Marvel’s Avengers’ new short gives us a glimpse into T’Challa and Shuri’s past

Earlier this week, Marvel’s Avengers shared a dope new animated short, titled Road to Wakanda: Children of T’Chaka, that shed light on T’Challa and Shuri’s childhood. It got me even more hyped for War For Wakanda, the upcoming expansion for Marvel’s Avengers.

The short, illustrated by comic icon Alitha Martinez (Batgirl and World Of Wakanda), is told from the perspective of Wakandan general Okoye, and hints at some potential plot points for the expansion.

In the animation, Okoye (voiced by Debra Wilson) juggles the looming threat of international criminal Ulysses Klaue with T’Challa’s recent ascension to the throne of Wakanda. Her narration navigates the tumultuous childhood of Shuri and T’Challa, with the gut-wrenching scene of T’Chaka’s murder as the cause of a new rift in the siblings’ relationship. It seems likely, then, that this will come up in War For Wakanda’s storyline.

During a Q&A earlier this summer, Marvel’s Avengers writer MacLeod voiced how exciting it was to bring new narrative consultant Evan Narcisse on board the writing team. “I feel very grateful that we’ve had Evan,” she said, “because it gives us the confidence to really explore the stories inside Wakanda.” The emotional weight of Road To Wakanda highlights how MacLeod and her writing team want to explore Wakanda in new ways. As children of the former king of Wakanda, T’Challa and Shuri’s relationship with the throne hasn’t gotten its due diligence in the gaming world as yet, and Marvel’s Avengers looks to be trying to deliver.

Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics also announced four new outfits earlier this year that will debut in War For Wakanda, with several nods to Black Panther comic book runs, like Black Panther: The Man Without Fear. The immaculate work of its pulp-inspired artist Francesco Francavilla makes the Man Without Fear outfit my favorite from the DLC so far. It’s exciting to see the depth of T’Challa’s personhood expanded on, and to have so much influence drawn from Black Panther series’ that haven’t gotten enough attention.

For more story clues for War For Wakanda, meanwhile, you might look to the work of Narcisse. Leading up to the announcement of War For Wakanda’s official release date, Narcisse echoed how influential his work on the Rise Of The Black Panther comic series had been on the DLC’s story.

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