Shuri (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Encyclopedia from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marvel Cinematic Universe character
Letitia Wright as Shuri in Black Panther poster.jpeg
Letitia Wright as Shuri in a promotional character poster for Black Panther (2018)
First appearanceBlack Panther (2018)
Based on
Adapted byRyan Coogler
Joe Robert Cole
Portrayed byLetitia Wright
Voiced byOzioma Akagha (What If...?)
In-universe information
Full nameShuri
WeaponVibranium gauntlets[1]

Shuri is a fictional character portrayed primarily by Letitia Wright in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) media franchise based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. She is the courageous and tech-savvy younger sister of T'Challa, the King of Wakanda. Highly intelligent and a master engineer, she is Wakanda's lead scientist. Shuri assists her brother and the Avengers in the battle against Thanos, attempting to use her technology to safely remove the Mind Stone from Vision's head. However, Corvus Glaive prevents this and Shuri falls victim to the Blip. She is restored five years later and joins the final battle against Thanos before resuming her role in Wakanda.

As of 2022, the character has appeared in three films. Following the death of Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed T'Challa, Shuri will be given a larger role in the upcoming film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022).[2] Wright's portrayal of Shuri has been well received.

Alternate versions from within the MCU multiverse appear in the animated series What If...? (2021), voiced by Ozioma Akagha.

Concept and creation

Created by the writer Reginald Hudlin and artist John Romita Jr., Shuri first appeared in Black Panther (Vol. 4) #2 (May 2005). The character, originally written as a princess of Wakanda and a supporting character, trains to and eventually succeeds her older brother T'Challa, becoming the Black Panther and ruler of Wakanda in her own right.[3][4] In 2018, Marvel published her first vital solo series titled SHURI, written by Nnedi Okorafor, a coming of age story which focused on Shuri dealing with her brother being absent from the throne while exploring her leadership and interests.[5]

Actor Donald Glover and his brother Stephen made some minor contributions to an early draft of the script for Shuri's debut film feature Black Panther, developing the sibling relationship between T'Challa and Shuri.[6] The James Bond character Q was a key influence on the development of Shuri during the writing phase of Black Panther, with director Ryan Coogler saying:

"Going through the process of writing the film and working with my co-writer, Joe Robert Cole, I thought Shuri would be a really cool Q. It'd be really interesting seeing a young African teenager who's manipulated this element [vibranium] in ways that nobody else could and who's confident and able to have their own space. In our minds, Wakanda's a place that looks at age differently than other places... I also thought that as we were writing, I realized that the more stuff we can put in this relationship between T'Challa and his sister, the better off we'll be... Their relationship is built on love, and out of that, so many other things grew. She became so much more than just a Q."[7]


Personality and intelligence

Shuri is pretty smart, but she's really relatable as well, so she's not this super-intelligent person who nobody can really connect with and everybody feels like, 'aw, you're too intelligent to be my friend.' Shuri is super cool and ultra amazing, and her mind is her weapon. She uses that to create amazing technology, but then she's able to turn around and tease her brother, so she's still able to be a relatable, down-to-earth character who everybody can vibe with.[8]

Letitia Wright on Shuri's intelligence

In Black Panther, Shuri is portrayed as T'Challa's 16-year-old sister who designs new technology for her country of Wakanda.[9][10] Letitia Wright described Shuri as innovative of spirit and mind, wanting to take Wakanda to "a new place", and felt she was a good role model for young black girls.[10] The film's executive producer Nate Moore called Shuri the smartest person in the world, even more so than Tony Stark.[9][11] The Russo Brothers, directors of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, agreed with the interpretation of her as the smartest character.[12][13]

Letitia Wright described Shuri's intelligence as "really cool", explaining: "Because, you know, we sometimes — when we see people who are 'super intelligent' and 'super smart', they don't really look like me." She further added, "[for] Marvel to be behind it and to be brave enough to say, 'She is the smartest girl in the universe – in the Marvel Universe' and 'Yes, she's younger than everyone'… Her and Peter Parker are pretty much the smartest kids on the block.'"[14] In another interview, addressing Shuri as an inspiration for young people, she explained that "Tony and Banner are great, not only as actors but in the films themselves. They're amazing, iconic characters, so to be able to be on par with them… and that's not even something I said! I didn't say that, the head of Marvel said that, and it kind of created a chain reaction. And Nate Moore said those things, so talk to those guys! They felt really strongly that Shuri was the smartest person in the universe, and I'm not going to downplay that. Young people are the future, so it's only right to allow that to be the thing that's being said online."[8]

