The latest trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever suggests that the mantle of Black Panther will be taken by more than one character. The late Chadwick Boseman portrayed the MCU’s best-known version of Black Panther in his role as T’Challa, King of Wakanda. Following the actor’s untimely passing, the Black Panther series will continue with at least one character donning the black vibranium suit in the sequel Wakanda Forever.
The theory that there will be more than one Black Panther in Wakanda Forever has been around since early October 2022 following comments from stars Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira. The pair, who respectively play Nakia and Okoye in the MCU, suggested that fans hadn’t quite correctly guessed who the new Black Panther would be, leading to speculation that multiple Wakandans could become the superhero to take on Namor the Sub-Mariner in the sequel. The latest trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever adds fuel to that theory as two Black Panther helmets can be seen next to each other.
Why Wakanda Forever May Have Multiple New Black Panthers
Whether there will actually be more than one Black Panther is yet to be seen — the shot of the two helmets side-by-side could be a passing of the torch moment, with the helmet on the right possibly being T’Challa’s rather than belonging to someone new. Still, the tease that there could be more than one Black Panther is an exciting one and makes sense for the story. With the passing of T’Challa, having multiple Wakandans take on the role of Black Panther shows that rather than trying to replace their king, the Black Panther title and suit are being used in a symbolic way to inspire the nation that anyone can be a hero. More importantly, having multiple Black Panthers helps to convey the strength of Namor and builds up the Talokan army as a massive threat that won’t be stopped easily, even by an advanced nation like Wakanda.
Which Characters Could Be A Black Panther In Wakanda Forever
Since Chadwick Boseman’s passing, Marvel fans have been speculating about whom the next Black Panther will be. The leading contender is Shuri (Letitia Wright), the younger sister of T’Challa, whose role in the MCU up to now has been as Wakanda’s leading scientist. The design of the new Black Panther suit is the biggest hint that Shuri will take over the role as the dots on the new helmet match those she has worn in her previous outings. The slender physique that the latest Black Panther has in the Wakanda Forever trailer also points to it being Shuri wearing the suit. If it is T’Challa’s sister, then the MCU will be following the comic book decision to make Shuri the new Black Panther.
With multiple Black Panther’s being a real possibility, Nakia, Okoye, and M’Baku (Winston Duke) are the other candidates who could step into a vibranium suit in Wakanda Forever. Nakia and Okoye have proven themselves to be skilled fighters throughout their MCU appearances and have a similar physique to the Black Panther shown in the recent trailers, so if it’s not Shuri then it could be them. Nakia has more of a chance of being Black Panther than Okoye given the latter already has a prominent role as the leader of the Dora Milaje. Similarly, M’Baku is already a powerful warrior and is the head of the Jabari tribe, so it doesn’t make as much sense for him to become Black Panther over Shuri or Nakia. Still, the prospect of seeing the physically imposing M’Baku in a Black Panther suit is exciting.
There is also an outside chance that Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger could become Black Panther. Although the villain died in the first Black Panther, the MCU’s recent obsession with the multiverse could pave the way for a more heroic version of Killmonger, possibly the version from Marvel’s What If…?, to enter Earth-616 as Black Panther. While on the surface that would be a cool idea, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever already looks stuffed full of action, and reintroducing Killmonger would take screen time away from Namor.
Is Having Multiple Black Panthers In Wakanda Forever A Good Idea?
Multiple Black Panthers is a good idea because of the difficulty Marvel Studios face with replacing Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa, who became one of the most beloved characters in the franchise. While T’Challa could go toe-to-toe with the likes of Captain America, no other Wakandan has been built up to be that powerful. Suddenly having someone like Shuri able to take on enemies in the same way T’Challa did isn’t credible, but she could take down Namor and the Talokans if she had backup from one or two other Black Panthers.
Visually, the idea of more than one Black Panthers could be great. Spider-Man: No Way Home’s best moment was three Spider-Mans swing through the sky, and this is something Wakanda Forever could copy with multiple Black Panthers — although the fan hype for the characters isn’t the same as with Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire in No Way Home. Whether Black Panther: Wakanda Forever does have multiple Black Panthers is not yet known, but it could be an exciting way to revitalize the superhero mantle following the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman.