Thursday, April 18, 2024

Michaela Coel will play a queer comics character in Black Panther 2

Over this past weekend, Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever got some new information during Sand Diego Comic Con. Michaela Coel of I May Destroy You has been cast as the Dora Milaje combat instructor Aneka, a character who is canonically queer in the Marvel Black Panther comics.

There is currently no confirmation that Aneka will be queer in Black Panther 2. In the comics, she and the Dora Milaje commander Ayo develop a rivals-to-lovers romance as they become involved in decisions that put them at odds with the rest of their Wakandan warrior sisters. There are rumors that there was a flirtatious scene between Ayo and Aneka that was cut from the first movie, so a romance may still be on the table, but Disney’s history with on-screen queer representation should probably give fans a bit of pause.

Many fans expected recent Marvel movie, Thor: Love and Thunder to be “so gay,” since Natalie Portman described the film that way herself. But outside of a confirmation of Valkyrie’s bisexuality and a rock alien getting gay married, there’s not actually a ton of LGBTQ+ representation on screen in most Disney properties. The company has faced controversy recently for funding anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and censoring queer content in shows like Gravity Falls. One notable exception has been Raven’s Home, which debuted Disney Channel’s first transgender character.

Hopefully, Disney will surprise us and allow for Coel’s version of Aneka to have her romance with Ayo in Black Panther 2, or at least some kind of indication that the two are connected or have been in that way. But only time will tell what we’ll get to see in the final product. Regardless, it’s almost certain the Dora Milaje will be front and center in this film as well.

Ty Galiz-Rowe

Ty is a freelance games writer and esports expert.