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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
by yo go re

We know at least one person who survived the snap!

Nakia will have to put her reservations aside and return to Wakanda when a new threat arises.

Really? "Arises"? Really, copywriter? The verb "surfaces" is right there! It's been known for months that Namor and (the rights-free version of) the Atlanteans were the antagonists in the film, so why would you pass up the opportunity for a "coming from under the water" pun? Save the "arises" until Moon Knight Season 2, where Blade shows up to fight vampires and help Marc get his money back from Dracula. Also, is "reservations" the right word? She didn't seem unsure about returning to Wakanda, she just didn't have time because she had more important things going on in her life, like running a school. Bet you never thought we'd have an action figure of a principal! [Ahem. --ed]

Originally hailing from the River Tribe, Nakia's signature color is green - that's easy to overlook in the first movie, but this time she's in her own special battle suit. It's a new mold, with lots of angular, sloping panels, and it's all emerald and blue. There's a separate belt around her waist and, since this is meant for submerging, a helmet with a clear faceplate. You gotta love how like every behind-the-scenes story that came out about this movie had the actors being like "yeah, I'd never even seen water once in my life, but when Disney asks you say of course you know how to swim, so then was sent to military frogman camp to learn how how lift a car to the surface by only wiggling my ears."

You can remove the helmeted head and swap it for one with Lupita Nyong'o's uncovered face. Nakia has grown her hair out since the last movie, trading in the Wakanda knots for longer dreadlocks. It's molded so she can still tilt her head backwards without it being in the way, and a few locs fall over the front of her shoulders. For as groundbreaking as Black Panther was, it definitely repeated one old stereotype: making the hero's girlfriend an attractive redhead. The ombre has been toned down for the sequel, but it's still there. And here, on the toy.

And frankly, that's a bit surprising considering how much paint they skipped on the back of the figure. It's just bare green plastic back there, with no blue below the shoulder blades and no metallic green below the anywhere. I really hate that they have to do stuff like this to keep the price down. People look at the back of their toys, Hasbro! At least she still have all the usual articulation: ankles, knees, thighs, hips, chest, wrists, elbows, biceps, and neck.

The figure includes an extra pair of hands to hold her accessories: updated versions of those ring-things she used in the first movie. These are more ornate than the first toy's (and the Legacy release), but still no energy inside them. Everybody makes fun of Okoye for sticking to one style of weapon, but Nakia's clearly got a favorite, too! Be careful when swapping hands, because she's also the first figure to wear Kimoyo Beads! There's a little black bracelet on her right wrist.

Despite her new mold, she's also got the biggest piece of this series' Build-A-Figure: Attuma's chest.

In the comics, Nakia was one of the Dora Milaje, but she was also teenage jailbait who had such a wide-on for Black Panther that she turned evil when he rejected her advances. Stay classy, '90s comics! Obviously the movie version is superior, and this time she looks like her own person instead of just another warrior woman.

-- 12/18/22

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