Black Panther 2: A new Black Panther on the rise?
Black Panther is a character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby who made his first comic book appearance in Fantastic Four#52 during the Silver Age. Following a similar path, Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first appeared in Captain America: Civil War before getting his own movie.
Black Panther (2018) is easily considered to be one of MCU’s greatest triumphs. It is often ranked within the top five MCU films that have come out to date. Black Panther made $1.3 billion at the box office and is the only MCU film nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
It is no surprise that a sequel was announced shortly after the release of the first movie and that Marvel planned to make Black Panther one of the major tent-poles of the MCU.
Black Panther 2: Legacy of Chadwick Boseman
The tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman in August 2020 was a terrible shock to the world. Chadwick Boseman was not only known for his amazing work in bringing King T’Challa to life, but also other extraordinary roles in movies like Da 5 Bloods, 42, and Get On Up. He was a great actor and was just recently awarded the Best Actor title by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards for his outstanding performance in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Chadwick Boseman’s performance in Black Panther-inspired millions of people, particularly African Americans. Black Panther showed the world that people can rise above the stereotypes they are assigned because of their race.
Ryan Coogler and Kevin Feige, the director of Black Panther and producer of all MCU movies respectively, announced that the character of T’Challa would not be recast and that Black Panther 2 is scheduled to release in July 2022.
The decision to not recast T’Challa as Black Panther was the right call as evidenced by the support from fans for the same. It is no doubt that Boseman’s passing will be handled in the most respectful way by the brilliant creative team behind Black Panther 2.
Black Panther 2: Passing the Mantle
King T’Challa cannot be Black Panther anymore. However, the title of Black Panther can be passed on to other characters as has been done in the comics before. Shuri, who is already popular in the MCU movies, has often taken the mantle of Black Panther in the comics. It is worth noting that M’Baku could also be a potential successor and take on the role. There is a possibility that both the characters become Black Panthers and work together to protect Wakanda against the threat it faces in Black Panther 2.
It is speculated by the fan community that Black Panther 2 will have a scene sometime in the beginning of the movie that will show Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa die. It is not confirmed whether this will be done by using already existing footage of the character that might not have been shown in other movies like Avenger’s Infinity War or Avengers: Endgame, or if Marvel studios plan to use a digital double of Chadwick Boseman in the movie. The way Carrie Fisher’s Leia appeared in Rise of the Skywalker.
However, it is after the passing of T’Challa, that the movie will focus on the rest of the characters from the first movie mourning his death and coming to terms with the reality of a new Wakanda without him.
Black Panther 2: New Characters
After Disney’s Fox acquisition, Marvel now has the ability to feature a lot of characters in the MCU that they couldn’t before. Since Disney did not have the rights to a lot of Marvel characters that were owned by Fox at the time. These characters are mainly spanning out of the X-Men and Fantastic Four comics.
In the early days after the Fox acquisition, fans were extremely excited about getting to see Storm in Black Panther 2. This could not happen in the first movie as Storm is a mutant and a well-known member of the X-Men. She is T’Challa’s significant other in the comics and both of them together make one very revered power couple. However, right now it is not known if Storm will be Black Panther 2.
There are still two characters though, who could appear in Black Panther 2 as villains. The first, and quite honestly less likely to appear as the antagonist is Doctor Doom. In the comics, Doctor Doom is a villain who has clashed against Black Panther in order to drain Wakanda of its vibranium reserves.
Even though Doctor Doom is a very popular Marvel character, it is not very likely for him to make an appearance in Black Panther 2 as he has not been introduced in the MCU yet. It is more likely that Victor Von Doom could try and steal vibranium, but that wouldn’t be the wisest choice either as the character should first be featured in the MCU’s Fantastic Four movie which was announced to be coming in Phase Five and will be directed by John Watts(the director of the MCU Spiderman movies)
The second, and most likely character to show up in Black Panther 2 is Namor the Submariner. In the comics, Namor is a character who comes from Atlantis. Atlantis and Wakanda have always been rival nations in the Marvel comics and have a lot of political tension in between them.
The other reason Namor is a highly probable character to appear in Black Panther 2 is because of the mention of an underwater earthquake close to Wakanda in Avengers: Endgame. It is possible that when Okoye was talking about it with Black Widow, she was trying to keep the presence of Atlantis a secret from the other Avengers.
Namor is a character with great hatred for Wakanda. He once even went so far as to use the Phoenix Force to launch a war against Black Panther. While it is very unlikely to see anyone wield the Phoenix Force in the MCU right now, there is a precedent for Namor to be the main villain in Black Panther 2.
While Black Panther 2 is still a distant thought, the movie still has a lot of promise. The writers and directors have been reported to make changes to the script and the audience will get a touching send-off for T’Challa’s character that will do justice to Chadwick Boseman’s memory.
I did not yield! And as you can see, I am not dead! The challenge continues! – T’Challa