Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which debuted this weekend, will signal the end of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who initially laid out the Multiverse Saga’s big plan at San Diego Comic-Con in July. However, such label is more figurative than actual.
Unquestionably a unique occasion, “Wakanda Forever” serves as a moving tribute to both the late Chadwick Boseman, who starred in the series, and the heroic role he played, King T’Challa. However, the movie doesn’t actually come to a conclusion in the perspective of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In contrast to “The Avengers” from 2012 and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” from 2016, Ryan Coogler’s film does not bring together various narrative threads from earlier MCU films into a climactic team-up adventure or lay the groundwork for the larger story that is still to be told.
Instead of weaving together a seamless narrative tapestry, “Wakanda Forever” maintains its own unique storyline while sprouting brand-new branches into the ever sprawling MCU cosmos. This is what just about every other movie and streaming series in Phase 4 have done. Even the post-credits scenes have changed from teasing upcoming MCU films to seeding new characters within each individual franchise, which is how we get Harry Styles, Charlize Theron, and Brett Goldstein making brief appearances as significant MCU characters without having a MCU title to call home.
As the only society on Earth save Wakanda to benefit from the miracles of vibranium, “Wakanda Forever” introduces the superpowered Namor (Tenoch Huerta Mejia) and the covert undersea kingdom of Talokan. The kingdoms are violently at odds with one another as a result of this reality, but a ceasefire is eventually declared by Namor and Shuri (Letitia Wright), Wakanda’s next Black Panther. Namor makes a prediction at the end of the movie that the world’s desire for Wakanda’s vibranium will force the nation to partner with Talokan. This prediction seems far more like a setup for “Black Panther 3” than like it has anything to do with the greater Multiverse Saga.
Similar to this, Dominique Thorne’s brand-new character Riri Williams starts a plot in “Wakanda Forever” that will continue on the Disney+ series “Ironheart,” which Ryan Coogler’s Proximity Media is producing alongside Marvel Studios, next year.
Namor and Riri are both fantastic additions to the MCU, as are the dynamic actors who play them, and there is every reason to believe they may play a part in movies other than the “Black Panther” series. However, how they could fit into the Multiverse Saga is still unclear is still unclear how they could fit into the Multiverse Saga.
Also, you’d think Namor would bring up the enormous marble statue of a planet-sized Celestial that appeared unexpectedly in the Indian Ocean at the end of 2021’s “Eternals” if anybody in “Wakanda Forever” was going to do so. Unfortunately, neither he nor anybody else does. Cosmic gaslighting keeps on!
Finally, the movie’s mid-credits scene is so beautiful and emotional that I’m going to caution any readers who haven’t watched “Wakanda Forever” to hold off on reading the rest of this article until they have. It really can wait.
The “Wakanda Forever” post-credits sequence, which concludes Phase 4, is perhaps the most informative because it gives absolutely no hints as to what will happen in Phases 5 or 6. There is no analogue to Nick Fury turning on his Captain Marvel pager or Thanos grinning over his shoulder. Rather, it is a serene sight of a family starting to heal from its deep emotional scars thanks to the hope of a new generation.