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How Avengers 5 & 6 Could Fast-Track Shuri's Successor In Black Panther 3

Contains spoilers for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"

"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is as full of ingenious callbacks to the first "Black Panther" movie as it is of teases about the potential future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Regarding the latter, the movie introduces multiple major standout characters that'll likely play a big part in the MCU going forward. There's the Talokan god-king Namor (Tenoch Huerta), the worthy successor of the "antagonist who has a point" throne occupied by Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) in the first movie. There's also young gadgeteer genius Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) — and, of course, the kid who's heavily implied to become the Black Panther in the future.

In the mid-credits stinger, the audience — and current Black Panther Shuri (Letitia Wright) — are introduced to Toussaint (Divine Love Konadu-Sun), the secret son of T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o). Judging by the fact that the young man bears a resemblance to his father in looks and quick wit alike, it seems highly likely that the MCU is setting him up to ingest the Heart-Shaped Herb at some point down the line.

Though Toussaint has just been introduced in the MCU and the role of Black Panther is very much occupied, there are ways that could fast-track the youngster's path to succeeding Shuri in the next "Black Panther" movie ... and the next two "Avengers" movies just might be the key to bring this change forward. Here's how.

The next two Avengers movies can bend time and space to bring Toussaint to the forefront

Little by little, bit by bit, the MCU has introduced more and more systems that enable it to more or less do what it pleases, narratively speaking. The introductions of time travel and the Multiverse alone have made clear that there are all sorts of alternate versions of every single character out there, just waiting for the camera to turn on them.

What's more, we already know that if anything, the MCU fully intends to put the pedal to the metal when it comes to wild time- and universe-bending shenanigans. "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" ends the MCU Phase Four, and it appears that the inevitable but as yet unannounced "Black Panther 3" probably won't drop until after the 2025 twin gut punch of "Avengers: The Kang Dynasty" and "Avengers: Secret Wars." 

Due to the involvement of the timeline-bending warlord Kang (Jonathan Majors) alone, these two movies might just be the ticket to fast-track Toussaint toward Black Pantherdom. Will it be via time travel? Sure, Toussaint could dip into the past for a few years due to some stray plot development, re-emerging in the main MCU timeline as a battle-ready adult. How about alternate universes? As "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" proves, there's probably a Toussaint in a whole bunch of them, and at least one is probably already a Black Panther.

There are already hints that Shuri might be cool with another Black Panther

Of course, before the MCU can work its way to the next Black Panther, there are a few not-so-minor hurdles to clear. Apart from the need to age Toussaint up, there's the fact that Shuri has just been established as the new Black Panther, and it wouldn't be too cool if her tenure in the black suit came to an abrupt end.  

The thing is, "Wakanda Forever" makes no secret about the fact that Shuri's not really comfortable with either leadership or the whole Black Panther thing. Though she embraces both as a necessity after Ramonda (Angela Bassett) dies, she welcomes (though doesn't exactly follow) M'Baku's (Winston Duke) advice, and having recognized him as a good leader and person, is heavily implied to stealthily support M'Baku for Wakanda's throne near the end of the movie. Likewise, while she's already proven herself to be a mighty Black Panther, it's highly possible that now she's purged the need for vengeance from her system, she might wish to return to her tech-heavy supporting role as Wakanda's super-scientist as soon as the next capable Black Panther candidate emerges. 

Time will tell whether Shuri or Toussaint — or both, courtesy of happy collaboration or alternate-timeline shenanigans — will bear the titular mantle in "Black Panther 3." Still, should the MCU so desire, the next two "Avengers" movies certainly offer ample time- and space-bending opportunities to bring T'Challa's son up to the task.