Who is the new Black Panther in Wakanda Forever?

Black Panther 2 trailer
(Image credit: Marvel)

A new Black Panther is introduced to the MCU in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Following the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman in 2020, Marvel chose to pass the mantle to another character rather than recast T'Challa. Just who that character is remained a mystery throughout the marketing for the Black Panther sequel, but since the film is here, we finally know who takes up the identity. 

We dive into who that person is and how and why they take over as Black Panther below. It goes without saying, but be warned that major Black Panther: Wakanda Forever spoilers follow! Turn away now if you don't want to know the identity of the next Black Panther! 

Who is the new Black Panther in Wakanda Forever?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

The new Black Panther is none other than Shuri, T'Challa's younger sister. She takes over the mantle after at first showing no desire to recreate the Heart-Shaped Herb. It's not until her mother Ramonda is killed by Namor that Shuri decides to bring back the Black Panther. 

Shuri synthesizes a new Heart-Shaped Herb from a bracelet given to her by Namor – the jewellery contains the plant that turned the Talokanil from air-breathers to water-breathers hundreds of years ago, which was grown in Vibranium-rich soil. She combines this with T'Challa's DNA, which successfully creates a new, synthetic Herb. 

The princess takes the Herb, and in the Ancestral Plane she's greeted by her cousin Erik Killmonger. He asks her if she'll be noble like her brother T'Challa in dealing with Namor, or if she'll "take care of business" like Killmonger would. Shuri is upset when she wakes back up, believing her family abandoned her, but dons the Black Panther suit and goes to the Jabari lands. There, she arm wrestles M'Baku and wins thanks to her new super strength. "The Black Panther lives!" M'Baku declares. 

Shuri then battles with Namor one more time and comes very close to killing him. It's not until she sees Ramonda in the Ancestral Plane, though, that she tells Namor to yield, and when he does, the fight between Wakanda and Talokan is over. 

Later, Shuri does not show up to the ceremony that would make her Queen of Wakanda. Instead, M'Baku challenges for the throne. Shuri goes to live in Haiti with Nakia, and there she meets T'Challa and Nakia's son. While not becoming Queen of Wakanda, though, it doesn't seem that she gives up the Black Panther mantle – and as the movie ends with text promising "Black Panther will return," we can assume she'll continue as the hero in the future. 

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Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.