Does Black Panther Tease Marvel’s Next Captain America?


Since his MCU debut in Captain America: The First Avenger, Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes has grown into a bona fide fan-favorite, particularly after his villainous turn in the really rather excellent Winter Soldier. And while Marvel 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

That being said, the studio has seemingly been dropping hints of Bucky’s transition for a while now and the latest one might just have been snuck into Black Panther. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know that in the post-credits scene, we’re taken to a village in Wakanda, which seems to be off the beaten path and away from the main city. As the camera focuses on a hut, we hear a group of children playing inside before we see Shuri yell at them, telling the kids to leave the man inside alone.

They run outside and as they do, we see just who this man is. None other than Bucky Barnes comes into view, as the former Winter Soldier himself steps out of the hut and into the open – sans an arm. Shuri greets him and asks how he’s feeling. He tells her he’s much better and she says she’s happy, as there’s a lot more to learn. Then, they walk off together as the screen goes black.

It’s a brief and fairly subdued tease, but already fans are dissecting the scene for any clues as to what may lie ahead for the character. One theory believes Barnes may actually take on a similar role to White Wolf in the comics – read about that here – but another theory has now popped up and it points to this post-credits scene being a tease for Bucky becoming the next Captain America.

And that’s because, if you’ll recall, when Barnes went on ice, he was in a white undershirt. But when we see him here, he’s wrapped in red and blue. Coincidence? Maybe, but probably not. After all, like we said above, Bucky does become Captain America in the comics and again, this is far from the first hint we’ve had of it happening on the big screen, too. Don’t forget that Barnes has wielded Cap’s shield on several occasions now (The First AvengerThe Winter Soldier).

Bucky Barnes and Captain America

Of course, just because Bucky’s seen in red and blue doesn’t necessarily hint at his future. While it’s unlikely that it’s a pure coincidence that director Ryan Coogler chose those colors, it is very possible that it’s simply an easter egg for fans to pick up on. Or perhaps Coogler is just having some fun and teasing us, hoping to get the speculation going?

If we had to guess, though, Marvel is definitely setting Bucky up to be the next Captain America. It’s no secret that Chris Evans is on his way out of the MCU after Avengers 4 and given how popular a character Cap is, we imagine the studio will jump at the chance to still have him involved, even if it’s with another person taking up the mantle.

One way or another, we’ll surely learn more about the path that the former Winter Soldier is headed down once Avengers: Infinity War arrives on May 4th. Until then, we can all enjoy watching Black Panther claw its way to box office glory.