Nakia Black Panther Guide

Latest posts by Marjorie Soares (see all)

If you are a fan of the amazons or female warriors in general, you may be interested in a Nakia Black Panther Guide. Nakia is a fierce warrior, part of the Dora Milaje, or the “adored ones” as translated from Wakandian. They are an elite force of female warriors responsible for the safety of the King of Wakanda. She made her comic book debut in Black Panther Vol 3 #1, as a part of Chris Priest’s famous run. Although she was quite a mysterious figure in early issues, we come to discover more about her as each issue passes.

My Bottom Line Upfront

Nakia’s beginning as a hero’s ally and her further descent into villainess after being rejected by the Black Panther proves that indeed, love can make people a little bit crazy.

  • General information on Nakia
  • The most important story points
  • Movie version
  • Opinion – is she awesome or lame?


Nakia’s personality is not easy to pinpoint, as she is a very mysterious woman, but a few events can show us some of her characteristics. Nakia is very serious, we don’t often see her smiling. She is also very focused and ruthless, but that can be a side effect of her Dora Milaje training. These girls are tough and ready for business!

She can also be extremely violent. In the Marvel comics, it is stated that while staying in the U.S, T’Challa armed his bodyguards with non-lethal weapons and told them of this country’s no-kill policy. And perhaps, her most important trait, Nakia is persistent to the point of obsession. Her infatuation with T’Challa, deemed by others as a simple schoolgirl crush, soon escalated into a full-blown obsession. But more on that later.


Image from Fandom

Nakia is a tall, black, amazonian-like woman, who as a Dora Milaje regularly dresses in red. She is often depicted with straight hair during present times but will sometimes appear with beaded hair in flashbacks. She is considered to be extremely beautiful.

In her first appearance as the villain Malice, she wears a blue leotard with boots of the same color and various gold accessories. In issue 31, she appears in a different costume. Instead of a leotard, it is a top and loincloth combination, the purple replaces the blue, and there are fewer golden accessories. Moreover, in the limited three-part series Wakanda Forever, Nakia is much older and now wears a leopard print blouse, purple belt and heels, and red pants with orange geometric shapes. She also wears an afro hairstyle.

Key Relationships

Nakia has been training for most of her life to be a Dora Milaje, as such her relationships are restricted to a select group. Though some are initially amicable, and others not so much, after her transformation into Malice most of her good relationships are destroyed.

King T’Challa: As a Dora Milaje, it is Nakia’s duty to accompany, protect and obey King T’Challa. Though the relationship between the King and his bodyguards is platonic, Nakia wanted something more. Her romantic obsession with the King ends up making an enemy out of him.

Okoye: Her partner in the Dora Milaje duties. They work together all the time, but their interactions don’t encompass much more than that. However, Nakia did confide in Okoye about her feelings toward T’Challa showing that there might have been a close bond between the two of them before Nakia became a villain.

Erik Killmonger: This is the man who saved her from certain death and granted her powers. Probably the only somewhat amicable relationship she had after turning evil.

Monica Lynne: Nakia and Monica didn’t get along very well, as Nakia was very jealous of all T’Challa’s love interests. And worst of all, the Wakandian warrior even tried to kill Monica.

Storm: Nakia’s relationship with Storm is similar to her own with Monica. Storm was another one of T’Challas’s love interests she was jealous of and tried to kill.

See also: Thor vs Superman: The Ultimate Face-Off 

Early Days

Image from Fandom

Nakia was born in a Wakandian village located in the Q’Noma Valley and like many other girls was groomed to be a Dora Milaje early on in her life. She was accepted into training when she was 14 years old and started living a life full of luxury in the King’s palace. From the moment she met T’Challa, she fell in love with him and started believing her feelings were reciprocated, even when pieces of evidence showed the contrary.

Though she was still far from hideous acts, she was prone to creating weird situations to grab the king’s attention. For instance, when she saw T’Challa in a pool with his then-new lover Monica Lynne, Nakia threw herself in the water and pretended to drown so the king would save her. A very Prima Donna move!

Fall from Grace, Death, and Salvation

Image from Fandom

Nakia had been in love with T’Challa from the moment they met. Though the king never made any advances, she always believed he reciprocated her feelings. In Vol 3 issue 3, After the all-powerful demon Mephisto wrapped T’Challa around in an illusion, the Black Panther kissed Nakia, while thinking he was kissing his loved one, the American Monica Lynne. This appeared to Nakia as confirmation of what she always believed, and from then on her feelings only grew stronger and her attitude more desperate.

In issue 7, Okoye tries to reason with her, saying that the King only loves the Dora Milaje platonically and has no intention of choosing either one as his wife. In issue 11, while the Dora Milaje, Monica, Zuri, and agent Ross (an ally to T’Challa) were on a plane flying towards Wakanda, Nakia talks badly of Monica to her fellow Dora Milaje. Okoye reprimands her and then reaffirms the king only kissed Nakia because he was under Mephisto’s influence. Nakia just ignores this comment and insists the king is in love with her and that Monica is of no consequence.

After the talk between the Dora Milaje, there comes the turning point for the character. After each person is ejected out of the plane into their mission, Nakia and Monica are alone. Nakia states the king loves her, but Monica answers the king only sees the Dora Milaje as a child and that the warrior will never catch up. Enraged, Nakia ejects Monica’s chair from the plane, presumably causing her death.

In issue 13, T’Challa questions Nakia about Monica’s whereabouts saying the warrior was supposed to protect her. Nakia says she has failed her duty and Monica was killed by an enemy tribe, but T’Challa doesn’t believe her. He gets to the conclusion Nakia killed Monica, and exiles the warrior to her village. The warrior goes away in her flying motorcycle but there is an accident and she falls down. Achebe finds the young woman, tortures her, and leaves her to die alone. Fortunately for the former Dora Milaje, Killomnger (an old enemy of the Black Panther) saves her.

