The Story So Far:
Shuri #3 picks up right where Shuri #2 left off, inside Groot’s head.
Devastated by her inability to find her brother, Shuri is grateful to have the help of Storm, as well as the spiritual scientist Chief Ikoko. Unfortunately, her mother has now gone missing as well. With the help of these ladies and the guidance of her ancestors, Shuri astral projects into space, while Dora Milaje general Okoye searches for her mother.
Unknown to any of them, Mansa, a member of the elephant trunk, was accidentally caught in the mystical blast and transported with Shuri to space. Shuri spotted her brother’s ship briefly before her consciousness landed quite unexpectedly in the body of a Guardian of the Galaxy.
The Guardian known as Groot.
Written by Nnedi Okorafor Art by Leonardo Romero Cover by Sam Spratt
Issue Rating: 3/5 Series Rating: 4/5
From MAJK’s Coffee Corner:
We are only 3 issues into this series and I was loving the story, the art, the everything, until this issue.
Now I dearly love Groot and this might have been a fun issue a little further in, but inserting what feels like a side story here really pulled me out of it. One bad issue or arc has never stopped me from collecting a series, but it does put a damper on my enthusiasm for this one. Also, not a fan of bugs.
Spoiler Warning: If you have not read Shuri #3 There May Be Spoilers Below
Lost in Space
Shuri #3 opens up with Shuri and Groot sharing a body. Groot’s signature phrase has been modified to “I am Shuri.” and Rocket seems just a little too comfortable with Groot’s possession by the Princess of Wakanda. It’s not that I expected Rocket to lose his mind or anything, but he takes the news without showing the slightest interest in getting the two separated.
Sure. Rocket is generally a selfish little trash panda (don’t tell him I called him that) but he genuinely cares for Groot. I would have expected a tad more concern on his part.
I guess we can chalk it up to his pre-occupation with that enormous insect noming on his ship and draining the power. I mean a crash landing and a giant grasshopper from hell munching on your only transportation home might be just a tad distracting. Still, something in the initial interactions felt a bit off.
I did enjoy the admiration and respect Rocket showed Shuri, in terms of her engineering skills. Their collaboration and teamwork was good throughout the portion of this issue devoted to them. In fact, their collaboration was the bulk of the issue. Shuri’s back and forth with Groot was casual and pleasant but it didn’t feel like they really connected.
The battle with the giant bug was kind of anti-climactic. Once I got used to the feeling that we were deviating for a large portion of this book from what appeared to be the main storyline, I settled in for some Guardians of the Galaxy goodness. What I got wasn’t quite that good. Maybe it was missing that snarky back and forth? I really can’t say. It just felt kind of flat.
Mansa’s role in Shuri #3 felt a bit more contrived. I’m not talking about her character’s personality but the circumstances surrounding where she wound up and how she was discovered. Shuri’s reaction to discovering Mansa didn’t feel quite as unexpected, as I would have thought it would be given she had no idea the girl was anywhere around. Shuri came across as far more emotional and emotive in the past two issues and so, in contrast, this issue she felt a bit flat in her responses.
Storm and Ikoko, on the other hand, felt far more believable and concerned upon the realization that Mansa was in space with Shuri via astral projection. Their urgency to pull both women back felt very legitimate. The conflict of that urgency and the caution needed to bring them back safely felt more reasonable.
The real tension in Shuri #3 seems to center on Okoye’s search for the Queen. The down-side is that this portion is a minor portion of this issue. I am really interested in seeing who/what Okoye found that startled her so much.
Side Story or ?
Overall, I think part of the problem is that this issue felt like a side story. It felt the way a “filler” issue or episode feels. That’s not to say that I can’t see the hooks that Okorafor has laid for connecting this issue to the main story because I can. I guess it’s just that I got used to Okorafor’s writing in the last two issues and this felt much less… well, just less.
To be clear, I may be coming back in a few issues and raving about her brilliance because I am certainly not in her brain. Also, let me be very clear. I. Love. Her. Writing. She’s talented and I really adore the last two issues. I also know that everyone can have an off day. I fully expect I will be back raving about her work in my next review. But this issue – I’m just not feeling it.
In a way. Shuri #3 feels a bit like the day you have to take all the holiday decorations down and put them away. But then, she might just be setting something amazing up. Make no mistake. I’m all in for this series and I’ll continue to stan for this Shuri and this series. I’ll wait to see what’s coming because I believe in Okorafor and her team.
Queen of Soul
I would, however, like to note that I heartily approve the music used in this issue. I strongly recommend playing Aretha Franklin music in the background while reading this issue. There is never enough of her music in the world despite how Rocket might feel.
MAJK’s Age Recommendation:
While Marvel recommends 9+ years of age for this comic. I’m going to says that if you don’t mind explaining some of the tech stuff a little to your kid, and maybe even reading aloud (hint hint: make sound effects and voices) then I’d feel safe saying age 6+ for this series and definitely this issue. Unless they are afraid of bugs – then not so much.
Best Line: “Guess you were right – Aretha really does have universal appeal.”
Predictions: Given that Mansa got dragged all the way to space and back, we are going to see more of her in upcoming issues. Also, that nasty bug is clearly heading straight for Wakanda and since it noms music and energy… that is going to be a major issue.
Next Issue: Shuri #4 will be available in print and digital forms on January 23, 2019