Appearance and technology

Black Panther costume designer Ruth E. Carter included an Adinkra symbol representing purpose on one of Shuri's shirts, similar to a Waawa motif, explaining that Shuri "certainly has a purpose in Wakanda".[15] Shuri's artificial intelligence 'Griot' was voiced by Trevor Noah,[16][17] with the name 'Griot' being a West African term for a historian or storyteller.[18]

Fictional character biography

Helping T'Challa and Bucky Barnes

In 2016, with Shuri's father T'Chaka having died,[a] her brother T'Challa assumes the Wakandan throne. She attends his coronation ceremony with her mother Ramonda. At the ceremony, the Jabari Tribe's leader M'Baku challenges T'Challa for the crown in ritual combat, taking aim at Shuri's use of technology. Although M'Baku initially has the upper hand, T'Challa defeats M'Baku and persuades him to yield rather than die. After Ulysses Klaue and his accomplice Erik "Killmonger" Stevens steal a Wakandan artifact from a London museum, T'Challa, Okoye, and Nakia travel to Busan, South Korea, with Shuri providing T'Challa with a new vibration-absorbent Black Panther suit. Shuri partakes in the ensuing car chase via hologram. After Everett K. Ross is gravely injured protecting Nakia, T'Challa takes Ross to Wakanda, where Shuri heals Ross using vibranium technology.

Nakia, Shuri, Ramonda, and Ross later flee to the Jabari Tribe for aid after Erik Stevens, revealed to be T'Challa and Shuri's cousin N'Jadaka, seizes the Wakandan throne. They find a comatose T'Challa, rescued by the Jabari in repayment for sparing M'Baku's life. Healed by Nakia's herb, T'Challa returns to fight N'Jadaka and defeats him after Shuri initiates a maglev train, de-powering N'Jadaka's Black Panther suit. After killing N'Jadaka, T'Challa establishes an outreach center at the building where N'Jadaka's father N'Jobu died, to be run by Nakia and Shuri. Shuri also helps Bucky Barnes with his recovery from Hydra brainwashing, dubbing him the 'White Wolf'.

Infinity War and resurrection

In 2018, Shuri is tasked by T’Challa, Steve Rogers, and other members of the Avengers to remove the Mind Stone safely from Vision, as they go fight the incoming alien army. Wanda Maximoff is tasked to stand guard and protect Shuri as she works. However, as the battle proceeds on the fields, Maximoff leaves her post, which inadvertently allows Corvus Glaive to infiltrate the facility and incapacitate her, preventing her from finishing her work. Moments later, the Blip happens and Shuri disintegrates.

In 2023, Shuri is restored to life and is brought via portal by the Masters of the Mystic Arts to the destroyed Avengers Compound to join the battle against an alternate Thanos and his army. Afterwards, she returns home and reunites with her mother. A week later, she attends Tony Stark’s funeral with her brother and Okoye.

Alternate versions

Several alternate versions of Shuri appear in the animated series What If...?, in which she is voiced by Ozioma Akagha.

Star-Lord T'Challa

In an alternate 2014, Shuri is present when her long-lost older brother, T'Challa, returns to Wakanda from outer space with the Ravagers.

American–Wakandan war

In an alternate 2010, Killmonger murders T'Challa and engineers an American invasion of Wakanda using "Stark Liberator" drone, which Killmonger then defeats, manipulating king T'Chaka into making him the next Black Panther. Shuri is able to see through this deception and brings evidence of it to Pepper Potts before attempting to arrest Killmonger with Potts and the Dora Milaje. However, Killmonger is then recruited by the Watcher to the Guardians of the Multiverse, leaving the group perplexed when they find him missing.


