A month ago, we reported that Nigerian-American writer, Nnedi Okorafor, is writing an an eight-page comic for Marvel’s forthcoming Venomverse anthology. The comic, called Blessing in Disguise features a heroine named Ngozi (a name that means Blessing), fighting crime in Lagos. Ngozi will be a recurring character in the series, along with the series more seasoned favorites like Black Panther, Venom, Deadpool and more.
In an interview with the Thomas Reuters Foundation, Nnedi revealed the inspiration behind the comic. According to her, Blessing in Disguise was inspired by the over 200 Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014:
"It was an important decision for me to base Ngozi on the one of the Chibok girls. They were normal girls who suddenly had to deal with a huge change in their lives…and their story of perseverance is so powerful. Like many Nigerian girls, Ngozi comes in a small package but is strong-willed and determined."
Apart from being the first Marvel comic to be set in a real African city (Wakanda, where Black Panther is set, is not a real place, people. Looking at you, British Airways!), the addition of Ngozi to the Marvel universe will provide the much needed nuance in female representation in the superhero world - and inspire young girls. Nnedi agrees:
"I’m a huge Wonder Woman fan, but we can really push it further when it comes to diversity. I’m not just talking about race and sexual orientation, but about having a range of personalities with different desires, dreams and flaws. I don’t only want to see badass female characters, I want to see much less predictable ones."
A preview page of my 8 -page short, "Blessing in Disguise". pic.twitter.com/CN49zqRKyq— Nnedi Okorafor, PhD (@Nnedi) September 6, 2017