'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' Might Finally Bring a Queer Love Story to the MCU

The Midnight Angels from ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ need some explaining after the release of Marvel Studios’ newest trailer.

Jamie Lerner - Author

Jul. 26 2022, Published 9:40 a.m. ET

Michaela Coel in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'
Source: Marvel Studios

After the release of the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer, we know at least a bit more about what to expect from the long awaited sequel. In the trailer, Michaela Coel appears in full warrior get-up, and many fans expect that she’s part of the Midnight Angels. However, up until now, Black Panther hasn’t yet introduced us to the Midnight Angels.

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Based on comic book lore, the Midnight Angels could have a major impact on the future of the Black Panther storyline. Plus, Michaela’s character, if the rumors are true, could also have a social impact on how the MCU proceeds going forward. We're here to explain the Midnight Angels and what they could do for the MCU and for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

The Dora Milaje in 'Black Panther'
Source: Marvel Studios
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Michaela Coel may be part of the Midnight Angels in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.’

In the trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Michaela Coel is definitely in the upcoming film. Rumors suggest that she may be playing one of the warriors in the Midnight Angels. Basically, we’re already familiar with the Dora Milaje, the personal bodyguards of the Black Panther, recruited from every tribe in Wakanda. They were first assembled as potential queens for an unmarried king, which is why the Dora Milaje is made up of only the fiercest women.

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The Midnight Angels are an elite strike-force group within the Dora Milaje, made up of Teela, Aneka, Ayo, and three unnamed Dora Milaje. In the comic books, when Dr. Doom steals all the Wakandan Vibranium, T’Challa gathers the Midnight Angels to kill Doom. Does the introduction of the Midnight Angels mean Dr. Doom could join the MCU as a villain? It’s a definite possibility.

It’s possible that the introduction of the Midnight Angels to ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ could bring a queer relationship.

During Marvel’s SDCC panel, we learned that Michaela will be playing Aneka, one of the members of the Midnight Angels. In the comic books, Aneka is Ayo (Florence Kasumba)’s girlfriend. After the original Black Panther film, there was some criticism that the world of Wakanda didn’t (yet) include the queer relationships so prominent in the comic books. However, Michaela and the Midnight Angels’ part in the upcoming film is promising for the future of queer relationships in the MCU.

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For those who were upset that this queerness wasn’t in the first Black Panther film, according to a Vanity Fair report, there was an early scene that teased a relationship between Ayo and Okoye. “Okoye eyes Ayo flirtatiously for a long time as the camera pans in on them. Eventually, she says, appreciatively and appraisingly, ‘You look good.’ Ayo responds in kind. Okoye grins and replies, ‘I know.’”

However, this scene was sadly cut, although that would add some complications to a potential future relationship between Ayo and Aneka. So now, we’re hoping for the beautiful queer love story we didn’t get in the first Black Panther film. If anything, it’s clear that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be a feminist nod to the future of the MCU.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to release in theaters on November 11, 2022.

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