An Overlooked Black Panther Key: 1st Appearances of Okoye and Nakia

by Don Y

Black-Panther-300x157 An Overlooked Black Panther Key: 1st Appearances of Okoye and Nakia

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the dramatic rise in value of Shuri’s first appearance in Black Panther #2 following Chadwick Boseman’s tragic death. I suggested that speculators should also consider the first appearances of M’Baku and W’Kabi in Avengers #62. Unlike Shuri’s first appearance, M’Baku and W’Kabi’s first appearance had actually decreased in value in recent years. They are both, in my opinion, strong candidates to take on the mantle of the Black Panther.

In this blog, I’ll write about the first appearances of two other characters that also deserve consideration: Okoye and Nakia. While their first appearances in Black Panther #1 have risen in value, it also remains much more affordable than Shuri’s first appearance. We’ll take a closer look at their first appearances below.

Black Panther #1 Has Multiple 1st Appearances

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Black Panther #1 may present a good investment opportunity at its current price point because it contains not one, but two first appearances of characters who have appeared in the MCU. In this issue, Nakia appears as T’Challa’s personal aide. Along with Okoye, she beats up several drug dealers in New York City. This issue also features the first appearance of the Dora Milaje, Wakanda’s elite special forces that re-appeared recently in The Falcon & The Winter Soldier.

In the comics, Nakia eventually becomes Malice, a villain, and dies tragically. On film, Ryan Coogler envisions a different Nakia (portrayed by Lupita Nyong’o) who is, in every way, T’Challa’s equal. For instance, while Nakia and T’Challa are romantically involved, there’s no mention of her status as a “wife-in-training” for T’Challa. Furthermore, Lupita is an A-list actor and, to me, it’s unlikely that her Nakia will suffer the same fate as her comic book counterpart. In fact, I would consider her a strong candidate to become the next Black Panther.

Will Nakia or Okoye Become the Next Black Panther?

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Unlike Nakia, who doesn’t appear in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Okoye plays important roles in both of those films. In Infinity War, along with Black Widow, she saves Scarlett Witch from Proxima Midnight. In Endgame, Okoye impales Corvus Glaive on her vibranium spear. Considering her outsized role in these films, her role in the Black Panther sequel will likely expand. Lastly, because is portrayed by fan favorite, Danai Gurira from The Walking Dead,  I also consider her a strong contender to become the next Black Panther.

Black Panther #1’s value has risen almost 50% during the past three years, but it isn’t quite as hot Black Panther #2, which is up almost 73%. Black Panther #1 is also much more affordable. The FMV for a CGC 9.8 copy of Black Panther #1 is $170. In comparison, the FMV for a CGC 9.8 copy of Black Panther #2 is $550. If Shuri does indeed become Black Panther, Black Panther #2 may rise a bit, but we have likely already missed most of the gains. On the other hand, I believe Black Panther #1 has a lot of room to grow.

Should collectors invest in Nakia and Okoye’s first appearances? Who else might become Black Panther? Please let us know in the comments below!

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4 comments

Shelby Thompson April 10, 2021 - 9:00 am

Sorry to correct you but you have your Black Panther series mixed up. You stated, “While their first appearances in Black Panther #1 have risen in value, it also remains much more affordable than Shuri’s first appearance just one issue later.”. The issue #1 you are showing is from Vol. 3, 1998, and Shuri first appearance is Vol. 4, 2005. Both are Marvel Knights imprints, which does cause confusion.

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Don Y April 10, 2021 - 11:21 am

Thank you, Shelby! So helpful!

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Tyler H April 10, 2021 - 10:31 am

This is so true. I recently sent off my first ever set of comic books to be slabbed. This (along with the much rarer dynamic forces version) were the first ones I grabbed because I just LOVE the cover artwork. For me, whenever I think of Black Panther, this is the picture that pops in my head. It is an iconic image and regardless of the Nakia and Okoye connection (which, if I’m being honest, I had no idea of until I read this article), I would have hung this proudly on my wall.

Also, I know Shuri takes up the mantle in the comics, but Okoye would be such a better choice imo. She is already a proven badass in the mcu and we really have not explored the genius of Shuri so it makes more sense in that aspect. Plus the “trial by combat” for the right to rule is much more up Okoye’s alley.

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J.2 April 12, 2021 - 6:35 pm

I picked up a 9.8 copy partially because of the 1st appearance the Dora Milaje. If you see Black Panther in the theme parks the Dora Milage are usually by his side.

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