Florence Kasumba in fighting mode as Ayo in Black Panther (Picture: Marvel Studios)
Warning: major spoilers ahead for episode three of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
Episode three of Marvel’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier saw James ‘Bucky’ Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) set off on a dangerous mission, teaming up with the ruthless Baron Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) and the resurfaced Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp).
While fans have been introduced to several new characters in the MCU series, including former super soldier Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly) and ‘new’ Captain America John Walker (Wyatt Russell), the latest instalment brought a familiar face into the mix with the arrival of Ayo (Florence Kasumba), one of the Black Panther’s Dora Milaje from Wakanda.
So who is Ayo, when has she been seen before and why is she after Baron Zemo?
Who is Black Panther character Ayo?
Ayo is a member of the Dora Milaje, a security team of women consisting of members of all the tribes of Wakanda.
The Dora Milaje are fierce warriors, in addition to being personal bodyguards and protectors of the King of Wakanda, the Black Panther.
Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o and Florence in Black Panther (Picture: Marvel Studios)
They were first introduced in the 2016 film Captain America: Civil War, when the late Chadwick Boseman made his first appearance as T’Challa and became the king of his nation after his father’s death.
When have we seen her before?
Ayo made her first appearance in the MCU in Captain America: Civil War alongside Chadwick and the leader of the Dora Milaje Okoye, played by The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira.
Florence reprised the role in the 2018 film Black Panther, before playing the character for a third time in the blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War, which was released in the same year.
The actor, who was born in Uganda and grew up in Germany, has also crossed over into the DC Universe, playing Amazon Senator Acantha in Wonder Woman.
What does she want with Baron Zemo?
After Bucky and Sam go to Madripoor with Zemo, they retrace the footsteps of anti-patriotism group the Flag-Smashers, led by Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman), to Latvia.
Zemo is out of prison and donning his signature mask (Picture: Marvel Studios)
Just as they’re about to enter a building on their search for the super-soldier serum, Bucky spots something on the ground and tells Sam and Zemo to go ahead without him.
Once out of their eyesight, Bucky picks up a bead on the ground, before finding another on a wall.
As he enters what appears to be an empty alleyway, he states: ‘You dropped something,’ before saying: ‘I was wondering when you were gonna show up,’ as Ayo appears before him.
‘I’m here for Zemo,’ she says.
Considering Zemo is an extremely dangerous criminal who was being kept in a top security prison before Bucky and a reluctant Sam helped him escape, it should come as no surprise that there will be other people on the Baron’s tail.
But does Ayo simply want to lock Zemo back up? Or does she – and perhaps other Black Panther characters – have something else in mind?
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is available to watch on Disney Plus with new episodes released on Fridays.
Credit: Original article published here.