It’s official! In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has confirmed that Marvel “will absolutely” do a Black Panther sequel.
“One of our favorite pastimes at Marvel Studios is sitting around on a part one and talking and dreaming about what we would do in a part two,” said Feige. “There have been plenty of those conversations as we were putting together the first ‘Black Panther.’ We have ideas and a pretty solid direction on where we want to head with the second one.”
So what could the sequel entail? Here are six suggestions that would make great fodder for our next trip to Wakanda.
The introduction of Madam Slay
In the comics, Madam Slay was Killmonger’s lady, and after Killmonger is defeated, she takes the reins and tries to finish his master plan of taking over Wakanda. In fact, she manages to resurrect Killmonger with the Mandarin’s help and the use of the Resurrection Altar.
There’s not much characterization to Madam Slay outside of being a sex object and a white guy’s view of Africa distilled down into a Blaxploitation-esque stereotype. But perhaps a version of Madam Slay could show up in the sequel. Perhaps the film’s version of Madam Slay could be one of Killmonger’s many women he’s fooled around with around the globe (yeah, I believe Killmonger had to be a messy boots person if he’s also going to kill the girlfriend in the film and choke that poor priestess). Maybe this woman might be a mixture of both Madam Slay and the comic book version of Malice (who you’ll read about below) and think that Killmonger was her man and her man only, and as a radicalized member of the small faction he created, she feels it’s her duty to avenge him and bring his body back with her. Maybe she’s even pregnant with his child!
At this point, it’s just sounding like Jerry Springer or Maury, so here’s an alternative version to the Madam Slay character. Maybe she’s the leader of a tribe we haven’t yet seen, a tribe that lies beyond Wakanda’s borders. Perhaps she could be the leader of a tribe not to dissimilar from the Umoja tribe in Kenya, which only accepts female members to protect them from sexual and physical assault, child marriage, and female genital mutilation. Maybe the film version of Madam Slay would have her own story of loss and pain to tell that would further impact T’Challa’s rule as a new, bridge-building Wakandan king. Her story would also keep the film’s focus on one of its core themes, respecting and honoring women.
Nakia turning into Malice
One of the big changes in the film from the comic books is changing Nakia’s characterization from being a jealous-hearted, stalker-esque ex-girlfriend into a strong, well-rounded, sympathetic and compassionate character we all can look up to.
But, the fact still remains that the seeds of Malice might be sown. As we know, Nakia isn’t content with staying in Wakanda while other people around the world suffer. At the end of the film, it seems like Nakia is ready to stay with T’Challa now that he’s finally come around to seeing things her way. He definitely took the long way towards his realization, having to deal with Killmonger and learn through a trial by fire.
However, Nakia might still have the wanderer’s heart in her. Could she actually settle down with T’Challa, or could he still be too regressive for her, and through a series of twists and turns, their relationship turns sour and she leaves him, traveling the world under the codename “Malice.” Perhaps she never turns evil (I hope not), but instead, she becomes an anti-hero, having to do something that would shame her in the eyes of Wakanda in order to save non-Wakandans in need.
T’Challa’s growing alliance with Bucky/White Wolf puts T’Challa’s family and Wakanda at odds
As we heard at the end of Black Panther, Bucky is given a nickname by the local Wakandan children: White Wolf. The film is repurposing this name from another character in the Black Panther lore, Hunter, a white man who also became known as White Wolf after arriving in Wakanda as T’Chaka’s adopted son. In the comic books, Hunter carries tons of animosity for being passed over for the throne because of the birth of T’Challa, and of course, Wakandans don’t trust him because he’s an outsider. But despite his issues, he still loves the country that has become his home.
It would seem that in the MCU, our White Wolf is Bucky, allowing him to be reborn from his horrifying past as the Winter Soldier. T’Challa and Shuri healed him after realizing he was framed for their father’s death, but to me, it seems unclear if Wakandans know that fact. In fact, there could be tons of Wakandans who don’t even know why their king is harboring a foreigner who, to them, had a hand in their king’s death. Also, if T’Challa decides to create a full-fledged alliance with Bucky, how would that divide the Wakandan royal family? Ramonda’s already been through enough already; does she need to endure seeing Bucky become part of the family? If Bucky becomes the next thorn in the royal family’s side, his presence could set up another showcase of Shakespearean-esque drama.
Shuri has to take on the Black Panther mantle
In the comics, Shuri is jealous of her brother’s title as Black Panther and fails to secure the Black Panther mantle until she takes it upon herself to save her brother and Wakanda from magical villain Morlun. In the film iteration of Black Panther, Shuri isn’t jealous at all and probably isn’t even looking to take over the mantle until she absolutely has to. But what if the sequel shows us a Shuri who has to temporarily become the Black Panther because T’Challa gets hurt? Marvel’s concept artists were already working on a Black Panther suit for Shuri during the film’s early development; since they already have a basis to work from, it wouldn’t be too hard to bring Shuri’s suit to the forefront in record time.
Shuri becomes the Aja-Adanna
Shuri also becomes even bigger than the Black Panther; after a battle with Namor, Shuri is left in a state of “living death”, leaving T’Challa to figure out a way to bring her back from her state. While in limbo, Shuri travels and trains in the afterlife (the Djalia), and comes back as the Aja-Adanna, a griot (making her in effect the living embodiment of Wakanda). As a powerful embodiment of the country, Shuri can perform necromancy, turn her skin to stone, perform animorphism, and achieve super speed, as well as draw from the history of Wakanda before the time of the Black Panther.
It would be intense to see Shuri undergo such a transformation to become something akin to the Vision in terms of strength, smarts, and supernatural powers. If Shuri did turn into the Aja-Adanna, I wonder if it’d bring Wakanda even closer to the more otherworldly areas of the MCU, like New Asgard or the psychedelic parts of the universe present in Guardians of the Galaxy. It could definitely position Shuri as the most powerful human in the MCU.
Killmonger somehow comes back (and brings along Namor the Sub-Mariner)
Lots of folks on the internet are talking about Killmonger’s last line about throwing his body in the ocean. Of course, it’s being talked about because of his connection to his slave ancestors, but it’s also being discussed because the sea is where T’Challa’s other nemesis lives. Enter Namor the Sub-Mariner. Wakanda and Atlantis are mortal enemies in the comics, with their squabbles leading to a full-scale battle (the same one in which Shuri has to save her brother and gains her Black Panther powers).
As many on Twitter are theorizing, perhaps the next Black Panther film will feature Killmonger’s body floating in the ocean right as Namor’s guards take him back to Atlantis, in which Namor can heal him. Furthermore, as ScreenRant’s Matthew Erao writes, T’Challa eventually teams up with Namor after the big war in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther books. T’Challa’s olive branch leads to the Dora Milaje to abandon him in protest and propels Wakanda to seriously think about adopting democracy just to get rid of T’Challa.
What do you think will happen? Write your opinions in the comments section below!