Spoilers incoming so if you haven’t seen the movie I highly recommend you go out, watch it, and then come back.
So for those continuing we unfortunately know that T’challa’s fate ends up like tha majority of the other characters in the film where he becomes much like the Kansas song, Dust in the Wind.
Now although we have confirmation that Black Panther 2 will happen at some point and Avengers 4 all but certainly has to deal with the ramifications of Infinity War. What I want to do today is talk about who of the potential survivors could pick up the mantle of Black Panther in the wake of his, and probably half of wakandas, untimely demise.
It looks like there are 3 big potential candidates.
First is M’baku, the ruler of the Jabari mountain tribe. We saw it was a crucial plot point that he actually battled T’challa for the mantle of King and with it Black Panther during the solo film back in February. He has also been ruling over his own people and they developed their own technology without the use of vibranium. His reliability in being willing to work with T’challa for the betterment of Wakanda I believe means that he not only has great experience as a leader and as a warrior but also was actually offered the armor in the last movie. Wakanda will need guidance and what better than the other ruler who almost got it before. The only real snag is that the Jabari reject vibranium technology so I’m unsure if he would try to enforce these beliefs on the remains of the country.
Second would be Shuri. This one seems like a fine pick for 2 reasons. One is comic synergy because a lot of people since her first appearance have wondered when will we get to see her pick up the mantle like she did in the comics. The second reason being that she is actually of Royal blood and after T’challa may be the next in line in terms of decisions. The problem you run into is although that Shuri has experience with using weapons of her own design, she still comes across as inexperienced and more of a scientist than a warrior. We also don’t know how capable she could be at running a country so she may have to leave that to the Queen Mother, Ramonda. Honestly I think this would be cool in concept to see 16 year old Shuri learning the ropes of being the Black Panther to try and take over where T’challa started, but it may be a little difficult to execute.
Third, and lastly, I can see of someone picking up the mantle of Black Panther is either Nakia or Okoye. Thanos willing Nakia is still alive. The reason I lumped the 2 in together is that the likelihood of either seems about the same and heck maybe they could work together, Shuri has the technology. Okoye has leadership and battle experience as the leader of the Dora Milaje so she knows how to use an army and fight. But she may also not be willing to part ways with her dedicated position as a general despite it being because she is so dedicated to protecting the Golden City. Nakia would be a very fun choice partially cause of how far her on-screen adaptation is a departure from her comic version, to see her response to grief be to take action seems like it may be in character so long as she continues to be on the move. I think Okoye would be a Panther of the People who stays and protects the city while Nakia would be the globetrotting, Avengers-esque Panther who works in other places to build relations between Wakanda and other nations. It would be fun to see 2 different takes at once and how the country has to be rebuilt and restructured after such a devastating loss.
So let me know your thoughts down in the comments below; if we don’t see T’challa return for a little while who do you think could take up the mantle of Black Panther?
In my personal opinion I don’t think the Russos will give it to anyone and just kind of hold off on using it; choosing to instead just further developing his supporting cast.
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