Is Shuri the Right Choice for the Black Panther Mantle?


When the teaser trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever dropped, the new Panther appeared at the end. But it was a very obscure shot, leaving fans wondering if it was Shuri, like the comics. However, it’s also possible the Marvel Cinematic Universe is hiding a curveball, with candidates like Nakia or Okoye taking up the mantle.

Well, the official trailer more or less teased it’s going to be Shuri giving the suit, carrying on King T’Challa’s legacy. Admittedly, Letitia Wright’s personal baggage might make her an iffy choice for Marvel Studios to move forward with. But now that the dust has seemingly settled, it does feel like she’s the right person to be the hero.

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What Suggests Shuri’s the New Black Panther?

The trailer painted a more aggressive look at the sequel, with Namor and his Talocan army coming for Wakanda. Whether it’s M’Baku admitting the mutant might be a destroyer or seeing Namor flying and going to war in an intimidating fashion, the battle lines have clearly been drawn. However, this new look at Wakanda Forever also has more Shuri. She cuts a more serious figure, with Ramonda’s voiceover telling the new hero to show the world what they can be. It nods to when Ramonda tells T’Challa to reveal himself to the world in the first film, and it’s fitting she now passes that message to her daughter. Only this time, they need to show more unity and that Wakanda is a sum of many parts. And to top things off, the final frame of the trailer, with a female Panther landing, has the build of Shuri and thematically works in terms of the royal family being ready to strike back.

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Why Shuri’s Right for the Black Panther Mantle

Narrative-wise, Shuri works as the new Panther because T’Challa should be honored by his sister. She did so in the books and was quite formidable a leader, and it’d keep the family bloodline going strong and atop the throne. Plus, Shuri being the Panther would keep the other characters free to roam the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

She also has the warrior spirit and is intelligent, crafting a more genius take on the Panther than just a badass soldier. Now, that’s not to knock T’Challa’s brain, but Shuri is a high-level intellect, which would add a more nuanced dimension to the mantle. Ultimately, in terms of the story, Shuri works as the Panther, and if Wright and Marvel Studios keep the peace off-screen, there’s unlimited potential for where she can take this role.

To see if Shuri takes up the mantle, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever claws its way into theaters Nov. 11.

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