FALCON & the WINTER SOLDIER: Here Comes AYO!
Marvel Blog True Believers, we’re still reeling from a fresh episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, released for streaming on Disney+ on Friday, April 2nd, 2021!
If you haven’t yet viewed the third episode of the first season of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, you’ll want to head away from this page immediately! You might consider checking out our coverage of the newly released trailer for Black Widow, which will be landing in theaters and on Disney+ (with Premier Access) on July 9th, 2021.
The Amazing Arrival of Ayo!
In the final moments of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode three, “Power Broker,” fans were treated to an amazing character arrival thanks to the surprise appearance of Ayo (Florence Kasumba)!
Here at Marvel Blog, we especially love these last-minute character reveals, because they’re straight out of the panels of Marvel Comes! Here’s the final page of M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games #2 (2021) by Jordan Blum, Patton Oswalt, Scott Hepburn, Carlos Lopez, and Travis Lanham, in which Gwen Poole leans on the fourth wall by riffing on the distinctive Marvel Comics storytelling practice of the “last page reveal.”
Thanks to the weekly serialized aspect of the Disney+ Marvel Cinematic Universe shows, the art of the “last page reveal” – pioneered by mid-credits appearances like J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home – is on display in full force on WandaVision (Fietro!) and now on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as well, thanks to the surprising appearance of Ayo.
Ayo on the Big Screen!
If Ayo looks familiar to you, that’s no surprise: you’ve probably seen her on the big screen!
She first appeared in Captain America: Civil War (2016). Ayo is the second in command of the Dora Milaje, the elite cadre of guards that protect Wakanda’s royal family (Dora Milaje means “Adored Ones”).
Ayo appeared on-screen in Civil War while acting in her official capacity, in service to then-King T’Chaka (John Kani), and after his murder at the hands of Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl), to King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman).
She next appeared in Black Panther (2018) with many other members of the Dora Milaje, including General Okoye (Danai Gurira), the guard’s leader. She appeared again in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), in which she can be seen defending Wakanda during the climactic battle against Thanos.
Ayo in the Panels of Marvel Comics!
Ayo’s first appearance was in Ultimates #1 (2015) by Al Ewing, Kenneth Rocafort, Dan Brown, and Joe Sabino – however, in her first appearance, she was unnamed.
But she soon went on to play an integral role in Black Panther #1 (2016) by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze, Laura Martin, and Sabino. Ayo and her ally, Aneka (who is introduced in Black Panther #8) continue to play a role throughout the subsequent story arc.
And readers who want to learn even more about Ayo and Aneka should consider Black Panther: World of Wakanda #1 (2016) by Roxane Gay, Coates, Alitha E. Martinez, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Sabino.
This series takes place before the aforementioned Black Panther #1, with one of the stories included exploring Ayo’s training for the Dora Milaje and showing how she and Aneka met one another and became romantically involved.
What’s Next for Ayo?
Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of Ayo in the remaining three episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and then more of her after that, perhaps in the upcoming Wakanda Disney+ series, currently being developed by Ryan Coogler.