SPOILER ALERT: This story incorporates main spoilers for the ending and mid-credits scene in “Black Panther: Wakanda Perpetually,” at present enjoying in theaters.
At San Diego Comedian-Con in July, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige took to the Corridor H stage and for the primary time delineated the grand plan for the Multiverse Saga — together with that “Black Panther: Wakanda Perpetually,” which opened this weekend, would mark the conclusion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Part 4. That designation, nevertheless, is extra symbolic than literal.
“Wakanda Perpetually” is unmistakably a rare occasion, serving as a poignant farewell each to the franchise’s late star, Chadwick Boseman, and the stirring hero he portrayed, King T’Challa. However inside the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film does not likely conclude something. In contrast to 2012’s “The Avengers” (the conclusion of Part 1) and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (the conclusion of Part 2), Ryan Coogler’s movie doesn’t pull collectively totally different storytelling strands from earlier MCU films right into a climatic team-up journey, nor does it set the stage for the grander story but to unfold.
Sure, Julia Louis-Dreyfus continues her peripatetic run because the mysterious authorities operative Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who has apparently been promoted to the director of the CIA. However at the same time as Wakanda grieves the lack of T’Challa, no different MCU superhero makes an look — not Sam Wilson or Bucky Barnes, not Physician Unusual or Clint Barton, not Thor or Valkyrie or Bruce Banner, all of whom have performed main roles in Part 4.
As a substitute, “Wakanda Perpetually” does what nearly each different movie and streaming sequence has carried out in Part 4: Moderately than knit collectively a cohesive storytelling tapestry, the movie continues its personal particular person narrative whereas sprouting model new branches into the more and more unwieldy MCU multiverse. Even the post-credits scenes have shifted away from teasing future MCU films and as a substitute seeded new characters inside every particular person franchise, which is how we get Harry Types, Charlize Theron and Brett Goldstein showing for 2 seconds as main MCU characters however no MCU title to name dwelling. (Extra on that in a bit.)
Within the movie itself, “Wakanda Perpetually” introduces the superpowered Namor (Tenoch Huerta Mejía) and the key underwater kingdom of Talokan as the one civilization on Earth apart from Wakanda to learn from the wonders of vibranium. That actuality places the realms in violent opposition to one another till Namor and Wakanda’s new Black Panther, Shuri (Letitia Wright), declare a truce. On the finish of the movie, Namor predicts that the remainder of the world’s covetousness of Wakanda’s vibranium would require the nation to show to Talokan as an ally — which sounds rather more like a arrange for “Black Panther 3” than something having to do with the bigger Multiverse Saga.
Equally, the model new character Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) commences a storyline in “Wakanda Perpetually” that may proceed subsequent yr on the Disney+ sequence “Ironheart,” which Coogler’s Proximity Media is producing with Marvel Studios.
Namor and Riri are each fabulous additions to the MCU, as are the charismatic actors who painting them, and there’s each motive to anticipate they may play a task in future films past the “Black Panther” franchise — however how they may determine inside the Multiverse Saga itself stays unclear. (Additionally, if anybody in “Wakanda Perpetually” was going to say the gargantuan marble statue of a planet-sized Celestial immediately showing within the Indian Ocean — i.e. the climax of 2021’s “Eternals” — you’d suppose it could be Namor. However, alas, he doesn’t, nor does anybody else. The cosmic gaslighting continues!)
After which there’s the movie’s mid-credits scene, which is so elegant and shifting that I’m going to warn any readers who haven’t seen “Wakanda Perpetually” to attend till they’ve seen the movie to proceed with this piece. Really: It may possibly wait!
OK: After spending the movie avoiding her grief for her brother, the film ends with Shuri touring to Haiti and the beachside dwelling of T’Challa’s beloved, Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o). Shuri sits by the water, burns her funeral clothes per Wakanda customized, and eventually mourns T’Challa. After the movie’s major credit play, nevertheless, the film cuts proper again to Shuri on that seaside. Nakia approaches, with a younger boy, roughly 5 years outdated, holding her hand. Nakia introduces him as her son, Toussaint, the namesake of Toussaint Louverture, the previous slave who led the Haitian Revolution of the late 18th century. Then Toussaint tells Shuri his Wakandan title, which he shares together with his father: T’Challa.
It’s a beautiful second of mild grace that the MCU has hardly ever had room for. The scene additionally suggests additional problems for “Black Panther 3,” given the considerably complicated means “Wakanda Perpetually” ends with M’Baku (Winston Duke) making a play for the throne, seemingly with Shuri’s blessing. Astute MCU observers may additionally word it’s yet one more member of younger superheroes-to-be which were a relentless since Part 4 started: Billy Maximoff (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy Maximoff (Jett Klyne) on “WandaVision,” Eli Bradley (Elijah Richardson) on “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” Child Loki (Jack Veal) on “Loki,” Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) on “Hawkeye,” America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) in “Physician Unusual within the Multiverse of Insanity,” Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) on “Ms. Marvel” and Love (India Hemsworth) in “Thor: Love and Thunder.”
Maybe most tellingly, nevertheless, the “Wakanda Perpetually” post-credits scene ends Part 4 with completely zero indication as to what lies forward for Part 5 or Part 6: There isn’t a equal of Thanos smirking over his shoulder or Nick Fury activating his Captain Marvel pager. As a substitute, it’s a quiet scene of a household starting to fix its ragged emotional wounds via the promise of a brand new era.