As things stand, and in light of Avengers: Infinity War and its Earth-shattering finale, Wakanda is in need of a leader.
Upon acquiring all six Infinity Stones – namely Mind, Time, Reality, Space, Power and the elusive Soul – Marvel’s Mad Titan snapped his giant, purple fingers and reduced half the universe to dust. Among those to fall were Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and every member of the Guardians (save Rocket), while Black Panther himself, King T’Challa, also succumbed to the effects of Thanos’ mass genocide.
He’ll be back, of course, what with Black Panther 2 and Avengers 4 cramming up the pipeline, though Screen Greek has pieced together an interesting new theory which suggests that Winston Duke’s M’Baku will be the one to succeed T’Challa (not Shuri) now that Infinity War has come and gone.
As leader of the Jabari, M’Baku holds a strong position in Wakanda, and even challenged for the Black Panther mantle during the Contest of Champions. He lost fair and square, though, leading to a tentative truce between Winston Duke’s “Man-Ape” and T’Challa, which goes some way to explaining why they’re fighting out of the same corner during Avengers: Infinity War.
Still, the absence of Chadwick Boseman’s leader opens up an intriguing (and potentially dangerous) power vacuum in the African nation, so we wouldn’t be all that surprised if M’Baku took his opportunity to seize the throne. Then again, his character helped rescue T’Challa during the course of Ryan Cooger’s standalone Marvel flick, so there’s every chance M’Baku and Shuri will honor the legacy of Black Panther come 2019, as opposed to squabbling for the crown.
All will be revealed once Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3rd, 2019.