters on February 16, and T'Challa and several other characters from the movie will return when Avengers: Infinity War comes out on May 4. Don't forget to also browse through our Marvel movies guide to see what other projects this franchise has coming up.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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