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It has already been two years since Black Panther changed the world in which we live (and beat Avengers: Infinity War at the domestic box office), and it will be at least another two years before director Ryan Coogler takes audiences back to Wakanda and tries to catching lightening in a bottle for a second time with Black Panther 2. With so much happening between now and then who knows exactly what's going to be happening in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by the time T'Challa suits up next.
Ever since the sequel was first announced, fans around the world have been speculating what will happen in Black Panther 2 and what it will mean for the MCU as a whole. So before Phase 4 officially kicks off later this year with the delayed release of Black Widow, now is the perfect time to put on our thinking caps (or some high tech Wakanda-made equivalent) and consider the five ways Black Panther 2 could be a game-changer for the MCU.
If Wakanda Shares Its Technology With The World
Two years before audiences were taken to Wakanda in Black Panther, they got to see a glimpse of the tech utilized by T'Challa in Captain America: Civil War. With the release of the 2018 standalone film, audiences were foaming at the mouth to see how the reclusive African nation's tech would translate from the pages of comic books to the big screen. And to say everyone was blown away would be an understatement of epic proportions.
As soon as Erik Killmonger came and took the throne from T'Challa, he made plans to send off Wakandan weapons and technology to oppressed communities across the globe. And although he was defeated before his plan could come to fruition, Killmonger's mission to share the nation's technology with the outside world seems to have been successful when T'Challa notified the world of the nation's true capabilities. If the tech is shared with the outside world, couldn't it open the doors for future heroes (and villains) to make good use of all that vibranium? If that's not a game-changer, I don't know what is.
If Doctor Doom Is Introduced
It's no secret, but Doctor Victor Von Doom has pretty much been given the shaft in all three of his movie appearances thus far, which is something just about everyone hopes is reconciled when the legendary Marvel Comics villain finally shows up in the MCU. Although he's mostly associated with the Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom has a long history of taking on Marvel's other heroes like Spider-Man, Captain America, and Black Panther.
Doctor Doom's clash with Black Panther is the basis of the 2010 "Doomwar" storyline where the evil mastermind covertly overthrows the royal family of Wakanda except for T'Challa and Shuri, who holds the Black Panther moniker at the time. This could totally be the basis for Doom's introduction into the MCU and could be used to propel the masked villain to the forefront of subsequent phases. It's only a matter of time before Doctor Doom, and his horn, come into play.
If So, Will The Fantastic Four Be Introduced?
You can't have Doctor Doom without the Fantastic Four, right? Fans have long been anticipating the arrival of the Fantastic Four in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, going as far as saying that John Krasinski would be the ideal Mister Fantastic himself, Reed Richards.
If Marvel were to bring Doctor Doom in for Black Panther 2 then it would be the perfect opportunity to usher in the era of the Fantastic Four and give the characters a decent film adaptation for a change. The team of superheroes wouldn't have to show up in the middle of the movie, in fact, it would probably serve the Fantastic Four and the MCU as a whole best to have the Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and the Thing pop up in one of the signature post-credit scenes to get fans excited for the next phase. It's a matter of when, and not if, for these fan favorites to show up in the MCU.
If Namor The Sub-Mariner Makes His MCU Debut
Namor the Sub-Mariner is one of the oldest Marvel Comics characters, having first appeared in "Marvel Comics #1" back in October 1939. Having been introduced as the first known comic book antihero, Namor has been cast as both the villain and hero in a number of different comic book arcs over the past 80 years. But despite this, the character has yet to show up in the MCU.
That all could change in Black Panther 2, at least I'm hoping so. You could argue that Kevin Feige and crew have already started to lay the groundwork for Namor's eventual debut, especially after the short scene in Avengers: Endgame where Black Widow and Okoye address sub-oceanic earthquakes occurring off the African coast. This could very well be an easter egg for fans of the Atlantean/human hybrid, or it could be the rumblings of something more to come in the future — for Black Panther and the MCU as a whole.
If The Film Addresses The Power Vacuum Left In T'Challa's Absence
One of the aspects of Wakandan life that wasn't addressed in the Avengers: Endgame was how the civilization would react to their king being dusted away for five years. There wasn't much time to discuss the inner political workings of Wakanda following the "snap," but hopefully this is addressed in Black Panther 2.
Not only would this be a game-changer within the boundaries of Wakanda, it could have ramifications throughout the entire MCU. With T'Challa and Shuri both out of action for a considerable amount of time just after they revealed the nation to the world, anyone could have come in and taken control in their absence. If someone could have worked their way into the upper echelon of Wakandan society, they could use the technology around the world and galaxy even.
Those are just five of the ways that Black Panther 2 could be a game-changer for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All five of those situations are plausible when you consider what all has happened in the MCU since it got underway more than a decade ago. But before I end this, I have to say that it would be awesome for Erik Killmonger to show up at some point in the upcoming Black Panther sequel. It doesn't matter if it's a flashback, a hallucination or in the Ancestral Plane, I just hope we haven't seen the last of Michael B. Jordan's badass villain.