With the long-awaited sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever releasing this week, Marvel fans are about to receive an abundance of riches in their highly anticipated mass return to Wakanda. Expectations were high for many factors, including who ended up taking up the mantle of Black Panther after star Chadwick Boseman passed away, how director Ryan Coogler might handle T’Challa’s subsequent end, and how Marvel would pay homage to the groundbreaking performance from Boseman in his now most defining signature. role.
After its premiere launch party on November 10, it became clear that the storyline arcs featured in the sequel had clear and present implications for the entire future of the MCU.
In Marvel Comics, Riri Williams is taken under Iron Man’s wing, but in the Black Panther sequel her mentors have changed from Tony Stark to Queen Ramonda and Shuri. Dominique Thorne’s Williams is a genius teenage inventor who develops a vibranium detector, which invokes the wrath of Talocan’s ruler, Namor, who rules over a previously unknown underwater supply of vibranium.
While the character seems locked in plot at times, it’s obvious that Marvel is continuing to set up the Young Avengers, and it looks like, just like in the comics, Riri is set to become Iron’s eventual successor. Man (though fans are still wondering about Don Cheadle’s role). Rhodey and the results of the future Armor Wars project).
Okoye and the Midnight Angels
The first appearance of the Midnight Angels, a comic canon offshoot of the Dora Milaje, occurred in the third act of Wakanda Forever. After being stripped of her rank and duties by Queen Ramonda for failing to protect Shuri from being kidnapped by Talocan forces, Okoya seemingly fades into civilian life in Wakanda, only to be recruited by Shuri again. after Ramonda’s death.
The princess fashions a special vibranium costume for Okoye to fight the superhuman Talocan warriors. Since she’s still wearing it when rescuing an imprisoned Everett Ross at the start of the film, it’s safe to say that the Midnight Angels will factor into Danai Gurira’s rumored Disney+ spin-off series, showing how popular his Okoye character is.
Namor has arrived and he is a mutant
Fans were pretty sure that the debut of Silver Age’s favorite character, Namor the Submarine, wouldn’t just be a one-time antagonist for Wakanda (and they weren’t disappointed). Tenoch Huerta’s Mesoamerican anti-hero was a compelling and likable character throughout the sequel, with functional winged feet and commensurate cannon powers.
More tantalizing was the reveal of another Marvel mutant reference (second after Ms. Marvel’s heyday, third if you count Jennifer Walters’ meta-reference to KEVIN in She-Hulk: Attorney At Law), to Namor himself- even revealing his mutant status. The MCU continues to accelerate its arrival of mutant-in-waiting, and Namor may be one of the oldest among them.
Sovereignty issues after the death of Queen Ramonda
It is absolutely irrefutable that Angela Bassett commands the first half of Wakanda Forever, typical of Bassett’s highly respected acting talents. It comes as a shocking blow to all when the Queen herself dies after saving Riri Williams during an attack by Namor’s Talocan forces.
The film sets up a future story arc in which the rightful ruler of Wakanda will have to be determined and whether it will be Letitia Wright’s new Black Panther, Princess Shuri or Winston Duke’s M’Baku, for the latter contested the right to the throne. at the beginning of the film.
Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine goes to the plate
A significant surprise on first viewing of Wakanda Forever was the unknown role of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s surreptitious government agent, Contessa Allegra de Fontaine. His unexpected appearance in the Black Panther sequel was clearly a nod to his budding future in the MCU.
She made brief but disturbing appearances in both The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, as well as Black Widow, and is now the new head of the CIA and boss to ex-husband Everett Ross. Although an antagonist of Wakanda throughout its history, Fontaine does not have a central role to play in the main plot, but will certainly continue to expand to show its role in Thunderbolts.
Ayo and Aneka will be at the heart of the Okoye spin-off
Since the MCU tried to move towards a more progressive approach, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever seemed to include LGBTQ+ representation. New character Aneka, played by I May Destroy You lead actor Michaela Coel, played a fairly prominent role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, alongside Florence Kasumba’s talented Ayo.
The two supporting characters managed to survive the Wakandan-Talocan conflict, with Aneka donning Midnight Angel armor at Okoye’s request to Shuri. At the beginning of the film, it was shown that they are a couple and they will undoubtedly play a role in Danai Gurira’s Okoye series.
Gods and the Supernatural Continue to Expand Within the MCU
As seen in more recent MCU Phase Four offerings like Moon Knight, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Werewolf By Night, the mystical and supernatural are gradually becoming an integral part of the multiverse saga. Whether it’s Ms. Marvel’s bracelet, the Man-Thing, or the growing MCU pantheon of gods, the supernatural origins of events and characters have defined much of Phase Four.
This includes the early days of Namor, where her mother appealed to the Mayan god Chaak to save her pregnancy and the deity led her village shaman to an underwater cavern (where a glowing seaweed plant sprouted from a vibranium-rich soil). This discovery not only led to the birth of Namor and his godlike mutant powers, but also Shuri’s eventual ability to become the new Black Panther when she synthesizes a heart-shaped weed derivative from the same algae.
MCU Characters Go Beyond World Domination Motive
It was always assumed that by returning to Wakanda, Marvel audiences would endure the grief and loss portrayed by T’Challa’s family and friends. Yet the loss of the king is also seen alongside the theme of redemption and corruption. Shuri herself struggles with hostility to the outside world, a byproduct of her grief over her brother’s death.
It similarly follows Wanda Maximoff’s later turn to her darker side in Scarlet Witch, Thor’s losses leading to his surrogate fatherhood in Love and Thunder, Yelena Belova’s drive for revenge against Clint Barton in Hawkeye, and the Namor’s own will to protect his people from colonial subjugation. .
The new black panther is coming
Preview trailers and the limited release of footage had already shown that the new Black Panther was going to be female, and the favorite was T’Challa’s younger sister, Shuri. It indeed turned out to be the case, as many die-hard Marvel fans expected, and the powerful portrayal rendered by Letitia Wright was incredible as she fulfilled a dual role as the MCU’s newest figurehead (and new possible or likely ruler of Wakanda) and a heroic tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman.
In the sequel’s climax, Shuri proved herself to be a worthy warrior, defeating Namor with both brains and brawn, and fans are eagerly wondering how Shuri’s new Black Panther will fit into Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars.
T’Challa live on
In perhaps one of the most moving and heartwarming end or mid-credit scenes in Marvel history, Shuri ends up visiting Haiti to perform a purifying farewell ritual to her brother T’Challa at Nakia’s request. Nakia joins her with a young boy by her side, who is actually Nakia and T’Challa’s son. It’s no coincidence, while his real name is T’Challa, his Haitian name is Toussaint, which happens to be the name of the famous Haitian revolutionary leader.
The short scene serves to emphasize that T’Challa lives through his son, who will unquestionably take on his father’s role one day.