Usually being excited about the next Marvel movie isn’t fraught with tragedy, but Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a kind of exception. The film had to be completely redesigned following the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman, the actor at the center of the first film.
Now Wakanda is in mourning and fans are trying to figure out what Ryan Coogler and company are going to do. wakanda forever feeling as triumphant and fulfilling as the first iteration. We won’t know for sure until the movie hits theaters, but some comics might give us a glimpse of what wakanda forever might look like.
New Avengers by Jonathan Hickman
Following comic book canon is always tricky, but New Avengers is a pretty solid starting point if you want to understand what T’Challa and Namor’s relationship looks like in the comics. Resume after Namor destroys Wakanda after wielding part of the Phoenix Force. In New Avengershowever, the two must work together to prevent interdimensional incursions alongside the Illuminati, two things MCU fans were first introduced to in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
T’Challa promises retaliation for the attack on Wakanda when they no longer need each other, and the two find themselves in a pitched battle after Namor decides to destroy another Earth when the Illuminati refuse. In the end, T’Challa leaves Namor beaten and near death on a dying Earth, ultimately avenging his nation and people.
Ironheart: Those with Courage
Fans who paid attention to the accumulation of wakanda forever probably know that the movie should also feature Riri Williams or Ironheart. The comic book version of Riri is quite intimately tied to Tony Stark, but Those who have courage gives Riri a chance to fend for herself as she balances classes at MIT with her superhero responsibilities.
The story’s overarching conflict involves a group of world leaders who are kidnapped by the supervillain Clash, but writer Eve L. Ewing makes sure she takes center stage. Riri is obviously bright, but struggles to connect with the people around her. She also gets a stylish anime-adjacent costume for this run that we can only hope will eventually make its way into the movies.
Black Panther: A Nation Beneath Our Feet by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates has a MacArthur Genius Grant for a reason. The scholarship may not have been given solely for his work on Black Panther, but A nation under our feet shows how a single writer can shape the stories of Black Panther. The comic follows T’Challa as he battles dissent within his country.
A force known as the people divides the land and T’Challa is ultimately forced to heed the limitations of the monarchy which has failed many of its people. Ultimately, T’Challa decides to institute a democratic form of government in hopes that it will eventually be able to more fully reflect the will of the citizens of Wakanda. A nation under our feet is thought out in a way that was reflected in both films, and Aneka, a central character in Coates’s troubles, will be played by Michaela Coel in wakanda forever.
Shuri Vol. 1: The Search for Black Panther
Shuri’s first solo series, which was written by Nigerian-American novelist Nnedi Okorafor, follows T’Challa’s sister as she is forced into a leadership role in Wakanda. Shuri finds that she is not naturally fit for leadership, largely because she prefers to spend her time in the lab. Shuri knows, however, that a nation without a leader is extremely vulnerable, so she sets out to find her brother with the help of Storm, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot.
Shuri will not be able to count on her brother in wakanda forever, unfortunately, and will have to decide what role she’s supposed to play in Wakanda in the future. The tragedy of the real world imposed these circumstances on the characters of wakanda foreverand shuri can give us an idea of how T’Challa’s sister will behave now that her big brother is gone.
Black Panther: The World of Wakanda
An anthology series that covers the breadth and depth of life in Wakanda, Wakanda World is a perfect way to get a general insight into the Wakandan culture that Ryan Coogler and his team so powerfully evoked in the original Black Panther. Wakanda World is also a great complement to the work of Ta-Nehisi Coates, with origin stories for many of the characters he introduces in his run.
Wakanda World also gives a wide range of writers the ability to put their own spin on the world and focus on different characters outside of T’Challa and his immediate family. wakanda forever seems likely to replicate that formula to some extent, giving us a broader look at Wakanda’s characters to better understand its culture and people.
The Rise of the Black Panther
Ta-Nehisi Coates teamed up with a team of other writers to tell this version of T’Challa’s origin story. The Rise of the Black Panther takes a pretty broad look at how T’Challa became king and also provides new details about King T’Chaka, his father, and the mother he never really knew.
Origin stories are perhaps the most anticipated element of any superhero story, but in the hands of Coates and the rest of the team behind this comic, T’Challa comes to feel like a completely separate character. The politics that drive the world of Wakanda have always been extremely fascinating, and The Rise of the Black Panther gives them even more meaning than we already know they have.
If you’re wondering why Aneka didn’t appear in the first film, fatal war gives us an example of what she and the rest of the Midnight Angels were able to do. In the case of fatal war, Wakanda selects a subgroup of the strongest Dora Milaje to fight Doctor Doom. Although that obviously won’t be how things play out in wakanda foreverIt is possible that fatal war might give you some insight into who the Midnight Angels are and what they think of Wakanda more generally. Aneka is one of the most exciting new additions to wakanda foreverso any insight we can glean specifically about her is certainly worth exploring.