Critical response and analysis

Reviews initially were positive of the character and the character's potential for the future, being described as a "fan-favorite".[20] Jacob Stolworthy of British publication The Independent praised the character, describing her as "one of Black Panther's biggest revelations".[21] Manhola Dargis of the New York Times, meanwhile, when reviewing Black Panther, praised Shuri as part of "a phalanx of women... who cushion [T'Challa] in maternal, military, sisterly and scientific support", describing Wright's performance as "vivacious" and likening Shuri to "Bond's gadget guy [Q]".[22] Dave Trumbore of Collider and Caroline Framke of Vox also likened her relationship with T'Challa to what Q is to James Bond.[23][24] Her mocking of Everett K. Ross as a "broken white boy" was particularly positively received in media commentary.[21][25][26][24] Shuri's delivery of the line "What are those?" in the film, a usage of a popular 2015 Internet meme, was also positively received,[27][28] although the meme's creator Brian 'Brusco' Moore commented negatively on the renewed attention to the meme.[29][30] Caroline Framke of Vox, meanwhile, praised the depiction of Shuri as "the best part" of Black Panther, noting her "elastic, game-for-anything energy" and citing her as "the feisty Disney princess we need and deserve".[24]

The author of Dear Martin and chosen author for Scholastic Corporation's novel adaption of Shuri in the young adult fiction novel Shuri: A Black Panther Novel, Nic Stone, praised the film version of the character claiming "I fell hard for the witty STEM genius girl who totally stole the whole show".[31] Having been labeled as the MCU's smartest character, it is often debated in media whether she or Tony Stark is smarter.[32][20][24]

Awards and nominations

Letitia Wright received various accolades and nominations for her portrayal of Shuri in Black Panther.

Letitia Wright at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2018 Saturn Awards Best Performance by a Younger Actor Black Panther Nominated [33]
2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best On-Screen Team Nominated [34]
Scene Stealer Nominated [34]
2018 Teen Choice Awards Choice Sci-Fi Movie Actress Won [35]
Choice Breakout Movie Star Nominated [35]
2019 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture Won [36]
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated [37]
2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won [38]

In other media

The book Wakanda Files: A Technological Exploration of the Avengers and Beyond focuses on the Avengers from Shuri's perspective, referencing the events of the films and the television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..[39][40]

See also


  1. ^ As depicted in the 2016 film Captain America: Civil War.[19]


