Wakanda Forever: The top three contenders to be the next Black Panther
By Elysee Johnson
Following the highly anticipated release of first teasing for marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverspeculation has begun over who will be the next Black Panther.
The first teaser for the sequel dropped this weekend at Comic-Con 2022 and boy, did it spark a conversation.
The visually stunning and impactful preview of the upcoming film was hard to watch as viewers saw glimpses of the Wakanda nation mourning the death of their King T’Challa, previously played by the late Chadwick Boseman.
Director Ryan Coogler stood firm in his decision not to recast Boseman, but the teaser confirmed he’s chosen a successor to continue Black Panther’s legacy.
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Who could it be?
Here are the characters most likely to take over.
It’s a somewhat obvious guess, as Letitia Wright’s Shuri has been rumored to be taking over for some time.
Not only is Shuri the Princess of Wakanda, but she’s also one of the most intelligent humans in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, her genius rivaling that of Iron-Man and Dr. Bruce Banner.
From the teaser, it’s clear that her brother’s death ends up weighing heavily on the Engineer, as she’ll have to step in and protect her kingdom anyway.
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In the comics, Shuri becomes the Black Panther and creates her new costume.
With Wakanda’s future hanging in the balance, the tech-savvy princess might be the best choice to save it.
The undercover spy and war dog may have been seen as a traitor among his people.
But Nakia was also the former flame that made T’Challa’s heart flutter.
It’s unclear how much time has passed since the king’s death, or what happened between him and Lupita Nyong’o’s character during that time.
Either way, as the preview showed, the spy is still around and fighting to protect Wakanda.
What if it was her that viewers saw bending the claws of the Black Panther in the latex suit?
Nakia is a trainer warrior and one of T’Challa’s few close confidants. So the late king could have left something very vital to his former romantic partner – a Black Panther costume.
Bucky Barnes / The Winter Soldier
Yes, this one may seem a bit left-handed, but be patient for a moment.
Although Sebastian Stan has not been confirmed to appear in the Black Panther sequel, never say never.
Many may remember that Bucky Barnes was granted asylum in Wakanda while on the run and recovering from his Hydra mind control, earning him the nickname “White Wolfe” and his cybernetic arm.
Yet Barnes is also on the wrong side of Wakanda for teaming up with a common enemy in The Falcon and The Winter Solider series. The war hero’s unfinished business with the country might be touched upon in the upcoming sequel.
Although Barnes becoming the Black Panther is a far cry from making amends with Wakanda, what better way to show his loyalty than to wear the symbol that has protected the nation for years.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will debut in theaters on November 11.
Cover photo: imago/Everett Collection