Black Panther (opens in new tab) is out on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD now and if you're planning on rewatching it - perhaps before seeing Avengers: Infinity War (opens in new tab) again? - then there's a few questions you'll probably be left with once the credits roll. Below are six questions we had after watching Black Panther's solo outing in the cinema and while some of them, like our queries about the Soul Stone, have since been answered, others are still unknown and have wider implications for the MCU.
Sure, Infinity War and Avengers 4 (opens in new tab) may be shaking things up in a major way over the next year or so, but given the popularity and potential of Wakanda and Black Panther, we'd be fools for forgetting about it completely. Black Panther will help shape the new MCU heading into Phase 4 (despite what happens during the Avengers: Infinity War ending (opens in new tab)), which is why it's important we take another look at that Black Panther ending. Download it today and read on - with spoilers, obviously - for the six questions we have after watching the Black Panther ending.
1. How will Wakanda's new global presence effect the wider MCU?
Much of the movie’s power struggle revolved around how Wakanda should move forward. Should it remain hidden behind a veil of secrecy, or should it present itself to the world with open arms? T’Challa (eventually) chooses the latter and, in one post-credits scene, even gives a speech at the United Nations. Politically, it’s going to be a fraught period for the African nation, technologically, it could change everything.
Wakanda has been shown to possess technology outstripping even that of Tony Stark, and now that this information is open to the world? It spells big trouble. Sure, medicinal and societal advances will be welcomed but – remember, we’re talking the MCU here – there’s bound to be a few ne’er-do-wells who will end up getting their hands on some Vibranium stocks. Ulysses Klaue, hardly the world’s greatest mastermind, nearly overcame Black Panther with it early on in the movie, so if it's put it within the reach of someone much worse...
2. Is T’Challa REALLY a good King?
“A good king cannot be a good man.” Those are the words that T’Challa’s departed father, T’Chaka, tells the new King of Wakanda when they meet under the purple-hued skies of the Wakandan ancestral plain. It is an argument that courses throughout the movie, and one that may have many a viewer siding with Killmonger’s world view for much of Black Panther’s runtime. T’Challa isolationist outlook helps no one and, even as that begins to melt away, we are confronted with someone who puts his own people before anybody else.
Does that make him a good King? In a sense, yes. But he is not a good man for most of Black Panther. He breaks his word upon failing to bring Klaue back to Wakanda, he learns that his father kills his uncle and yet murders his own cousin, and even tries to put Nakia’s yearning for life outside Wakanda to one side for his own gain.
Killmonger's death is the most crucial to answering that question though. Yes, it was in self-defence, but you can count on one hand the amount of MCU heroes who directly kill their human opponents. Black Panther not only kills a fellow Wakandan – a family member – when he makes it painfully clear earlier in the movie that he has the technology to apprehend rather than maim. He’s not quite the good man he’s made out to be, but, of course, T’Challa knows that, which is what makes him a good King.
3. Will Killmonger or Klaue return to the MCU?
Perhaps the biggest shock to come out of Black Panther is that neither Michael B. Jordan’s electric Erik Killmonger, nor Andy Serkis’s Ulysses Klaue made it out alive. This being a comic book movie, though, means no one is ever really dead (until Thanos blows a hole in your favourite character, of course). Wakandan technological beads already fixed Everett Ross’ spine after he was shot, and T’Challa himself survived a 100-foot drop and emerged from a coma. What’s a sword to the chest or a bullet to the face in the face of that?
While the franchise may move on to other villains – Malice would be my pick – it’s still a gut-punch to think that neither actor will return, especially as Jordan’s flame in Fantastic Four (opens in new tab) shone so brightly and was dimmed so quickly. If nothing else, I’d love a flashback of Klaue sorting through his mixtape (opens in new tab).
4. What is up with Bucky's new nickname?
Black Panther’s post-credits scenes may not have had the sting of, say, a one-track minded Thanos or the formation of the Avengers, but it’s offered up some cryptic clues about what to expect from a certain Sgt. Bucky Barnes in the future. Captain America: Civil War (opens in new tab) saw the Winter Soldier frozen again to fight off Zemo’s pesky trigger codes, but he’s awake now so you’d imagine all is well. Except, pay attention to what he’s called by Shuri. To her, and the people of Wakanda, he is the White Wolf. If you know your comics, you’ll be aware that Bucky shares a nickname with T’Challa’s adoptive brother Hunter. He is a white man, taken in by Wakanda and cared for after a traumatic incident. Sound familiar? The White Wolf eventually becomes consumed with taking T’Challa down and, if that moniker has any meaning at all (it’s surely not a throwaway reference), then it may mean Bucky could be switching sides again in the new MCU we get post-Avengers 4.
5. Is Black Panther 2 happening?
Unsurprisingly, it wasn't long after the release of Black Panther that Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige confirmed a sequel would be coming. When asked about plans for Black Panther 2, he told EW (opens in new tab): "Nothing specific to reveal, other than to say we absolutely will do that."
Black Panther, in the words of Homer Simpson, wrapped everything up in a neat little package. Having said that, there are a few teases that offer up a taste of what’s to come. The movie ends with Okoye putting Wakanda over her lover W’Kabi and Nakia torn between T’Challa and continuing her life away from her home country. If T’Challa’s eyes go wandering towards Nakia and away from Wakanda, that may yet put Okoye and Nakia at odds with each other. That fight would be worth the price of admission alone. The sequel may be best served by focusing on the impact Wakanda has had on the world and, conversely, what external strife may find its way into Wakanda’s borders. Either way, T’Challa will have a considerable task ahead of him.
6. Seriously, where is the Soul Stone?
Update: This question is not long relevant as Avengers: Infinity War answered it, but if you want to know our initial thoughts post-Black Panther, you can read them below.
Anyone? Hello? Thor: Ragnarok (opens in new tab) was its likely resting place, surely? Nope. No Soul Stone. Black Panther came and went… no Soul Stone. Nary a glimpse. Surely, then, it must mean that the missing Soul Stone will be one of the key driving forces in Infinity War – though, in this case, what brings Thanos’ minions to Wakanda is anyone’s guess.
The Soul Stone could still be found in Wakanda’s mountains, especially as the country has hidden itself away from prying eyes for so long, but it’s disappointing that we didn’t get the answer in Black Panther if that’s the case. Black Panther was a film less concerned about the outside world, and including the Soul Stone would only have cheapened that. This is a movie that deserves to stand alone, not make up another piece of the Infinity War puzzle. We’ll find out where the Soul Stone is soon enough – let’s hope it’s worth the wait.