Entertainment Roundup

The trailer for the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever debuted over the weekend   at the San Diego Comic-Con. It was a moving moment: Marvel decided against re-casting T'Challa in the wake of Chadwick Boseman's untimely death. So, in the film, we see the characters mourning the loss of their King. Meanwhile, we know that the actors (and all of us) were mourning the real-life loss of their friend. Fans reacted emotionally on social media.

In the trailer, we see several of the characters from 2018’s Black Panther: Letitia Wright’s Shuri, the genius inventor and sister of T’Challa. Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia, a fierce warrior and elusive love interest of T’Challa. Danai Gurira’s Okoye, the head of the Dora Milaje, Wakanda’s all-female special forces. Winston Duke’s M’Baku, the leader of Wakanda’s mountain tribe, the Jabari, who challenged T’Challa for the throne and later became an ally of his. Florence Kasumba’s Ayo, second in command of the Dora, who we last saw in the Falcon and the Winter Soldier miniseries. Martin Freeman’s C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross. Angela Bassett’s Ramonda, the Queen Mother of Wakanda who is mourning the loss of her son. We’re also introduced to Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams, aka Ironheart: a genius inventor who creates a suit of armor that rivals the one built by Tony Stark (and she’s getting her own Disney+ series, debuting in the fall of 2023). And Tenoch Huerta’s Namor, the king of a race of people who live underwater.

And at the end, we see someone in the Black Panther costume. But who is it? Here are our best guesses.

  • Letitia Wright's Shuri

    Shuri designed most or all of T’Challa’s gear, and as we saw in Avengers: Infinity War, she was almost able to separate the Mind Stone from the Vision. She’s beyond being a genius: she seemed to be even smarter than Bruce Banner and Tony Stark. She’s kind of like Q in the James Bond films. But as we saw in Black Panther, Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, she also more than holds her own in a fight. It’s easy to see her filling her beloved brother’s role.

  • Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia

    Nakia is a warrior and a bit of a loner, and that might be more appropriate for the Black Panther, as opposed to someone from the royal family like Shuri. We know she’s in the film, but we don’t know where she’s been for the past few years; unlike the other Wakandan characters, she didn’t appear in the last two Avengers films.

  • Danai Gurira's Okoye

    Okoye is also a great warrior, but in some ways is the opposite of Nakia; in Black Panther, we saw how reluctant she was to defy Erik Killmonger when he took over the throne of Wakanda. As she pointed out in an argument with Nakia, her loyalty is to the throne, and to her position with the Dora Milaje. That said, there is at least one other member of the Dora who could replace her if she decided to become the Black Panther…

  • Florence Kasumba's Ayo

    … her second in command, Ayo. She could surely take over if Okoye becomes the next Black Panther. On the other hand, she could be the next Black Panther. We know that Disney and Marvel like her: as we mentioned, they put her character in the Falcon and the Winter Soldier miniseries. Her fierceness transcends being a physical warrior: she was able to help de-program Sebastian Stan’s “Bucky” Barnes, who had been brainwashed by Hydra.

  • Winston Duke's M'Baku

    We know that he wanted the throne; he challenged T’Challa for it in Black Panther. But even though he lost, he moved past that. M’Baku and the Jabari tribe were there for T’Challa when he needed to fight Killmonger towards the end of the film. And, he and his warriors also showed up to save the earth from Thanos and his forces in both Infinity War and Endgame.