  1. ^ "Black Panther's Armor And Tech Explained". Screen Rant. February 16, 2018. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  2. ^ Kit, Borys; Couch, Aaron (November 20, 2020). "Marvel's 'Black Panther' Sequel Shoot to Begin in July (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 20, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  3. ^ Black Panther vol. 5, #1-2 (April - May 2009). Marvel Comics.
  4. ^ Black Panther vol. 5, #3-6 (June - September 2009). Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ Gustines, George Gene (July 17, 2018) "Comic Book Spinoff of Black Panther Will Focus on His Sister". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Rife, Katie (February 8, 2018). "Donald and Stephen Glover gave Ryan Coogler notes on Black Panther's script". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on February 10, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  7. ^ Pearson, Ben (February 15, 2018). "Director Ryan Coogler Talks Black Panthers Unbroken Casino Fight Shot, Obama's Influence, and More". SlashFilm. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Booth, Kaitlyn (February 20, 2018). "Black Panther: Letitia Wright on Shuri Being the Smartest Person in the MCU". Bleeding Cool News And Rumors. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Trumbore, David (January 24, 2018). "'Black Panther': 90 Things to Know about the MCU's Game-Changing Movie". Collider. Archived from the original on January 24, 2018. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Mullen, Matt (June 7, 2017). "Letitia Wright". Interview. Archived from the original on June 15, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  11. ^ Chapman, Tom (January 24, 2018). "Black Panther's 16 Year Old Sister Is Smarter Than Tony Stark". ScreenRant. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  12. ^ Haasch, Palmer (August 15, 2018). "Avengers: Infinity War directors join Tumblr in naming Shuri smartest hero". Polygon. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  13. ^ Jacobs, Mira (August 15, 2018). "Infinity War Director Confirms Shuri is the Smartest MCU Character". CBR. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  14. ^ Bonomolo, Cameron. "'Avengers: Infinity War's Letitia Wright on Playing The Smartest Character in The MCU". Marvel. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  15. ^ Renfro, Kim (May 9, 2018). "This simple detail in Shuri's 'Black Panther' costume was a hidden message to the audience". Insider. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  16. ^ Desta, Yohana (May 22, 2018). "Trevor Noah Had a Small but Vital Cameo in Black Panther". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  17. ^ "Trevor Noah Had a Secret Cameo in 'Black Panther' That Fans Just Now Noticed". Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  18. ^ Oko, Lize (May 24, 2018). "What Is a Griot and Why Are They Important?". Culture Trip. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  19. ^ Anderson, Jenna (May 18, 2017). "New Black Panther Synopsis Revealed". Archived from the original on May 19, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  20. ^ a b Tanzim, Pardiwalla (August 2, 2019). "This Is the Smartest Avenger According To 'Avengers: Endgame' Directors the Russo Brothers!". Mashable India. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  21. ^ a b Stolworthy, Jacob (March 20, 2021). "MCU: Every Avengers character ranked from worst to best". The Independent. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  22. ^ Dargis, Manhola (February 6, 2018). "Review: 'Black Panther' Shakes Up the Marvel Universe". New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  23. ^ Trumbore, Dave (February 19, 2018). "Black Panther: What Can We Expect from Shuri's MCU Future?". Collider. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  24. ^ a b c d Framke, Caroline (March 16, 2018). "Why Shuri, Black Panther's teen girl genius, is Marvel's most promising character in ages". Vox. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  25. ^ Robson, Shannon (February 17, 2018). "You Probably Missed This Funny Easter Egg in Black Panther, but It's Important". PopSugar. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  26. ^ "Letitia Wright came up with one of the funniest lines in 'Black Panther'". Yahoo! Movies. June 4, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  27. ^ Carter, Terry (March 5, 2018). "The Real Hero of Black Panther Is Shuri With Her Hilarious One-Liners". PopSugar. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  28. ^ Kickham, Dylan (February 19, 2018). "The 'Black Panther' "What Are Those" Scene Still Has Fans Howling With Laughter". Elite Daily. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  29. ^ Bradley, Bill (March 28, 2019). "The 'What Are Those?' Meme Creator Absolutely Hates That 'Black Panther' Joke". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  30. ^ Gray, Madison (March 30, 2018). "Creator of 'What Are Those?' Meme Peeved at "Black Panther" for Using Phrase". TheGrio. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  31. ^ Canfield, David. "Exclusive: An original 'Black Panther' novel centered on Shuri will publish next year". Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  32. ^ Bell, Wesley (February 28, 2021). "MCU: 5 Ways Why Tony Stark Is The Smartest Character (& 5 Why It's Shuri)". ScreenRant. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  33. ^ McNarry, Dave (March 15, 2018). "'Black Panther,' 'Walking Dead' Rule Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  34. ^ a b Ramos, Dino-Ray (June 18, 2018). "MTV Movie & TV Awards Winners: 'Black Panther', 'Stranger Things' Among Top Honorees – Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  35. ^ a b "Teen Choice Awards: Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. August 12, 2018. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  36. ^ Kelly, Sonaiya (March 30, 2019). "'Black Panther,' 'black-ish' win big at the 50th NAACP Image Awards". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  37. ^ McNary, Dave (February 13, 2019). "'Black Panther' Leads NAACP Image Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  38. ^ Tapley, Kristopher; Otterson, Joe (January 27, 2019). "SAG Awards: The Biggest Snubs and Surprises". Variety. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  39. ^ Twitter, Perry Carpenter; Articles, More (November 28, 2020). "Marvel Confirms Shuri Is Actually Not the Smartest Person in the MCU – So Who Is?". Showbiz Cheat Sheet. Retrieved May 13, 2021. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  40. ^ Weiss, Josh (October 20, 2020). "So what's Captain America's daily caloric intake? New book The Wakanda Files digs into the MCU". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved May 14, 2021.

External links

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