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The new Black Panther trailer has basically revealed who the new Black Panther is

It CERTAINLY appears to be SHURi.

After T’Challa’s (and actor Chadwick Boseman’s) death, the first trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever confirmed what many fans had suspected: someone else will take on the mantle of the Black Panther.

And, with the release of the entire teaser on Monday, Marvel has finally hinted at who may take over. In keeping with Marvel’s previous Phases, a woman will take on the job of Wakanda’s guardian.

Who is the question? Let’s look into the options.


The new Black Panther trailer has basically revealed who the new Black Panther is

Let’s start with the most obvious one. Shuri has already stepped into the shoes of the Black Panther in Marvel Comics fiction, when supervillains held T’Challa in a limbo between life and death. She received Bast’s blessing and went through the trials to consume the heart-shaped plant, all while putting an end to a war. Even after T’Challa healed, he relinquished his role as Black Panther and allowed her do so for a while.

To put it simply, Letitia Wright’s Shuri has plenty of precedence for donning the suit. And, well, the new costume’s mask features her signature makeup. But, in case that’s a red herring, here are some more possibilities.

Traditionally, someone in Wakanda’s line of succession takes on the role of Black Panther first. However, in 2018’s Black Panther, Ryan Coogler and co-writer Joe Robert Cole devised a ritual in which Wakanda’s political factions compete to defeat the Black Panther in single combat and so acquire the mantle and crown. That implies it doesn’t have to be Shuri behind the mask.


The new Black Panther trailer has basically revealed who the new Black Panther is

Another potential contender for the part is Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia, who has extensive experience as one of Wakanda’s undercover War Dog agents and a deep devotion to the royal family, as seen in Black Panther (2018). If Marvel Studios is able to secure the Academy Award-winning actress for a main part, it will be a huge coup.


The new Black Panther trailer has basically revealed who the new Black Panther is

Finally, if the next Black Panther isn’t Shuri or Nakia, it’s possible that Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje, will don the outfit. She possesses the necessary abilities, and Danai Gurira, who has played the role twice in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, has a track record of making time for Marvel films. It also appears that the MCU’s version of the Dora Milaje, particularly its special flying soldiers, the Midnight Angels, will be explored extensively in Wakanda Forever. Maybe it’s all in preparation for Okoye to take over the job she’s always held?


The new Black Panther trailer has basically revealed who the new Black Panther is

Speaking of the Midnight Angels, the most daring move Marvel could make here would be to cast one of the new Wakanda Forever cast members, and none are better positioned than Michaela Coel’s Aneka. Although nothing is known about the MCU version of the character, Aneka is regarded as one of the greatest of the Dora Milaje in Marvel Comics. She and her girlfriend, Ayo — portrayed by Florence Kasumba in Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – resigned from the Dora in protest of T’Challa’s unilateral authority and to fight more directly for women’s safety in Wakanda’s countryside.

But there’s a sad reason she’s probably not wearing that costume: Her character has been canonically gay from her first appearance. While Marvel Studios has taken some minor strides toward gay inclusion in the MCU, such characters are still relegated to secondary parts and blink-or-you’ll-miss-it moments.

So, what’s the bottom line? Shuri is almost probably the culprit. The chirpy princess was a breakout character in Black Panther, and Wright is at the proper point in her career (the start) to sign on for an Avengers-level part in the MCU. Shuri has a comic book precedent for being Wakanda’s most powerful guardian, and the movie’s new suit looks to be based on her design.

But, aside from who plays the titular character, there’s little question that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be full of surprises.

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