Warning: This post contains spoilers for Shuri #2
Following the massive success of Black Panther, fan-favorite character Shuri (T’Challa‘s genius of a little sister) has been given her own comic title in the Marvel Universe. But her first crossover with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Shuri #1 set up the basic state of things in Wakanda for this title – Black Panther is in charge, Shuri is doing her thing with inventions, and everyone is happy… especially as Wakanda is about to enter the space race. However, when Black Panther (and Manifold) fly into space, they get sucked into a wormhole and are lost!
Now, in Shuri #2, it’s been two weeks since Black Panther went missing, and Shuri is determined to find him by whatever means necessary. After turning down the women of Wakanda who want her to take up the mantle of Black Panther once more, she goes in search of Storm – and someone else who can help her find T’Challa… but something goes very wrong with their plan.
In this issue, Shuri and the X-Men’s Storm head to the Mute Zone – an area that has eschewed the connected technologies of the rest of Wakanda and which lives somewhat off-grid. They reach out to Chief Ikoko for help, as she is able to use spiritual gifts to help them in their search… something that all of Shuri’s brilliant tech simply cannot do.
The three women head to the baobob tree and Shuri is astrally projected into space – but things don’t go to plan. Instead of stopping at the Wakandan ship, her astral body flies straight over it, and ends up landing in the body of none other than Guardian of the Galaxy’s Groot!
Shuri #2 ends with the moment that Shuri comes to in Groot’s body, while he and Rocket Raccoon are about to take on what looks like a giant, galactic, insect. This is an interesting twist for Shuri, especially so early on in her solo title – and we’ve got plenty of questions about how this is going to work. Is Shuri possessing Groot’s body? If so, is he aware of what is going on? What was it that threw her off course; was it something to do with her trip to the land of the dead and back again, a side effect of the ritual accidentally also astrally projecting the soul of a young girl who happened to be reading near the tree as well? Could this have been intentional, and not a mistake at all?
Questions are also raised about what, exactly, Black Panther was doing in space – it is hinted that he had motives other than simple exploration, and perhaps those will tie in to what Rocket and Groot are up to. The dynamic between Shuri and Rocket is sure to be fun to watch, as well; both tech-minded characters who love to create stuff, but in very different ways! Watching Shuri explore the sheer size and power of Groot’s body could also be an interesting approach, especially in such a female-focused comic, but this may not be something that is really explored.
Of course, part of the reason for this crossover is also bound to simply be to take advantage of the popularity of the Guardians team – and if it gets more readers interested, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Shuri #2 is available now from Marvel Comics.