Evil Doings

Image from Fandom

In issue 24, Nakia makes her first appearance as Malice, attacking the Black Panther. After genetics enhancements, she now possesses superhuman strength and accuracy. She is enraged over T’Challa’s rejection not just because of her feelings toward him, but because according to tribal law if the king makes any advances toward a Dora Milaje, she can’t marry anyone else. In her words, because of his rejection, she can know no other love, no home, and no family. She feels extreme pain for what she cannot have and has made T’Challa the sole reason for her existence.

Nakia comes back in issue 31, poisoning all those who are close to T’Challa in order to take revenge against him. T’Challa investigates Malice’s attacks until finally confronting her in a physical fight. The people at the location and the police think the Black Panther was trying to harm an innocent young woman, so they hold him back and Malice knocks him out. With the Black Panther captured, Nakia starts using the powers of a plant called Jufeiro in order to control the king and make him susceptible to her advances. But as only the effects of the plant aren’t enough, Malice threatens to kill those close to the king.

In order to solve the conflict in the best way possible, T’Challa pretends to be enamored with Nakia and gives his pledge to her. However, an unsolicited attack from the king’s forces spoils the plan and the king has to confront his foe directly. He says that when the tribes in Wakanda discover Nakia’s actions, her home village will be despised which will lead to war and he can not let this happen. To avoid war, he will destroy Nakia’s village. At first, Malice doesn’t believe the king will do it, but after seeing just how serious he is, she gives him the antidote to the poison she used on T’Challas’s friends.

See also: The Best Wonder Woman Pajamas

Wakanda Forever

Image from Fandom

In the three-part series Wakanda Forever we witness the return of Malice after she stole a powerful Wakandian weapon, the Mimic-27. This weapon is a sort of shapeshifting mass with astounding possibilities and she uses it to wreak havoc in Brooklyn. So of course the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man showed up and fought the villain with the help of the Dora Milaje. However, Malice gets away saying that until T’Challa talks to her, there will be trouble. Years have passed and she still hasn’t given up on the man!

Conflict with Malice showed the villain was more disturbed than normal. The Dora Milaje reveal that this is due to the Jufeiro Herb, the plant the villain uses to control other people, which is making her ill. In the next issue, Nakia targets Storm, T’Challa’s love interest. She attacks Storm, Rogue, and Nightcrawler at the grocery store with the secret weapon to mimic the X-men’s powers.

With the intense fight, the mimic-27 breaks free from Malice’s control and causes great destruction. In order to devise a plan, the Dora Milaje, the X-men, and Malice talk, but the villain is reluctant to help unless T’Challa appears. And so, the Black Panther arrives. In the final issue, the king convinces Nakia to help them destroy the mimic -27. Nakia and the Dora Milaje are successful in their mission, but with a high cost. The substance in the weapon was stalling the effects of Nakia’s illness, and when it was destroyed, she died.

Black Panther Movie

Image from Fandom

Nakia’s portrayal in the 2018 Black Panther movie and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a total departure from her comic book depiction. She was born in the river village of Wakanda, but instead of training to be a Dora Milaje like in the comics, she became a part of an elite espionage group called the War Dogs. In her work, she became increasingly involved in missions to help not only Wakanda but the whole world and especially women in vulnerable positions.

Though she and T’Challa have built a friendship and romantic relationship since their teenage years, Nakia doesn’t agree with him on everything, nor put her ideals behind her to please the king. She has stated several times how she thinks Wakanda should open itself to the world and open those outside its borders, a vision that initially didn’t sit well with the king. However, after the events of the movie, T’Challa started seeing this matter in a different light and decided to change his approach. In the end, it seems both Nakia and T’Challa have found a way to do their missions and be together as well.

Awesome or Lame?

As much as it pains me to say this, Nakia is kind of lame. And the worst part is she has so much wasted potential! Nakia is a powerful woman, who went through formidable training and became an amazing warrior, but ultimately her arch is resumed to an obsession with a man. Although as she states in issue 24, her pain is because she can’t have a relationship or build a family due to tribal law, a lack of better development makes these motivations fall flat. She could have had a story arch where she realized she has to make her own destiny and can’t be held back by tradition, but instead, she’s just defeated and her worldview doesn’t change.

Fortunately, though, we have another version of the character who is pretty awesome, and that is the movie version. Besides Lupita Nyong’o’s formidable charisma, in the Black Panther movie, Nakia is well written. She has romantic feelings for T’Challa and they have a history, but she is conscious of her necessities outside of relationships and doesn’t give up on them just because of a man. If they decide to lead her through the villainous path in future movies, I believe that will be done better and we may see a truly compelling villain onscreen.


Question: Are nakia and okoye sisters?

Answer: No, they are not, although their years of training together and serving the king have made them close.

Question: Does Nakia become Black Panther?

Answer: No, that doesn’t happen in the comics or the movie. But as we don’t know what will happen in the movie’s sequel, Wakanda Forever, anything can still happen…

Question: What happened to Nakia after black panther?

Answer: After the Black Panther movie, Nakia wasn’t seen in other MCU installments. This could be due to her not being a part of Wakanda’s military or scheduling conflicts with actress Lupita Nyong’o. But if the end of the movie is to be taken into consideration, she probably dived into her work on the Wakandan International Outreach Centre, located in Oakland.

Wait for the Future

Nakia is an important character in Black Panther comics who shows that your former allies can become your worst enemies. Though her characterization in the comics is not the best, the movie version makes up for it and I hope it will become an inspiration for future comics. However, no matter the version, if Nakia appears you know you’re in for good action!

Recommended Reads:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top