Ayo

A rebellious Dora Milaje initiate, Ayo becomes one of Wakanda’s fiercest fighters.

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Biography

Biography

The rebellious, if not passionate, warrior Ayo stops at nothing to protect her people and the ones she loves.

Fighter Without Mercy
 

Ayo is a strong-willed, passionate woman raised by her father who treated her no differently than her brothers—training her to fight without mercy. She believes in justice and fighting for Wakanda. When chosen to join the Dora Milaje, the elite force of women warriors who protect the royal family and especially King T’Challa, AKA Black Panther, Ayo does so with gusto. Though when she meets the Dora’s Captain Aneka, she challenges her authority, but trains tirelessly to be the best in the group.

Warrior Woman
 

Ayo is a warrior of Wakanda, a skilled member of the Dora Milaje highly trained in various forms of fighting styles, with and without traditional Wakandan weaponry such as spears. Prepared to be fierce and fearless, and to serve the royal family, she uses her skills to protect her nation.

Ayo typically wears traditional Dora Milaje armor, though she has stolen prototype Midnight Angel armor in the past, which is equipped with wings that not only allow her to fly but also deflect bullets. She wields a vibranium-empowered staff which can break through concrete and acts like a boomerang when thrown. Ayo also wears Kimoyo Beads in the form of a bracelet, which is an advanced piece of communication technology. She is also able to breathe under water for a time without assistance.

Enemies Everywhere
 

When Namor McKenzie, AKA Namor the Sub-Mariner, the King of Atlantis, attacked Wakanda, Ayo, and the Dora Milaje cleaned up the Golden City. After clearing the rubble, Aneka and the Dora discovered King T’Challa fraternizing with the enemy and refused to follow him.

When Aneka killed Folami’s father, an abusive village chieftain, Folami took her rage out on Aneka by attacking her lover Ayo... But Ayo defended herself successfully.

The revolutionary Zenzi led The People, a group that tried to topple the Wakandan monarchy. Zenzi possessed the ability to control and amplify people’s emotions, which she used to stir up the citizens of Wakanda. Ayo allied with Zenzi and The People until the alliance fell apart because of their violence towards liberated women.

Nakia, a member of the Dora Milaje, became dangerously obsessed with King T’Challa, and her actions against his family resulted in her banishment from Wakanda. Nakia then developed an arsenal of weapons, including a drug that gave her power over men, but it made her ill. She tried to lure T’Challa to her before she died from the drug and stole a doomsday weapon while wreaking havoc across New York City. Ayo and her fellow Dora Milaje battled her with the help of Spider-Man, Ororo Munroe (AKA Storm), the X-Men, and the Avengers.

Ayo and Spider-Man

Close Allies and Closer Ties
 

Ayo joined the Dora Milaje (which means “Adored Ones”)—a group of personal bodyguards of the Black Panther and the royal family, recruited from every tribe of the African nation of Wakanda. An ancient tradition originally designed to help keep the peace among rival tribes, the Dora Milaje used to be potential wives-in-training for the king, but that aspect fell by the wayside. Ayo trained at the headquarters of the Dora Milaje, Upanga, with other Dora Milaje members, and became one of her king’s protectors.

Mistress Zola and Captain Aneka led the Dora. Initially, Ayo acted rebellious, even defiant, towards Aneka in her first training session. Though after months of training and sparing, Ayo and Aneka became romantically entangled with one another, and together they left the king’s Dora to liberate people oppressed and ignored by the royal family. Doing so, they formed another Dora Milaje using the Midnight Angels armor but eventually returned to the royal family’s service when Queen Shuri asked them to support their king in a time of need.

Ayo’s Account
 

After weeks of training, Ayo still got schooled by her trainer Aneka, but also found her to be attractive. Ayo even visited her room to be with her, but Aneka refused to open her door because of her leadership role.

Months later, Namor attacked Wakanda, and while clearing the rubble and dead bodies in the Golden City, Ayo adamantly encouraged Aneka that the Dora Milaje should hunt him down. Aneka reminded her to be patient, but Ayo snapped at her. The Dora’s leader Mistress Zola then assigned both Ayo and Aneka to serve Queen Shuri instead of King T’Challa. Shortly afterward, Ayo and Aneka admitted their feelings for one another and consummated their new relationship. On a mission with the king, they discovered that he colluded with their enemy Namor and in following suit with Aneka, Ayo refused to follow him any longer.

Ayo, Aneka, and Black Panther

Ayo and Aneka left the city for a time to get away from it all and grow closer. While they were away from Wakanda, Thanos attacked, and Queen Shuri perished. The Queen-Mother Ramonda asked the Dora Milaje to make peace with T’Challa. Aneka regretted leaving the city, and as Ayo tried to be the voice of reason, Mistress Zola ordered them to their places with the Dora. Though that night, a desperate woman, Lesedi, arrived at the Dora Milaje’s door and begged for help; she described how her village’s Chieftain Diya brutalized the women while the men in her village did nothing to stop him. With Mistress Zola’s consent, Aneka investigated Lesedi’s claim, and when she uncovered the truth about him, she killed the man. With Aneka imprisoned, the chieftain’s daughter, Folami, a fellow Dora Milaje, vowed vengeance against Aneka and attacked Ayo in the night. Ayo stabbed her in the eye, however, causing Folami to retreat.

The next day, Ayo protested her imprisonment to the Queen-Mother, but despite her efforts, Ramonda sentenced Aneka to death. Ayo refused to let that be their story’s ending, and in stealing the Midnight Angel armor prototypes, Ayo broke Aneka out of prison, and they formed the Midnight Angels—a Dora Milaje offshoot that defends the people of Wakanda overlooked by the royal family.

As the Midnight Angels, they defended oppressed women and fought back the White Gorilla Army from the Jabari-lands. They then proclaimed themselves and their recruits the Dora Milaje. They killed White Gorilla, Lord Mandla, and reshaped the Jabari-lands into a more democratic society. T’Challa attacked their land to restore order but Zenzi, a revolutionary with empathic powers that control others’ emotions, halted the attack. Zenzi led The People, who the new Dora allied with against the monarchy, though their alliance ended as The People acted violently towards the liberated women.

When T’Challa resurrected Queen Shuri, Shuri confronted Ayo and Aneka and asked them to make peace with T’Challa to defend the Golden City against The People’s upcoming attack. Ayo and the Midnight Angels agreed. After the defeat of The People, hearings for the Dora Milaje resulted in T’Challa forming a more democratic government.

Later, Ayo joined her fellow Dora Milaje, Aneka and Okoye, to capture their former warrior-in-arms Nakia, AKA Malice. Malice attacked NYC and the trio fought her off with help from Spider-Man, though they lost her. While tracking her down, the group ran into Morris Bench, AKA Hydro-Man, and defeated him. Meanwhile, Malice’s plot to gain T’Challa’s attention resulted in the creation of a world-ending weapon, Mimic-27. Ayo and the Dora joined with Storm, the X-Men, Black Panther, and the Avengers to stop the weapon. With pressure from the Panther, Nakia decided to help control the problem she created, but in doing so it led to her death. Ayo realized, perhaps too late, that she may have misjudged her former Dora companion.

gender

Female

Universe, Place of Origin
  • Universe

  • Place of Origin

Essential Reading
Dora Milaje
Historically, the Dora Milaje served as bodyguards and “wives-in-training” for the Black Panther. In the modern era, the “Adored Ones” are the most formidable female fighting force in the world, willing to sacrifice everything to protect Wakanda and its people.
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