It’s an amazing thing to see the sci-fi/fantasy/comic book world expand to reflect the real world. ’Bout time.
And as we wait for the highly anticipated Black Panther film set in the mystical world of Wakanda, we can feast on the story of Ngozi, a disabled teenage superheroine who works her powers in Nigeria in the comic short “Blessing in Disguise”—the first-ever comic set in a real-life African country.
“Blessing in Disguise” is included in Marvel’s recently released Venomverse War Stories No. 1 comic book, which sees Ngozi appear alongside more well-known Marvel characters like Venom and the Black Panther.
The eight-page short was inspired by the more than 220 schoolgirls kidnapped in 2014 from Chibok, Nigeria, by militant terrorist group Boko Haram, spawning the viral hashtag and plea #BringBackOurGirls.
“It was an important decision for me to base Ngozi on [...] one of the Chibok girls,” “Blessing in Disguise” author Nnedi Okorafor said in an interview with Reuters.
“They were normal girls who suddenly had to deal with a huge change in their lives ... and their story of perseverance is so powerful,” Okorafor added. “Like many Nigerian girls, Ngozi comes in a small package but is strong-willed and determined.”
“I‘m a huge Wonder Woman fan, but we can really push it further when it comes to diversity,” she said.
“I‘m not just talking about race and sexual orientation, but about having a range of personalities with different desires, dreams and flaws,” Okorafor added. “I don’t only want to see badass female characters; I want to see much less predictable ones.”
And in some other #BlackGirlMagic news, Okorafor’s 2010 novel, Who Fears Death, is in development as a science fiction series on the premium channel. It is the coming-of-age story of a young woman living in postapocalyptic North Africa.
Game of Thrones’ George R.R. Martin will serve as the executive producer, and former Source Editor-in-Chief Selwyn Seyfu Hinds will adapt the novel into a screenplay.
Although, as one Twitter user noted, most of the news coverage nearly erased Okorafor from the conversation about the new series, it’s clear that this spellbinding wordsmith will continue to center black girls in her work.
Read more at Reuters.