The rest of the world and I are nuts to bust excited about the new Avengers movie coming out in a few days. Hot people in tight costumes, explosions, oh my! But that’s not exactly all there is to it for me.
Between last year (when the incredible Black Panther film came out) and the much anticipated Endgame, Marvel/Disney manages to kill (off screen!) one of the coolest and most righteous female characters they’ve had in a long while.
Of course, I’m talking about Shuri. Scientist. Bratty younger sister. Warrior. And occasional comedy gold.
Like most, I don’t know where Marvel will take the upcoming Avengers film but it’s a pretty safe bet to say they’ve buried my beloved Shuri and moved on. It feels like a well-worn road in mainstream films that the interesting WOC characters get killed off, leaving the same types of heroes that we’re used to – mostly blond, all pale. Box office sales world-wide confirm the fact that Black Panther was an amazing and well-done film while fandoms confirm how groundbreaking and simply bad-ass Shuri was. But this incredible character appears to only be allowed to survive and be great in a “black film.”
Nearly all the players in the Ryan Coogler directed film practically exploded off the screen from their sheer excellence. To many, the film seemed to prove that black characters and black led movies can be profitable and good. New ground was broken. Minds were blown. Dare I say that even a few barriers were broken. But with another turn of the wheel, less than a year and a half after Black Panther, it’s all fade to white once more.
It’s in the aftermath of all the missing and dusted POC superheroes in the Marvel movie universe that my super heroine novella, The Power of Mercy, is being turned into a graphic novel. Even as I write this, I’m still a little bit in shock. My little novella as a graphic novel. Wow.
The announcement of the graphic novel version of The Power of Mercy comes at the same time as the publication of its sequel, A Lover’s Mercy. Both books are queer AF and feature powerful women of color kicking butt, taking control, and doing incredible things many of us have only dreamed about. I had a lot of fun writing them and hope to create even more story lines featuring Mercy and her somewhat sociopathic love, Xóchitl.
Of course, my novels and impending graphic novella are barely blips on the superhero landscape when compared to the (potentially) Shuri-less Avengers: Endgame film. Yet, I’m celebrating both Mercies as I imagine a world where the fierce black/POC woman or girl survives and comes back to fight another day.
I’m a Marvel fan from way back and so will be in the theater cheering for some of my favorites, but all the while (unless they pull a miraculous resurrection sequence), I’ll be thinking how wonderful it would have been if Shuri had lived.
A Lover’s Mercy (the ebook) is available now from Ylva. The paperback is on-sale at your favorite retailer.
And, of course, Avengers: Endgame comes out on April 26.