Nnedi Okorafor: Ngozi and Marvel's 1st Nigerian superhero Idie Okonkwo

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Marvel Comics has been showing love to Nigeria for a few years now.

Nigerian author Nnedi Okorafor is bringing the Marvel Comics series to Lagos.

Okorafor is penning an 8-page comic as part of the Venomverse anthology. The anthology will be out in September 2017. The heroine of the comic series is Ngozi.

Ngozi is a teenage super heroine and her story is inspired by the abduction of the Chibok girls by Boko Haram which shocked the entire world.

 

This comic series is the first in the Marvel series anthology that will take place in a real African city- Lagos. Wakanda, the country where Black Panther comes from is fictional.

While some might see this as an attempt to boost diversity by Marvel Comics, the famed company built Stan Lee has had a lot of black characters.

Some of the black Marvel superheroes are Black Panther, Blade, Luke Cage, Nick Fury, War Machine, Storm, Doctor Voodoo, Bishop, Spectrum, Night Thrasher, Cloak, Deathlok, Patriot, Misty Knight, Gentle, Black Goliath etc.

 

Recently Marvel Comics has flipped the script concerning their classical superheroes. Spider Man and Captain America are now black. Also, the very first Captain America Isaiah Bradley was black.

 

Most importantly, Marvel Comics has been ahead of its time. While some sites have reported Ngozi as the first Marvel superhero, the truth is that Idie Okonkwo was the first Nigerian superhero. 

ALSO READ: It's sad that Wakanda is Africa's most successful country

According to Marvel pantheon, Idie Okonkwo (later to be known as the Yoruba goddess Oya) hails from Cross River, Nigeria. She was 14 years old when her powers started manifesting.

Like in most Marvel stories, Idie Okonkwo's powers bring tragedy- she burnt down her village. She was rescued by Hope Summers and another African superhero Storm. Idie Okonkwo joined the mutant group known as "The Five Lights."

 

She first appeared in 2010 in the "Uncanny X-Men Issue 528". With her power of temperature manipulation, Idie Okonkwo holds the record as the first Nigerian Marvel superhero.

Marvel Comics' fascination with Nigeria does not end there. In "Captain America: Civil War" one of the scenes was set in Lagos. In 2009, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" a scene was also set in Nigeria.

 

The coming of Ngozi will further push the black and Nigerian narrative in the immensely popular Marvel pantheon of superheroes.



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