Marvel dropped perhaps one of its best trailers in years, with the reveal of Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever, at the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con. Apart from a moving tribute to Chadwick Boseman, the trailer also gave us a brief glimpse into the conflict that seems to be brewing between Wakanda and Atlantis. 

The two minute-long trailer was scored to Wailer’s No Woman No Cry slowly transitioning to Kendrick Lamar’s Alright, and featured a first look at Namor, the Sub-Mariner. But the most interesting part came at the far end of the trailer when we saw a set of claws being raised, by a mysterious person donning the Black Panther suit.

This has sent the internet down the rabbit hole, debating on who’s going to carry the mantle forward. Among other heated debates, here are some of the plausible theories we found that could shed a light on the sequel.

Shuri Becomes Black Panther, M’Baku Gets Crowned As King

The most obvious and safest choice appears to be Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, becoming the new protector of Wakanda. The very last frame of the trailer seemingly supports this theory, with the new Black Panther appearing to be thinner than both Killmonger and T’Challa.

This theory has its comic book origins as well, with the princess finally getting the mantle during Reginald Hudlin’s run of Black Panther in 2009. However, we suspect Marvel might put its spin on it, and split the duties of being the ruler and protector of Wakanda. This could mean, that M’Baku might be crowned as the king.

A Multiversal Killmonger 

Considering Letitia Wright’s controversial stance on vaccines, some fans have been speculating that Marvel might try to distance itself from the actress. One way they could do this is by introducing a multiversal Killmonger, who might become both the king and the new Black Panther.

After the Infinity Stones Gauntlet saga, Marvel has already named its next phase the ‘Multiverse Saga.’ The foundations of which have already been laid out in the Loki TV show, Spider-Man: No Way Home and the recent Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness sequel. This does leave the door open for Michael B. Jordan to reprise his iconic role once again. 

Multiple Characters Donning The Mantle

Taking a closer look at the trailer, the focus of the sequel seems to be on Wakanda as a whole. This could mean that the mantle might get split between multiple characters, like Nakia, Okoye, M’Bakku and Shuri. While Marvel has a history of splitting roles between two characters, the recent example being Jane Foster in the new Thor movie, a more apt comparison would be DC’s Shazam movie (we can already hear the pitchforks getting sharpened).

Nevertheless, though, the director Ryan Coogler and the MCU might have planned something entirely different for us. We scoured Twitter to see what fellow fans are speculating. Here’s what we found. 

https://twitter.com/blurayangel/status/1551078291548737536?s=20&t=Fac01cGJToL0ZnOKCqBl-Q
https://twitter.com/JokerDLuffy/status/1549673369687265280?s=20&t=qsd275k-qVIdYyy-quMynQ
https://twitter.com/nahhemi/status/1551076573549404160?s=20&t=qsd275k-qVIdYyy-quMynQ

Image credits: Marvel, Disney