The Dora Milaje are some of the strongest fighters in the MCU. They are well known for their prowess as being well-crafted characters in the Black Panther franchise and giving great representation to Black women in media (as outlined by USA Today). Over their time in the MCU, the Dora Milaje have managed to grow even past their role of being the Black Panther’s bodyguards, and have each gained a spot in the Black Panther legacy on their own. This is best shown in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever with there being no Black Panther for the majority of the film and a new ruler to hold the throne as we watch Wakanda getting thrown into turmoil.
Whenever any member of the Dora Milaje shows up in an MCU movie or Disney+ series, it has a strong impact within the context of the story and serves as a critical and dire moment. After all, the Dora Milaje aren’t typically used for the MCU’s staple comedic banter that the franchise has come to be known for over the years. They have had many scenes in the MCU outside even the Black Panther movies that have helped them capture the audience’s hearts. Indeed, they have had so many incredible moments within the MCU since their initial appearance that it is hard to think of a time with them not being part of the franchise’s incredible legacy of films. For this reason, we need to look at these impactful moments.
6/6 The Dora Milaje Arresting Zemo
The Dora Milaje had a pretty unexpected return in The Falcon and the Winter Solder that had them going after the infamous Baron Zemo. Throughout most of their mission, you always got the idea that they were undoubtedly going to get what they wanted from Sam and Bucky in all of their interactions with them. This all culminated in a scene in which Bucky almost shoots Zemo in an attempt to get him off the board. However, he makes the choice to let Zemo live and be taken by the Dora Milaje, where it is revealed that he will be taken to a place called “The Raft.” Here, he will be locked away for what they hope will be a long time.
5/6 The Dora Milaje Fighting Against Thanos
During the big final battle in Avengers: Endgame, we get to see a lot of characters from the MCU come together to fight Thanos. One of the groups to join in this big massive fight is the Dora Milaje. This large-scale, all-encompassing battle shows that, despite them being very ground-level characters, many members of the Dora Milaje are strong enough to go up against intergalactic threats like Thanos, and still hold their own. Once again showing that the Dora Milaje shouldn’t be something that anyone who comes face to face with them should ever take lightly.
4/6 Dora Milaje vs Killmonger
When Killmonger took the throne in Black Panther, it was a massive turning point in the film. The Dora Milaje are typically supposed to serve their king, but with T’Challa thought to be dead, and Killmonger being an outsider trying to take the throne, it placed the Dora Milaje in a very precarious position. This makes the scene even more impactful when T’Challa does return in the movie, and the Dora Milaje are finally allowed to battle against the powerful Killmonger. Within this fight, we get to watch Killmonger slaughter a fellow Dora Milaje member as the entire group is pushed to their limits battling against such a powerful enemy.
3/6 The Lab Fight
In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, there is a moment in which we get to watch Shuri’s lab getting attacked by government soldiers, and it is up to the Dora Milaje to fight back against them. This scene is not only an excellent demonstration of what the Dora Milaje can do, but also features the characters of Ayo and Aneka in a major moment. In fact, these two characters play big roles throughout the movie as The Midnight Angels. Fans of Black Panther comics would know these characters well as they were created during Ta Nehsi Coates Black Panther run (via Women Write About Comics). While the characters do not serve the same purpose as they do in that film, it is interesting to see they are being used in this particular film in such a massive way.
2/6 Dora Milaje vs John Walker
This was such a fun moment in The Falcon and Winter Soldier as we watch the newly appointed Captain America get completely embarrassed by the Wakandan warriors. In this scene, John Walker doesn’t know who he is messing with once he tangles with these fighters, leading to a pretty iconic line where he says, “They weren’t even super soldiers.” This shows just how much they managed to break John Walker, pushing him to do something pretty drastic within the show. They even manage to take away his shield and really had the power to walk away with it if they chose to. It’s a powerful moment, and is very effective at turning the tides of this really amazing show to being something even more.
1/6 The Casino Fight
Probably the best moment in the first Black Panther movie was the battle in the casino. This was our first real showcase of what the Dora Milaje could do, and it was quite a treat. The scene does have the bonus of including T’Challa in it, allowing for the fight to have an extra piece of weight with the inclusion of its titular main character, but even without him, there are some great showings of technique by these warriors.
There is also the added benefit of the whole scene feeling like a continuous long take. We watch as the camera pans around the room to each of these situations, bearing witness to people falling from ceilings, punches going flying, and things getting destroyed. It is an amazing demonstration of battle prowess for many of the women being featured in the scene along with pushing the story around Klaw to its natural conclusion. And for this reason, it is the best moment for the Dora Milaje.