Is The New Black Panther Suit Gold To Honor Killmonger?

Warning: Contains spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.The new Black Panther suit Shuri wears in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has a distinctive gold color scheme, which invites the question of whether or not it’s meant to honor Killmonger. After meeting with Killmonger in the Ancestral Plane, Shuri successfully gained the powers of the Black Panther and moved on to pick the Black Panther suit she would wear in her fight against Namor. At first, Shuri goes for a suit with a mask that resembles T’Challa’s, but she walks past it and goes for a different suit, which ends up being the Black Panther suit with gold coloring that was shown in various promotional materials.

The gold coloring is also reminiscent of Killmonger’s suit from the original Black Panther film, and that calls to mind the idea of Shuri trying to honor him with it in Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It would make sense for Shuri to have a degree of empathy for Killmonger after everything that happened in Black Panther, but at a first glance, the idea of her trying to honor him might not make a lot of sense. However, Shuri doing that makes perfect sense when taking her character arc for the film into account, and in a lot of ways, it even makes Killmonger’s original story even better.

Why Shuri Would Honor Killmonger In Her New Black Panther Suit

While Shuri might not have had any love for Killmonger, her trying to honor him makes perfect sense. When the two of them spoke in the Ancestral Plane, Killmonger comments on how they’re alike for wanting the world to burn out of revenge for their loved ones and how both of the previous Black Panthers were weak, T’Chaka for killing Killmonger’s father and T’Challa for sparing Zemo in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War. Shuri repeatedly speaks about wanting revenge after their meeting, so her wearing a Black Panther suit reminiscent of Killmonger’s was likely her way of acknowledging that she agreed with him to some extent.

Black Panther 2 Makes Killmonger’s Story Even Better

Another benefit of Shuri’s connection to Killmonger in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is that it makes his original story even better. Shuri’s arc in the film parallels Killmonger’s in that her anger and need for vengeance were corrupting her and made her no better than the people she wanted to take down. With that arc now belonging to the protagonist instead of the villain, more time was spent exploring how that sort of arc affects a person through Shuri, and seeing all the trauma she went through retroactively adds even more depth to Killmonger’s story by giving an even better idea of what he went through.

Shuri’s arc in 2022’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was a reflection of Killmonger’s path of rage-fueled vengeance, something acknowledged and reiterated multiple times during and after their meeting in the Ancestral Plane. As such, it makes sense that Shuri would try and honor Killmonger by adorning her new Black Panther suit with gold as a symbol of her accepting his point of view. Shuri moved past his way of thinking in the climax, so she’ll possibly wear a more traditional Black Panther suit in her next appearance, but her current suit is still a perfect reflection of the journey she went on in the film.

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