Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week. Every week, we will highlight an awesome female character from, or a creator of, geeky media.
During the month of February, we are focusing on Black crushes of the week in celebration of Black History Month
Shuri is the brainiac, STEM-master younger sister of King T’Challa (aka Black Panther) in the Marvel comic series Black Panther and the record-breaking newly released MCU film by the same name (played by the brilliant Letitia Wright). She is the princess of Wakanda and she spearheads Wakandan technological advancement.
The Real Deal:
Shuri was initially retconned into existence as T’Challa’s half-sister in a 2005 issue of Black Panther. Anyone who has ever watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer knows that retconned younger sisters are an easy way to turn fans into critics – except Shuri doesn’t do that. She’s possibly the single most incredible comic book character I’ve ever encountered. I never thought I’d say it, but thank goodness for retroactive continuity. In the comics, Shuri actually becomes the Black Panther while T’Challa is in a coma. I am so here for all of her female feline ferocity. She is funny, she is smart, and she has an adorably sweet relationship with her brother.
Why Does She Matter:
Shuri is the smartest person in the Marvel universe. That’s not an opinion, that’s canon. She is smarter than Tony Stark. The smartest person in the world of these comics is a teenager from a small African country. Shuri matters so much to me personally because I WAS a teenager living in a small African country and I know how little people expect of you when you’re in that position. Even in the film Black Panther, M’Bako (who is my M’boyfriend) hinted at disapproval that Shuri was in charge of Wakanda’s tech. The fact that Shuri is the smartest person in the world and is still sweet funny and a normal teenager is crucial. She shows that being smart isn’t an excuse to be a jerk (Tony Stark) and isn’t going to make you maladjusted. It’s just another aspect of who you are. It’s a lesson to young women everywhere to let your intelligence shine through because it only makes you more beautifully you.