Theory: Shuri is the Next Black Panther in Wakanda Forever
A second trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever that was previously shown exclusively to attendees of D23 has now been released online to the general public. With a new trailer also comes fresh breadcrumbs leading to who the new Black Panther is and we share some of the best theories and clues pointing to Shuri picking up the mantle.
Director Ryan Coogler stated recasting T’Challa was not an option after the sudden death of actor Chadwick Boseman in 2020, therefore, the Black Panther mantle will now pass to a new successor, and it’s been done in the comics before.
Co-written by Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a sequel to the 2018 debut of the Marvel character and stars Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Dominique Thorne, Florence Kasumba, Michaela Coel, Tenoch Huerta, Martin Freeman, and Angela Bassett.
Shuri Inherits the Black Panther Mantle in Marvel Comics
One of the more concrete pieces of evidence announcing Shuri as the next Black Panther is the character’s run as Wakanda’s warrior in Marvel Comics.
Flaunting her intelligence, strength, and bravery, Shuri becomes Black Panther after ingesting a synthetic heart-shaped herb that she created, following Killmonger burning the real thing.
The comics also state Shuri is led to take up the mantle because T’Challa was gravely injured in a fight with Doctor Doom.
Since the Fantastic Four are on their way combined with the leaked Doctor Doom image in Wakanda Forever’s post-credits scene – which has yet to be verified – it’s plausible the MCU will follow this comic book narrative very closely.
Shuri’s Vibranium Gauntlets are Incorporated in the New Suit
During Avengers: Infinity War, we see Shuri get a piece of the action during the Battle of Wakanda using her Vibranium Gauntlets with panther heads at the blaster.
In the closing scene of Wakanda Forever’s first trailer, we get a good look at the Black Panther gauntlets from behind and they have the same design as Shuri’s.
Regardless of who becomes the next Black Panther – whether it’s permanent or temporary – you can bet Shuri will be the one making the suit, and if the suit’s for her, it makes sense that she would incorporate her existing design in the new suit.
New Wakanda Forever Poster Screams Shuri
The new Black Panther: Wakanda Forever poster is a glaring indication that Shuri is the next warrior.
Shuri has a prominent place in the center of the image and her character is larger than the others and placed directly in front of the Black Panther helmet.
Furthermore, Shuri is crossing her arms in the same fashion T’Challa did throughout the first movie, indicating she is continuing his legacy.
Shuri’s Purple Tracksuit Teased in Landing Pulse
A number of promotional images and glimpses in the first trailer show Shuri wearing a distinct purple outfit.
This theory may be a bit of a reach but in the new, second trailer, there’s a distinct color giving off a pulse when Black Panther delivers a superhero landing.
This could be a direct nod to Shuri’s purple palette in Wakanda Forever, even though it’s possible Kevin Feige has set up a red herring.
Lego Set Prematurely Shows Shuri in a Black Panther Suit
Whenever a new character is revealed prematurely from Marvel’s camp, you can guarantee it comes from a Lego set’s marketing.
In this case, the new Wakanda Forever Lego set clearly shows Shuri wearing a Black Panther suit, and she is fighting without her helmet on in one image.
We also catch traces of her purple palette in other images of the Lego model, possibly corroborating the previous piece of evidence.
Shuri is the Perfect Successor to Honor T’Challa’s Legacy
Lastly, there is no better character to continue and honor T’Challa’s legacy than his sister.
The pair had an incredible bond shown in Black Panther and throughout MCU entities, and it makes sense for the mantle to pass down in the family.
Ramonda and Nakia were previously in the running to be the new warrior in the fandom’s theories, however, Ramonda is rooted in her position as Queen and Nakia previously refused the heart-shaped herb before, and it’s unlikely she would reverse her decision.
By Jo Craig – [email protected]
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled to be released in the United States on November 11, 2022.