Nakia (Malice)

Let’s take a look at another main character from Black Panther, this time the female lead: Nakia, portrayed by Lupita Nyong’o. In the trailer, she’s the red-dressed young woman holding two chakrams, and she’ll be a member of the Dora Milaje, the women-only elite squad of Black Panther‘s bodyguards. Apparently, in the movie she also acta as a love interest to King T’Challa, and this puts her in quite a weird position, especially considering how things turned out in the comics. Let’s see together.

Nakia was born in a peaceful village in the Q’Noma Valley, in the African secluded nation of Wakanda. She was the daughter of a simple fisherman, and a simple and poor life awaited for her…but she was chosen for a different destiny, as the tribe elders selected her when she was still a girl to be one of the Dora Milaje, the “Adored Ones“, a group of women coming from every tribe in Wakanda. Nakia would have been trained to be one of the deadliest warriors in the country, a loyal bodyguard to the king…as well as his wife-in-training, if he preferred her over the others. She arrived at the Royal Palace of Wakanda when she was fourteen years old, little more than a girl, facing a luxury she could only dream of as a simple fisherman’s daughter. As the girl she was, Nakia developed a crush on her king, T’Challa, and she did everything she could to get his attention, hoping she would have been the one to marry him; she even nearly drowned herself trying to impress the king with a dangerous dive, and when T’Challa revived her with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, she was delighted for the “kiss”. Nakia’s friends and fellow Dora Milaje, especially Okoye, tried to distract her from this crush of hers by making her focus on her bodyguard duty. Things, however, became extremely difficult (and weird) when Nakia accompanied T’Challa in a mission to avenge Jaime Robins: the Black Panther succeeded, but Mephisto‘s magic made him allucinate and, thinking he was with his girlfriend Monica Lynne, he kissed Nakia. From this point, her crush became an obsession, a dangerous passion that led her to try and kill Monica Lynne by throwing her out of a plane, later claiming she had been killed by enemies. T’Challa saw through her lies, and he dismissed her from his service, ignoring her declarations and sending her away from the palace in disgrace.

Unable to come back to her village due to her public shame, shunned by everyone in Wakanda, Nakia wandered through the country and, during a rainstorm, she sought shelter in an ancient monastery. Luck wasn’t with her, as the master of the place was the evil sorcerer Achebe, who recognised her as a Dora Milaje and captured her, torturing her for days. When he was over with her, Achebe left Nakie to die, hanging on a tree. She was found, close to death as she could be, by Killmonger, who offered her a chance to exact revenge on the king who had scorned her. Killmonger brought her to the Altar of Resurrection, where he used its arcane powers to restore Nakia back to health and to imbue her with superhuman powers. He also named her Malice, after one of his first lieutenants. With a new name and new abilities, Malice was set free by Killmonger, who stepped aside and watched as she consumed her vengeance. Nakia wanted to kill all women in T’Challa’s life, thus becoming “the one” and making him suffer as much as she had when he rejected her. First, she used a poweful mind-bending herb, the Jufeiro, to seduce Wheeler, the American husband of Black Panther’s cousin M’Koni; when M’Koni eventually found out about her husband’s affair, she fell into a deep depression and tried to kill herself. In the meanwhile, Malice had continued her plan, and she had killed Maria, one of T’Challa’s students from Harlem; following the homicide, she sent a simple message to the Wakandan Consulate: “She’s dead”. This was enough to lure Black Panther to New York, where Malice continued her killing spree by murdering one of T’Challa’s ex-girlfriends, Nikki Adams. When she realised that Black Panther was following her, and so was doing the private detective he had hired to protect Monica Lynne, Dakota North, Malice made Dakota believe T’Challa was under her mind-control, so that she turned on him and allowed her to abduct the king. Now, she could put an end to her plan, sending Man-Ape against Queen Ramonda and Queen Divine Justice, looking T’Challa right in the eyes as the most important women in his life were killed…

Nakia is a single-minded, obsessed woman, a rejected lover consumed by a burning passion, and a just as burning hatred, for T’Challa. As Malice, her training as a Dora Milaje makes her an impressive martial artist, and she’s extremely skilled in the use of blades, knives and sword especially; the Altar of Resurrection granted her superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina, senses and durability, as well as a limited healing factor; thanks to the Jufeiro herb, she can make any man fall in love with her to the point of turning him into a mindless slave. Smart and cunning, driven by an inhuman focus and determination, Malice is a remorseless killer who only lives to make the former object of her love suffer.