1/15/2015

Who are the Dora Milaje? The second Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer features a black woman that looks an awful lot like the Wakandan warriors known as the Dora Milaje. If you haven't seen it, here are some high res images of her.

It's possible she could be someone else, like T'Challa's youngest sister Shuri or the Asgardian Hela, but it seems very likely to be a Dora Milaje. So, who are they?

In the Marvel Universe there's a hidden fictional city in Africa known as Wakanda. It's a highly advanced society and it's spiritual leader is known as "Black Panther". Right now it's T'Challa and he sometimes fights as a superhero using his enhanced strength, superior senses and fighting skills.

Here are some fast facts about the Dora Milaje:

1. The Dora Milaje (pronounced dora-meh-LAH-shay) is translated in English as "Adored Ones"
2. In the early appearances of Black Panther both male and female warriors are shown fighting side-by-side for Wakanda. But, in the 1990s, Christopher Priest's  Black Panther "the Client" storyline established there is an elite all-female guard that serve the king. It was later ret-conned that the Dora Milaje have been around for decades. They even fought the Nazis, Namor and the Invaders during World War II under the command of T'Challa's grandfather King Azzari the Wise.

3. The central city of Wakanda is surrounded by 18 tribes that often war with each other. To bring unity the king would select an exceptional young girl from each tribe to be his potential wife. These women are the best of the best.

4. While the women are supposed to be wives-in-training they're not a harem. It's mainly a ceremonial position. Some of the girls understand this but a few harbor romantic feelings for the king. However he doesn't have sex with them and is upset when he mistakenly kisses one of them. They aren't Black Panther's booty call.

5. It's customary for the Dora Milaje to shave their heads and have tribal markings. This is the biggest clue that the black woman in the traileris a Dora Milaje. Some have speculated that she's wearing cybernetic implants, it's more likely that she's wearing African ornamentation.


6. While most of the Dora Milaje are nameless several have been named like Okoye, Nakia (who later became the villain Malice) and Queen Divine Justice.

7. At one point there were over 500 members of the Dora Milaje order and helped defend Wakanda during Marvel's Civil War storyline. "Marvel has said that Black Panther will appear in Captain America: Civil War, so they may be there as well.

8. They are the fiercest and most accomplished female fighting team in the Marvel Universe. They fought the master Russian assassin Black Widow to a stand-still and almost defeated the Omega-Level potential mutant Storm (although she wasn't fighting at full strength), the underwater superhero Namor and thousands of other warriors with ease.


These girls aren't just jungle fighters. They're accomplished warriors who can fight in any environment.

There is an elite team of Dora Milaje known as "The Midnight Angels".

9. They are highly skilled in a specialized form of martial arts, but are also trained in various bladed weapons like swords, spears, nun-chak, bo-staff and more.

10. Dora Milaje are trained to kill, but by Black Panther's orders they'll limit themselves to maiming. These women do not mess around.

11. They are not wives of the king, but are bodyguards and soldiers. When T'Challa was married to Storm they continued to be in his service and were even placed under her command.

Did you learn anything about the Dora Milaje? Do you think they should be in Avengers: Age of Ultron? Who would you cast to play them?


Some images via Comic Vine, World of Black Heroes and Comic Book Religion
 

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4 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If they fought the Nazis, they were tough. Be cool if they were in the movie.

DAVID WALSTON said...

That picture does look like a Dora Milaje.
The cybernetic implants theory is too close to what Nebula had.

MedeiaSharif said...

Very interesting. I don't read comics, but would love to see the movie with Dora.

Sia McKye said...

I love reading about cool women warriors. I didn't know that much about Dora Milaje. It would be cool if they were in a movie version.

Sia
McKye Over Coffee

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