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"The Dora Milaje have jurisdiction wherever the Dora Milaje find themselves to be."
Ayo to John Walker[src]

The Dora Milaje are an elite group of female bodyguards and Wakandan special forces.

History

Serving T'Chaka

"It's these two Grace Jones-looking chicks. They holding spears."
"Open it."
"You're serious?"
"They won't knock again."
James and N'Jobu[src]

The Dora Milaje visit N'Jobu

The Dora Milaje served King T'Chaka during his time as the Black Panther. In 1992, two Dora Milaje accompanied King T'Chaka to the apartment home of the undercover Prince N'Jobu in Oakland, California after arriving via stealth-craft. After confirming N'Jobu's identity, they struck their spears on the ground, causing the lights to go out during a short range EMBurst to allow the Black Panther an entrance. When the light returned, King T'Chaka was standing between them, as N'Jobu knelt per his standing. After removing his helmet, T'Chaka dismissed the Dora back to the Royal Talon Fighter on the roof.[1]

Vienna Aftermath

Ayo calmly threatens Natasha Romanoff

"Move. Or you will be moved."
Ayo to Natasha Romanoff[src]

In 2016, following the death of King T'Chaka, T'Challa was escorted by Ayo, a member of the Dora Milaje, to his car when he learned from his Attaché that Bucky Barnes had escaped from the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre Building. The Attaché informed him their tracking satellites are in full tracking of Barnes, when the group was intercepted by Natasha Romanoff; of whom Ayo ordered out of their way or else she would be removed by force, to which T'Challa mused at as he dismissed her to hear what Romanoff had to say.[2]

Rescuing Nakia

Okoye flies T'Challa on their mission

"No need, Okoye, I can handle this alone."
"Just don't freeze when you see her."
"What are you talking about? I never freeze."
T'Challa and Okoye[src]

Prior to his coronation as King of Wakanda, T'Challa enlisted the aid of Okoye, General of the Dora Milaje, to assist him in recruiting Nakia, a War Dog and T'Challa's former lover. As they tracked her down, T'Challa prepared to intercept the slave convoy Nakia had infiltrated when Okoye reminded him not to freeze when he and Nakia saw each other, which T'Challa refuted before dropping from the Royal Talon Fighter.

Okoye and T'Challa talking about Nakia

As he descended, T'Challa released several EMP Beads onto the convoy, disabling their vehicles. After dispatching the guerillas on the ground, T'Challa hesitated when he saw Nakia, allowing one of the slave traders to get the drop on them, holding one of the women at gunpoint until Okoye appeared, disarming and impaling him with her spear. She then dryly remarked that T'Challa froze as expected, much to the prince's chagrin.

Okoye orders the women to remain silent

After freeing the slaves, Okoye ordered the group to never speak of the events they'd just witnessed before the Wakandans took off in the Royal Talon Fighter, leaving the group awestruck. Okoye piloted the Flyer back to the Golden City, and by the coming morning had entered into Wakanda.[1]

T'Challa's Coronation

The Dora Milaje greet T'Challa upon his return

"Dora Milaje! Phambili![3]"
T'Challa[src]

As the three entered Birnin Zana, they were greeted by Dora Milaje escorts, led by Ayo, accompanying Princess Shuri and Queen Mother Ramonda. After having a brief conversation with Shuri, Okoye dismissed the rest of Dora escorts, leading them away to prepare for the festival. Nakia departed to redress so as to arrive in her traditional River Tribe attire.

The Dora Milaje and Jabari surround T'Challa and M'Baku's duel

Later, as the leaders of the Wakandan Tribes and their warriors journeyed down the river to Warrior Falls, the Dora Milaje struck their spears on their riverboat, activating the drainage system for the waterfall. The falls reduced to reveals a hidden space just below the cusp of the waterfall, which allowed for the Tribal Elders to gather and visitors to bear witness. As the ceremony commenced, the Dora Milaje took their places along the edge of the Falls while Zuri asked for challengers from the Wakandan tribes to face T'Challa in ritual combat to fight for the mantles of Black Panther and King of Wakanda.

The Dora Milaje surround the opposing duel

When none of the tribes chose to challenge, the Jabari Tribe had then arrived, led by M'Baku. Entering in tribal chant, M'Baku, believing the Golden Tribe had weakened Wakanda's character, challenged T'Challa, who accepted after hearing the Jabari leader speak of his late father T'Chaka. As the ritual combat began, both leaders commanded their warriors to take up position surrounding the combatants, with both Jabari tribesmen and Dora Milaje forming a semi-circle boundary with their spears, drawing closer whenever a combatant was downed or nearing the precipice. Ultimately, T'Challa bested M'Baku, much to Okoye's relief as the Wakandans celebrated their new king.[1]

Killmonger's Challenge

The Dora Milaje stand ready as T'Challa speaks to Killmonger

With the surprise of arrival of Erik Killmonger with the corpse of Ulysses Klaue, Okoye then informed T'Challa of Killmonger's arrival, just as the King also learning at the moment about Killmonger's service record by a recovered Everette Ross. After W'Kabi brought Killmonger before the Wakandan Council, the Dora Milaje stood ready in the Council Chamber to protect the King and Council Members from the potential threat. But upon his revelation as N'Jobu's son, proved by his possession of his father's Wakandan Royal Ring, the Dora Milaje were duty bound not to interfere as Killmonger claimed his bloodright to challenge for the throne and mantle.

