Does Shuri become Black Panther in Marvel comics?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now out in theaters. The long-awaited film was released on November 11 globally and according to several critics’ reviews, the sequel has garnered a generally positive response. This film marks the end of Marvel Phase Four, following up on the events after the great battle in Avengers: Endgame.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was slated for Chadwick Boseman’s return, but the actor’s unfortunate demise put all the plans of seeing King T’Challa again to bed. Ryan Coogler reportedly changed the script after Boseman’s untimely death and created a story centering on the King’s death, as mentioned in the synopsis.

The synopsis for the film reads as:

“Queen Ramonda, Shuri, M’Baku, Okoye and the Dora Milaje fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with Nakia and Everett Ross to forge a new path for their beloved kingdom.”

What Ryan Coogler has done for Mesoamerica, specifically the Mayan civilization, in #BlackPanther: #WakandaForever was truly awe-inspiring. Some of the most beautiful, carefully crafted, and respectful portrayals of the culture and I deeply admired seeing it. @theblackpanther

A question that has long plagued MCU fans is about King T’Challa’s successor, with Shuri (Letitia Wright) often tipped to take over the mantle of the superhero. But was she ever the Black Panther in the comics that inspired the film? Read on to find out.

Was Shuri ever the Black Panther?

Marvel comics have a long and diverse history, with most superheroes being represented by more than one character. Even superheroes like Captain America, who are not based on lore or legacy, have been represented by more than one character. In the case of Black Panther, many have taken up the mantle of the superhero, including T’Challa’s sister Shuri.

Anyway, as shown in the first part of the Ryan Coogler film, the mantle of Black Panther is given to the king, along with the powers of the magic herbs and the suit. Hence, it has been taken by many other characters like S’Yan, T’Chaka, and Azzuri in the comics.

Shuri has always been a favorite for the title. In the comic storyline, when a near-fatal battle with Doctor Doom left T’Challa injured, Shuri took up the mantle and became the new protector of Wakanda, along with the powers of her brother’s suit. However, she did so without the blessing of the Panther god Bast, leaving her without the crucial protection from the ancient powers.

However, Shuri fought valiantly for her people and established her place among the legendary Black Panthers, earning her a place in the eyes of the Bast and later, becoming the rightful queen of Wakanda.

Shockingly, many other characters have also taken up the same mantle. Erik Killmonger, T’Challa’s cousin and nemesis, who fought for his place as the king, also took up the mantle in the comics. More surprisingly, even Captain America took up the superhero’s mantle in one of the Marvel comics set on Earth-1610.

Despite the story in the books, there will be no new character replacing King T’Challa in the film, as confirmed by Kevin Fiege himself, as he stated:

“Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story. We’re not going to have a CG Chadwick and we’re not recasting T’Challa.”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now out everywhere in theaters.

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Edited by Abhipsa Choudhury


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