Slight spoilers ahead for Captain America: Civil War.
Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, and Agent 13 are all super badass in Captain America: Civil War. But the most badass woman of all in the new Marvel movie is the one who didn”t dole out a single kick or punch.
The full badassery of this character will hopefully be on display in a future MCU movie, but we know from comic book history that this woman has some serious fighting skills.
I”m talking about the Dora Milaje.
The Dora Milaje are the Wakandan women who serve as Black Panther”s bodyguards, and we got a brief glimpse at one in Civil War.
This woman with some undeniable swagger struts out with T”Challa to the Wakandan king”s car, where Black Widow is waiting for them, standing in front of the car door. “Move or you will be moved,” this woman says to Black Widow. Oh, man would that have been a fun showdown to watch. T”Challa clearly thinks so too: “As entertaining as that would be…” he says.
Now, there are a few possibilities for who this could be – Shuri, T”Challa”s sister (who has her own tenure as Black Panther in the comics) is one – but this woman certainly looks like she”d fit into the Dora Milaje. They”re recognizable for their often shaved heads and gold earrings. Sometimes they wear high heels and slinky dresses like the woman in this scene does, and sometimes they wear traditional Wakandan garb. The actress who shares this brief scene with Scarlett Johansson and Chadwick Boseman is Uganda-born actress Florence Kasumba, credited as “Security Chief.”
Ryan Coogler”s Black Panther film is set for a February 2018 release. We can hope to see more of the Dora Milaje in that movie – I”d bet even the Dora Milaje in action.
But until then, here are some things to know about the Dora Milaje a.k.a. the Adored Ones:
• The Dora Milaje first appeared in the Black Panther comics in 1998, about three decades after Black Panther”s first comic book appearance, in a 1966 issue of Fantastic Four.
• They come from all over Wakanda, an all-female guard established to create harmony among rival tribes. Though the (fictional) country Wakanda, located in equatorial Africa, has a tribal government, it is one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world, in part because of its use of its valuable natural resource, Vibranium.
• The Dora Milaje use a combination of various martial arts, plus fighting styles native to Wakanda, making them formidable foes to even well-trained soldiers and ninja.
• They are trained to use swords, spears, and nunchaku.
• Historically, the Dora Milaje are potential queens and wives-in-training for an unmarried king.
• Among the prominent Dora Milaje are Nakia and Okoye. Despite the tradition of Dora Milaje as wives-in-training, T”Challa viewed these two teenaged bodyguards as daughters. But Nakia developed romantic feelings for her king.
• Another of the Dora Milaje, Chanté Giovanni Brown, was born in Wakanda but raised in Chicago after her parents” death. As a teen, she became an activist of sorts in the Windy City, calling herself Queen Divine Justice until Black Panther came to Chicago and informed her of her true heritage, daughter of the chieftain of the Jabari tribe.
• Also noteworthy: Aneka, the combat instructor for the Dora Milaje. She trained them in techniques that could combat robots in anticipation of Doomwar.
• In the Civil War storyline in the comics, Black Panther is anti-registration, at odds with pro-registration Tony Stark. In the midst of all this controversy about the Superhero Registration Act, while T”Challa”s at the White House, a riot breaks out, and this incident leads the Dora Milaje to battle War Machine and his Sentinels.
• After a costly fight with Doctor Doom when he attempted to invade Wakanda, T”Challa assembled a special team of select Dora Milaje to fight him called the Midnight Angels. They were specially trained to fight Doom”s robots and magic.
Captain America: Civil War is now in theaters. Black Panther opens on February 16, 2018.