Does Black Panther Hint At Bucky’s Future In The MCU?

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Though he was placed on ice at the end of Captain America: Civil War, Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes is about to return to the MCU in a big way. In the post-credits scene of Black Panther, we see the character in Wakanda along with T’Challa’s sister, Shuri, who helps him get back on his feet, separating Bucky from the Winter Soldier alias. It’s a tricky process, too, one which involves creating a “one-to-one digital representation” of his brain. Yikes!

But one important clue that many fans seem to have missed might just hint at what the fan favorite’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe may hold. While many comic book readers believe it’s only a matter of time before Barnes assumes the Captain America title (perhaps in Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers 4?), we still have no confirmation on if that’ll indeed happen and instead, we believe he may be headed down a different path.

If you recall, in the aforementioned post-credits scene, the local children that Bucky seems to have befriended call him “White Wolf.” If you know your Black Panther comics, then you’ll know that this name suggests what Stan’s future in the MCU could look like.

In the source material, Hunter AKA White Wolf is the name of a Caucasian boy who survived a plane crash that came down in Wakanda. He was adopted by King T’Chaka and raised as T’Challa’s adoptive brother, before becoming the head of the nation’s secret police.

Obviously, Bucky and Hunter’s backstories are fairly different, but there is a clear connection between them as they’re both outsiders who eventually adopt Wakanda as a home. As such, it has us wondering whether maybe Bucky’s set to stay in Wakanda after the events of Avengers: Infinity War and perhaps take a larger role in helping to run the country. Or at the very least, aiding T’Challa in some way.

Sebastian Stan in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Obviously, this is all just speculation right now, as so much of the MCU’s Phase Four is up in the air. Bucky could become the next Captain America for all we know. If he doesn’t, though, Sebastian Stan might just find a new home in the MCU as part of the Black Panther franchise, and if that does indeed happen, you certainly won’t hear any complaints out of us.

Staying in there here and now, though, Barnes can currently be seen – briefly – at the end of the aforementioned Black Panther, followed by a more substantial role in this May’s Avengers: Infinity War. At which point, we’ll surely have a much better idea of the road that the former Winter Soldier is headed down.

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