The newest trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiered this morning, taking the internet by storm. It goes without saying that this may be one of the most anticipated projects in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the first Black Panther cemented itself as a bonafide phenomenon in blockbuster history. And Wakanda Forever looks like it will continue expanding upon the world of its titular hero’s kingdom, as well as expanding upon the impact that the Black Panther has on the world.
Honoring Chadwick Boseman
The trailer opens with Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and her daughter Shuri (Letitia Wright) walking through the streets of Wakanda They, as well as the citizens of Wakanda, are clad in white. Shuri is also shown holding the Black Panther helmet in her hands – signaling the death of her brother T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman). Co-writer/director Ryan Coogler has been open about how Wakanda Forever is intended to be a tribute to Boseman, who passed away following a battle with cancer two years ago, and this scene is a major example of that.
Namor Takes the Throne
The funeral scenes are intercut with sequences of Namor (Tenoch Huerta) observing the walls of his underwater kingdom of Talocan, and his descent to a throne made of a shark’s jawbone. “Only the most broken people can be great leaders,” Namor is heard saying in the trailer. It’s unclear who he’s talking to, but he may be referring to the hardships he’s faced as his mother was a native of Talocan while his father was a human. And given that Huerta has also confirmed that Namor will retain his mutant status in the MCU, Wakanda Forever looks like it will touch upon the “hated and feared” status that mutants have in comics canon.
Namor Seeks War on Wakanda
Indeed, that fear seems to have reached Wakanda, as M’Baku (Winston Duke) discusses how much of a threat the Talocan king is. “His people do not call him General or King. They call him K’uk’ulkan – the feathered serpent god! Killing him will risk eternal war,” he warns his fellow Jabari tribe members. And it’s war that Namor seeks, as a member of the Dora Milaje says, “He’s coming for the surface world.” More images feature Talocan warriors swarming a drilling platform in the middle of the sea, while the Dora Milaje also engages in battle with armed soldiers. But in one of the most alarming images, Namor descends upon the throne room of Wakanda – while Ramonda and Shuri are in it! Another scene features Namor and Ramonda staring coldly at each other. And in a story beat ripped from the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline, water starts flooding into Wakanda as its people struggle to hang on to solid ground.
Who is the New Black Panther?
The trailer wraps up with imagery of Wakanda and Talocan at war, including Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the other Dora Milaje fighting off their aquatic foes while M’Baku leaps into the sea (including Michaela Coel as Aneka). Namor is also shown using his mutant power of flight as he charges at Wakandan airships. It finally ends with the revelation of the new Black Panther – and as fans may have guessed, it’s looking like Shuri will be taking up the mantle her brother formerly inhabited. Her Black Panther costume features the same markings as the paint she wore while doing battle in the first Black Panther, and it features gold embellishments as well as golden claws. “I know what you whisper,” Ramonda says in one scene while addressing the United Nations. “‘They have lost their protector. Now is our time to strike.'” With Talocan bringing the fight to Wakanda, it looks like Shuri will don the Black Panther mantle to remind the world that Wakanda is a force not to be reckoned w
Who Is Ironheart?
Shuri isn’t the only new hero appearing in Wakanda Forever. Other scenes feature Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), who will take up the mantle of Ironheart. Like Tony Stark before her, Riri is shown firing up a torch and welding together metal. And while there isn’t a full glimpse at her armor, it’s shown to have more moving parts and to be larger than Iron Man’s. Other scenes feature Ironheart streaking into the sky, hinting at her involvement in the battle against Talocan. Thorne will reprise her role in the Ironheart series on Disney+ next year; given that Coogler is an executive producer on that series, it’s only fitting that he would handle her debut appearance.