It looks like Black Panther 2 will introduce two new LGBTQ characters to the MCU through Aneka (Michaela Coel) and Ayo’s (Florence Kasumba) arc. The two Dora Milaje warriors will be romantically involved in the sequel and it’s possible their entanglement could also be connected to the Midnight angels, the secret elite squad.
Valkyrie fans disappointed by the queer-baiting in Thor: Love and Thunder can look forward to Black Panther 2. While the second installment largely explores the Namor-led (Tenoch Huerta) Talocan kingdom’s (originally termed ‘Atlantian’ in comics but renamed for live-action) war against Wakanda, it also touches upon additional narratives pivotal for the franchise’s storytelling.
Aneka’s introduction in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will also address her romantic entanglement with Ayo. Coel recently spoke with Vogue about her role in Black Panther 2, and the article highlights Ayo and Aneka’s romance and states that “their forbidden affair” disrupts their ranking.
Coel also doubles down on Aneka’s LGBTQ status saying it was that aspect that sold her on the role, “the fact that my character’s queer.” For the uninitiated, In Marvel comics, Aneka and Ayo are engaged in a relationship that is thoroughly explored. in fact, the Marvel fandom also femslash ship the two characters as AnekaAyo. In the source material, their love for each other is explored after Namor’s attack which floods Wakanda. The incident transpires their relationship, and from the looks of it, Ryan Coogler is taking notes from the comic lore.
The Black Panther 2 director hinted that fans would be “pleasantly surprised by how faithful” Aneka’s character development will be to the comics. So it’s all but confirmed that Namor’s assault on the city will lead up to Aneka and Ayo’s romance storyline. With the movie’s runtime clocking in at 2 hours and 41 minutes, there’s plenty of room to put the spotlight on the two Wakandan warriors.
Marvel Studios has faced hurdles in the past due to its LGBTQ representation. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was banned in Saudi Arabia and Qatar for showing a same-sex couple as the parents of America Chavez. Could Black Panther 2 face similar problems? It remains to be seen.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled to arrive in theaters on November 11.
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