6 ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ details that make literally no sense

Letitia Wright as Shuri in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'
Image via Marvel Studios

While Black Panther: Wakanda Forever raked in millions in 2022, many of those who watched the second installment in the series were left feeling shortchanged by various plot holes and unanswered questions in the film. Since its release, the internet has been ablaze with complaints and wild fan theories that try to make sense of the omissions in the story, some believable and some best left in the depths of Reddit. Here, we’ve rounded up six of the most confusing details in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever let’s just hope the next Black Panther movie addresses them, or at least doesn’t add any more to our list.

Is this really the first time we’ve seen Talokan in the MCU?

Secret Invasion Nick Fury
Photo via Disney Plus/Marvel Studios

One of the biggest plotpoints in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was the explosive introduction of Namor played wonderfully by rising star Tenoch Huerta and the previously secret underwater kingdom of Talokan. The city is based on Marvel’s Atlantis and, like Wakanda, chose to remain isolated to protect their vibranium resources. Unlike Wakanda, however, they kept their entire existence a complete secret from the rest of the world, only revealing themselves for the first time in the film.

However, some eagle-eyed fans pointed out that the existence of Talokan might have been revealed in Iron Man 2, during Nick Fury’s conversation with Tony Stark. In the background of that scene there’s a map with several highlighted locations, including one that seems to be the supposedly secret Talokan, just off the coast of what we presume to be Wakanda. If the people of Talokan were undiscovered for nearly two centuries, as is made clear in Wakanda Forever, that means Nick Fury can’t have known about it during Iron Man 2, which takes place over ten years before the events of the newest Black Panther. Of course, you could argue that Fury’s position as the director of SHIELD means he has information others don’t, but given how Wakanda Forever makes the point that the CIA didn’t know Talokan existed, it’s a real stretch.

How did Talokan avoid Thanos’ snap?

Thanos in Infinity War
Image via Marvel Studios

While questions about maps are frustrating for longtime viewers of the MCU, another more pressing question arises with Namor and Talokan’s introduction: just how did they fare after the Thanos snap in Avengers: Infinity War? Given that the snap took out 50 percent of all life in the known universe, statistically speaking it must have had some sort of affect on Talokan, even with their incredible ability to hide from others. We see in Wakanda Forever how Namor is a kill-first-ask-questions-later kind of guy when it comes to protecting his beloved underwater kingdom, so if there were casualties in Talokan after Thanos wiped out half of all life in the universe, wouldn’t he have come out of hiding to try and avenge the deaths?

And how did Wakanda deal without T’Challa during the Blip?

Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther in Avengers: Infinity War
Photo via Marvel Studios

The main crisis in Wakanda Forever is the fact that the secretive African nation has to replace T’Challa after his untimely death. Of course, this is no easy task considering T’Challa’s unique skillset made him the perfect person to take on the role of Black Panther, but given that T’Challa was one of the people disappeared by the Blip before being brought back by the Avengers, you would think that the Wakandans would have a plan in place to find his successor. This strange oversight isn’t addressed in the film, and while we can assume T’Challa’s mother Ramonda was ruling Wakanda in her son’s absence, that still leaves the question of who the Black Panther was between T’Challa being snapped and returning, and begs the question: why was it so hard for Wakanda to figure out how to find a successor when they should have been through the same process five years previously?

Where were the Avengers?

thor doctor strange captain marvel avengers
Photos via Marvel Studios

Considering it’s their literal job to save the Earth from existential threats, the Avengers often tend to disappear in the MCU. Sometimes, there is a decent reason given for this. For example, the timeline of the latest Spider-Man film means that the Avengers likely wouldn’t have been able to get to Earth in time to help out. But in Wakanda Forever, the group of superheroes is seemingly ignored, despite the high stakes, potential for catastrophic damage, and the fact that T’Challa fought with the Avengers. While the brains behind the MCU might retcon a reason for this absence in later films, at the moment it seems safe to say the lack of Avengers had more to do with scheduling and costs than plot purposes.

How did Namor and his army get around the Wakanda shield?

Image via Marvel Studios

One of the main bits of technology that keeps Wakanda safe from outsiders is their famous shield. We’ve seen this futuristic forecfield take on some of the most powerful forces in the universe and win, so the question remains: how did the Talokanil manage to get through it so they could successfully attack Wakanda from the inside? When ships leave Wakanda, we see the shield extends below the surface of the water, so it should have been more useful when it came to stopping the invading forces. Some fans have speculated that the Talokans sent a crack force ahead to disable the shields, but the question remains unanswered by official sources, and even that explanation relies on the idea that Talokans are sending spies up to the surface. Which leads us onto our last major issue with Wakanda Forever…

How did the Talokanil track Shuri down?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Photo via Marvel Studios

One thing that’s clear is that the Talokanil are a battle-hardened race with plenty of smarts between them, but two things they don’t have are spies and the technology to track people down. That’s why it’s so confusing to see them ambush Shuri, Okoye, and Riri on the bridge after the three women have escaped the police. Did they just hope that their prey would be escaping near some water? Was it dumb luck? Or do they have an unmentioned spy network that reaches out into the world they’ve spent centuries hiding from? This is yet another plot point in the movie that seems to have been crowbarred in for the sake of keeping the plot moving, even though it doesn’t quite add up with what we know about the underwater kingdom.

With this all said, there’s no doubt that Wakanda Forever remains a visual feast that beautifully honours the late, great Chadwick Boseman. It’s certainly not the first MCU film to suffer from plot issues, and given the increasingly complex web of the universe we can be sure it won’t be the last, so we may as well sit back and enjoy the action.