Black Panther: World of Wakanda writer Roxane Gay answers the ongoing online debate regarding who would win in a battle between Gal Gadot’s titular hero in Wonder Woman and Black Panther‘s Dora Milaje leader, Okoye played by Danai Gurira. While the comic book writer is currently associated with Marvel, she may soon be heading over to DC after a short Twitter back-and-forth with Warner Bros. regarding her interest in penning the story for DC Films’ Batgirl.
Wonder Woman and Black Panther are two of the more important contemporary superhero films given their social and cultural impact in Hollywood so they are often compared with each other. More recently, however, conversations about the two films caused a commotion among fans when someone hypothetically asked who between Diana Prince and Okoye would win in a battle. Considering that it rounds back to the age-old DC vs. Marvel rivalry, the debate quickly became heated. Until Gay stepped in and gave her two cents on the matter.
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The writer took to her official Twitter and resolved the issue by saying that no battle will occur in the first place because both Diana and Okoye would rather work with each other than fight. Gay, who has been known for her acclaimed novels and books such as Difficult Women, Hunger, Bad Feminist and An Untamed State, has always shone a light on women’s experience, female empowerment, and racial experience, so it’s safe to say that she knows what she’s saying here.
And let me be clear. They wouldn’t fight not because women don’t fight or some such nonsense but because they are smart and wouldn’t choose violence unless it was necessary.
— roxane gay (@rgay) March 1, 2018
Gay’s answer makes sense considering how both Okoye’s and Diana’s characters grew up in societies where women support instead of tearing each other apart for competition. Black Panther‘s Wakanda, while ruled by a king, is a country that is built on the backs of strong and capable women who are pushed to excel in various fields such as combat, as seen in the Dora Milaje, and science and tech with Shuri (Letitia Wright). Director Ryan Coogler was actually keen on making sure that the film avoids traditional female rivalry tropes, which worked well given that every single female character in the film was given their own arc and roles to play in the fictitious nation instead of being bystanders.
Wonder Woman‘s Themyscira, on the other hand, is a hidden civilization populated only by women led by Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen). Despite the absence of male presence in their society, they are self-sufficient and able to run a sustainable government. Similar to Wakanda, everybody is given their own responsibilities. Further, they too have their version of Okoye in General Antiope (Robin Wright), who was the leader of their army before she died during the events of Diana’s first standalone movie.
In hindsight, the fact that Wakanda and Themyscira are more similar than different proves Gay’s point. Since most of these characters have the same values and codes that they live by, if there ever were a brewing turmoil between the two civilizations, they could easily empathize with each other and opt to discuss it diplomatically instead of going at each other’s throats right away. Perhaps Florence Kasumba, who was both Wonder Woman‘s Senator Acantha and Black Panther‘s Dora Milaje member Ayo, could be a mediator.
Source: Roxane Gay/Twitter