Predicting What Black Panther 2 Will Be Like Without T’Challa

Well, Kevin Feige has finally confirmed what we Marvel fans have been suspecting for a while now. During the Disney Investor’s Day about two days ago, Feige himself made some very interesting announcements. One of them, however, actually surprised me. When Feige got to talking about Black Panther 2, he talked about the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman and confirmed that they would not be recasting the role of Black Panther. Out of all the announcements that he made, that was the one that surprised me the most. I’ve written about this before and I was adamant that Marvel would actually recast the role of T’Challa to honor the memory of Chadwick Boseman.

In my opinion, that would’ve been the right thing to do, mainly because T’Challa means so much to so many people. Out of all the superheroes that were created, T’Challa is one of the most unique. Why? Well, because he was the very first black superhero. That means more than anything for the black community and his movie was a stepping stone to delivering some of that long-overdue diversity for comic book films. I love the character of T’Challa. He’s a hero to his people of Wakanda, but he made the Black Panther mantle a superhero title. He’s not just a title for his own people, but for all people.

That’s how Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa developed just in one movie and by the end, he decided to reveal the real Wakanda to the world. That was a huge step for his character, because now he’s facing a challenge that no other Wakandan king has faced before. I would’ve loved to have seen how T’Challa would have dealt with this problem, but now, it seems that won’t happen. That’s unfortunate, but it does open more doors of possibilities. For instance, who will be the new Black Panther? And if T’Challa’s gone, who’s the new king of Wakanda? By right, the next person in line would be Shuri.

I’ve written before on how I feel about that idea. Once again, I really don’t like the idea. If we look back at the comics, Shuri did take on the mantle, but not very long. Another thing is, when Shuri did take on the mantle of Black Panther, T’Challa was still alive. Last I checked, he’s still alive in the comics. Even when she became the new monarch of Wakanda, T’Challa was still operating as the Black Panther. When Shuri was the monarch of Wakanda, it was a big step for her development. She grew as a character, she became a tougher warrior, and protected her people from many threats. That’s the kind of development we can see in the MCU for Shuri. She’ll go from naive and tech-savvy teenage girl and slowly transform into a warrior queen. That would very much be a compelling hero’s journey for her character.

As of now, that could be the plot of Black Panther 2. If Marvel won’t recast T’Challa, then they might put Shuri in the spotlight. If that is the plan, then it could make for a good sequel. However, there is a downside. How will Black Panther 2 explain T’Challa’s absence? Marvel has already confirmed that they won’t have a CGI stand-in for Chadwick Boseman, which is a good thing. If that’s the case, then we might not even see T’Challa at all in the movie.

Now if we really won’t see T’Challa in the movie, that means they’ll handle him in one of two ways: T’Challa will be killed off-screen or he’ll be “busy” with other things. They simply cannot go with the former. T’Challa is way too significant of a character to kill off and frankly, killing him off-screen is rather insulting. He’s the first black superhero and he means everything to the black community. If they’re going to kill off the first black superhero off-screen, then that would surely lead to a major outcry.

It’s because of that reason that I don’t believe that Marvel will go with that option. If T’Challa is “busy” with other things, he could be on some kind of diplomatic mission. If he’s off doing that, then maybe he trusted Shuri with the safety of Wakanda. That would be a huge thing to ask for her, given her inexperience and young age. However, in T’Challa’s mind, he’s actually preparing his little sister for a role that she’s not yet ready to take on. He would basically be giving her a trial by fire kind of test and while she’ll surely struggle, T’Challa would be confident that Shuri will eventually become a better leader. Eventually, Shuri might just become a better monarch than T’Challa himself.

Now let’s say he isn’t on some diplomatic mission. What if he’s actually in the spirit world, but not actually dead? He could be in some of comatose state, and Wakandan technology could be the only thing keeping him alive. Maybe they figured out a way to make more herbs and that’s helping him stay in the spirit world, similar to how they did it in the first movie. Something may have happened to him that put him in that coma, but if that is the case, then Shuri has no choice but to take on the role. Either way, she won’t be ready to handle the responsibility and it’ll be interesting to see her grow as a warrior queen.

Now I’m wondering if Black Panther 2 is going to have people compete for the mantle of Black Panther. That’s an online rumor that’s been floating around, but last I checked, it originated from We Got This Covered. Yeah, not the most reliable source, but there’s always that one in a million chance that they could be right. Now let’s just say that their claim is indeed true. Who would the competitors be? The people who come to mind are Nakia, M’Baku, and Shuri herself. The thing is, I just can’t think of a reason why Nakia would want to fight Shuri for the mantle. I also don’t see M’Baku suddenly breaking his alliance with them just to become Black Panther. The only thing I can think of is them creating a new character to become the new Black Panther.

As of now, I’m not sure how I feel about that. There have been many Black Panthers, but there is only one T’Challa and he is the definitive Black Panther. Having some brand new Marvel character become the hero just wouldn’t feel the same. Now I have a more ambitious plan for the sequel. Imagine if Namor rose from the surface and decided to step in to fill T’Challa’s shoes. For him, it would certainly fit his character, as he’s always had a monumental ego. He’s already the king of Atlantis, but he’ll be more than willing to rule another country, especially one that’s as powerful as Wakanda. If he hears that Wakanda lost their king, he’ll step in and find a way to have some control over the surface world so it can no longer threaten his oceans.

I think that would be an interesting route to go for Black Panther 2. Without T’Challa around, Wakanda is more vulnerable than ever. Namor can easily force his way to the throne and that won’t sit well with T’Challa’s family. Okoye, Nakia, and Shuri will band together to dethrone Namor and the fight will be much harder for them without T’Challa around. Heck, even W’Kabi can find some redemption by helping them usurp Namor. Now who will become the new Black Panther to challenge Namor? That’s the real question we need answered.

T’Challa and Namor have had one of the most intense rivalries in Marvel and I’ve been itching to see that in the MCU. It sadly looks like we won’t see that, but that doesn’t mean we can’t see Namor’s enmity with Wakanda itself. Whoever becomes the new Black Panther will be in for quite a fight if Namor comes around. Even without T’Challa, the war between Wakanda and Atlantis will be a great conflict to see play out in the MCU. Black Panther 2 could very much be the beginning of the threat of Namor in the MCU. He’s one of Marvel’s first heroes and has always been a recurring anti-hero throughout his time in the comics. If that’s the plan for Black Panther 2, then I’m on board.

What are your thoughts, Marvel fans? What do you think about the decision to not recast Chadwick Boseman? I’m more than anxious to find out further plot details for the film. Let’s hope we get that information soon.

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