Letitia Wright’s Shuri was the breakout star of Black Panther. The character, who up that point had been an obscure supporting player in the comics, won over audiences with her intelligence and bravery. She then went on to appear in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, joining her fellow heroes to bring the fight to Thanos’ army in the climax. And now, it’s looking like she might go on to become the MCU’s official Black Panther in Black Panther 2.
We’re hearing from our sources – the same ones who told us that the real Mandarin would be the villain in Shang-Chi and that Marvel was rebooting the Inhumans, both of which we now know to be true – that at some point in the future of the franchise, T’Challa will choose to focus on his royal duties rather than superhero work. This could happen in either the upcoming sequel or possibly in the third installment (it hasn’t been decided yet) and would leave the position of Wakanda’s Black Panther open.
Of course, Shuri has already proven herself a capable warrior many times over and having her take over the mantle would also follow the character arc of Marvel Comics’ Shuri, who wanted to become the first female Black Panther. It didn’t take her long to achieve her goal, either.
In addition to that, there’s nothing in Black Panther that says she can’t. As we’ve seen in the film’s climax, there’s no reason why there can’t be two Black Panthers and on top of that, during the scenes on the ancestral plane where the former Black Panthers rest we see men and women in the background, implying that there’ve previously been female Black Panthers in the MCU’s Wakanda.
Is T’Challa’s story really done, though? He’s only had one film as the main character and though he seems to have wrapped up most of his arc in that, Chadwick Boseman is so good that it feels like a waste to relegate him to a supporting role. As such, it may be smarter to wait to do this until the third movie.
In any case, if this really is the route they’re going, I certainly won’t say no to seeing Shuri step up to the big leagues and becoming the next Black Panther.