The Dora Milaje witness Killmonger besting T'Challa

At Warrior Falls, the Dora Milaje stood by as the challenge played out. As the challenge was informal, and Killmonger was of no tribe, the Dora stood to witness. They observed as T'Challa was removed of the power of the Black Panther, to fight as a mortal man, and battle Killmonger to an eventual losing battle. Okoye held back her concern for T'Challa out of her duty as a Dora to serve whoever may be king. But it was Zuri who broke the clause of non-intervention and prevented a killing blow from Killmonger, thus turning the lost prince's bloodlust onto him. After witnessing T'Challa's supposed death being thrown off the edge at Warrior Falls, the Dora stood to serve their new King and Black Panther; however, Okoye allowed Nakia to take Ramonda and Shuri into exile to save them from their cousin's wrath.[1]

Battle of Mount Bashenga

The Dora Milaje witnessing T'Challa's return

"Ayo! The King!"
Okoye to Ayo[src]

When Erik Killmonger was preparing forces to disseminate Wakandan weapons to War Dogs, all were surprised as T'Challa had revealed himself alive by grounding an aircraft. Seeing as he neither died nor yielded, the Challenge for the throne was still ongoing. But finding Killmonger order the Border Tribe to attack T'Challa instead of finishing the challenge himself, General Okoye ordered the Dora Milaje to stand against him, as his hatred and dishonor made him unsuited for the Wakandan throne or mantle of the Black Panther. Okoye stayed with a small squad to fight Killmonger, all while having Ayo lead the remaining members to aid T'Challa against the Border Tribe just on the slope of Mt. Bashenga.

Following the M'Baku's reinforcements, the Dora Milaje and Jabari Tribe were victorious and the remaining Border Tribes men laid down their weapons and kneeled.[1]

Infinity War

Battle of Wakanda

Dora Milaje witness the Avengers' arrival

In 2018, the Dora Milaje stood alongside T'Challa when he greeted members of the Avengers upon their arrival. Later, they stood alongside members of the Border Tribe, the Jabari Tribe warriors, and the Wakandan Royal Guard and fought bravely in the Battle of Wakanda. Riding in troop hover tanks, the United Wakandan Forces rode to the edge of the outer force field blocking out the Outriders. The joint Avenger Wakandan forces waged a long war, suffering many casualties before the arrival of Thor, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot which turned the tide of battle in their favor and they had managed to defeat the Outriders.

Dora Milaje see the Snap's effects

Despite their victory, Thanos arrived and completed the Infinity Gauntlet, snapping his fingers and wiping out half of all life in the universe. Doras on the battlefield watched helplessly as Wakandan warriors disintegrated in the Snap before them.[4]

Battle of Earth

Dora Milaje joining the battle

Five years later, the members of the Dora Milaje who had perished were restored to life by Hulk using the six Infinity Stones retrieved by the Avengers. They were transported via an Inter-Dimensional Portal to fight with their king, princess, and commander in the final battle against an alternate Thanos and his army.[5]

Chasing Baron Zemo

Skirmish in Latvia

Ayo being reunited with Bucky Barnes

"The Dora's coming for you any minute. In fact, they're probably lurking outside right now."
Bucky Barnes to Baron Zemo[src]

In 2024, three Dora Milaje members, Ayo, Yama, and Nomble travelled to Riga, Latvia to arrest Helmut Zemo after learning he had escaped prison.[6] There Ayo met with Bucky Barnes and told him that he had eight hours before they would come back.

Dora Milaje fighting against John Walker

After the hours had passed, they returned and then engaged in a fight with John Walker and Lemar Hoskins, with Zemo escaping in the skirmish. Barnes and Sam Wilson intervened to stop them, in which they ultimately did and left after finding Zemo gone.[7]

Arrest of Baron Zemo

Dora Milaje arrest Helmut Zemo

After getting updated on Zemo's location by Barnes, the Dora Milaje went to Sokovia and took Helmut Zemo into custody at the Sokovian Memorial. Ayo told Barnes that they would take Zemo to the Raft, before Barnes asked them for another favor.[8]

Members

Appearances

Appearances for Dora Milaje

In chronological order:

Trivia

  • In the comics, the Dora Milaje are the personal bodyguards and royal security of Black Panther, recruited from every tribe of Wakanda. In addition with their protective function, they are also a pool of superior Wakandan women for the King to possibly marry.

Behind the Scenes

  • Black Panther producer Nate Moore revealed in an interview with Screen Rant that the betrothal aspect from the comics was deliberately excluded from the Marvel Cinematic Universe incarnation of the group: "You know, that was sort of part of the original Christopher Priest run where they were all betrothed which we felt wasn’t necessary to tell the story of the Dora and in a way we all kind of rejected as being a little creepy. So we will not be exploring that."[9]
  • The Dora Milaje costumes drew inspiration from Filipino and Japanese elements in addition to its African roots. According to senior visual development illustrator Anthony Francisco, the shoes were meant to look like Japanese jika-tabi boots, the beadwork and tassles from Ifugao decor in the Philippines, the arm bands and neck rings from Ndebele women, and the rest of the costume from the Maasai. With around 80% of the costume from African sources, Francisco described the breakdown of other influences as "five percent Samurai, five percent ninja, and five percent Ifugao tribe."[10]

References

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