Black Panther: Who will take the crown?

Yasemin Ragland, Staff Writer

Since actor Chadwick Boseman recently died of colon cancer in August (which greatly affected his family/friends, fans, co-stars and many others alike), Ryan Coogler, the director for Black Panther (2018), will have to rewrite the script for the sequel. 

No one can replace Boseman, which would be disrespectful if they did, especially since he inspired many young Black Americans – with Black Panther being Marvel’s first Black superhero, as King T’Challa, aka the Black Panther, but someone can replace T’Challa as the Black Panther and ruler of Wakanda.

There are theories about who should take up the throne as ruler of Wakanda and the mantle as the Black Panther. Who will be the next Black Panther and Queen/King of Wakanda? Will it be one of the original characters? Or will it be someone else or an entirely new character? 

First off, none other than T’Challa’s younger teenage sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright) should be the next Black Panther and queen of Wakanda. In the comics, she took over as queen and the Black Panther for her older brother because he fell into a coma. Not only did she create all of T’Challa’s suits and gadgets, but she has made some of her own, for example, the Panther shaped Vibranium gauntlets she is seen using during the climaxes of Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame. She also happens to be the head scientist of Wakanda, and is said to be the smartest person in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Another reason why Shuri should be the next Black Panther is because there aren’t a lot of Black female superheroes. Young Black girls, including my sisters and me, need more representation in TV and film, especially in the superhero world. The last reason is because Shuri is the princess of Wakanda and former King T’Chaka’s only other child, so she is already next in line for the throne. Shuri may have to fight for it, but it will be worth it in the end.

Another option is M’Baku, leader of the Jabari tribe. Since the Jabari isolated themselves in the mountains when Wakanda first became a nation, it was hard for T’Challa as king to form allies with the tribe to overthrow his cousin Erik Stevens (Michael B. Jordan)  and take the throne back. M’Baku challenges T’Challa in Black Panther because he believed he would be a better king. 

When Stevens (also known as Killmonger) appears to kill T’Challa and takes over the throne, Shuri, T’Challa’s mother, Nakia (T’Challa’s childhood friend) and Everett Ross (a CIA agent who was introduced in Captain America: Civil War) take the heart-shaped herb (which is what gives the Black Panther powers) to M’Baku in Jabariland, with the intention of offering the mantle of the Black Panther. Although M’Baku could have taken it for himself, he reveals one of his fishermen had found T’Challa, alive but in a coma and revived him instead.

Yet another option is the kid seen at the end of “Black Panther”, when T’Challa arrives in Oakland. Although his name is currently unknown, he is credited as Young Oakland Kid. There are theories he might be Killmonger’s son, which is possible since Killmonger had a girlfriend. If he is Killmonger’s son, that would then make him part Wakandan. 

One last option would be T’Challa’s girlfriend Nakia, who was the one who stole the last heart-shaped herb when Killmonger ordered for the herbs to be burned. T’Challa’s mother suggested Nakia should take the heart-shaped herb instead of offering it to M’Baku, but Nakia refuses. T’Challa himself even says to her, “If you were not so stubborn, you would make a great queen.” Nakia responds by saying, “I would make a great queen because I am so stubborn.”

“Black Panther 2” is set to release in 2022. I’m excited to see Black Panther 2 when it comes out, but I’m also worried about how T’Challa’s character arc will be concluded. But we’re going to have to wait for two years to see. 

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