Avengers 6 already looks to be the biggest movie in comic book movie history, with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige looking to bring an epic number of past Marvel characters together alongside each other in one story. There are reportedly ideas in place for the X-Men and Fantastic Four to all come into play next to Earth's Mightiest Heroes as they attempt to stop Kang the Conqueror and Doctor Doom from inflicting horror on the Multiverse.
The latest step toward that event is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which largely served to pay tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa after the actor's death in 2020. And while this sequel set the stage for a number of characters to move into exciting new stories through the Multiverse Saga and beyond, the Black Panther will still get the chance to push forward even after Marvel ended the story for Boseman's MCU hero.
And now, after Black Panther 2's mid-credits scene, one theory points to how T'Challa could actually play a role in what may be the MCU's biggest movie yet: Avengers: Secret Wars.
T'Challa's New Place in the MCU
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
During the mid-credits scene from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, fans learned that Nakia and T'Challa had a son that Nakia raised in secret, played by Divine Love Konadu-Sun, all before she introduced the young boy to Shuri. The big shocker came when she revealed that, even though his given name was Touissant, his Wakandan name would honor his late father - T'Challa.
Now, while the young T'Challa is still a few years away from likely becoming a hero in his own right, Marvel now has the chance to set up a story where his Black Panther becomes a bigger part of the narrative in the near future. This could become a reality through the comic story that will inspire the events of Avengers: Secret Wars.
Secret Wars' Secret Plot
In Marvel Comics, the Secret Wars storyline brings together countless Variants of Marvel's biggest names in an effort to stop Kang the Conqueror and Doctor Doom's Multiversal takeover plan. These heroes and villains are all brought together to a planet called Battleworld by the Beyonder, largely in his search for meaning to his own existence and the existence of everything in the universe.
At the end of the story, some universes are merged together, like Marvel Comics' mainline 616 universe and its alternate Ultimate comic universe, which allowed characters like Miles Morales to exist in the main canon timeline.
This could open the door for dozens of different heroes and villains from not just the MCU but all of Marvel's history on the big screen, possibly going back as far as Wesley Snipes' Blade trilogy. And with so many other characters coming back into the game from Marvel's extensive past, who's to say the MCU couldn't bring another universe's T'Challa into play as well?
While Letitia Wright's Shuri will almost certainly play a role alongside Earth's Mightiest Heroes, having her interact with a new version of her late brother could increase the emotional baggage bringing multiple Panthers into play.
How T'Challa Could Impact Avengers: Secret Wars
With Secret Wars bringing in countless alternate takes on Earth's Mightiest Heroes, a new take on T'Challa could play a key role in that group should they fully assemble in the movie.
In the MCU thus far, while Boseman's T'Challa certainly had his fair share of interactions with the Avengers, his time with them was either spent fighting against Team Cap in Captain America: Civil War or fighting Thanos and his army in the last two Avengers movies.
Avengers: Secret Wars could give Toussaint's version of T'Challa the opportunity to be even more involved as a member of the Avengers, as he was for many years in the comics. The movie could assemble an amalgamated version of the team made up of the best and brightest across the Multiverse to face Kang's threat, which would undoubtedly include a T'Challa Variant.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is rumored to have one of the biggest ideas in Marvel history in mind for Secret Wars - a moment that would top the portals scene from Avengers: Endgame. According to reports, he wants to find a way to bring back almost every well-known character from every Marvel movie in the last quarter-century as a way to bring the entire Marvel Universe together in the expectedly epic battle against Kang the Conqueror and Doctor Doom.
Seeing as Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa was the first Avenger to come through the portals in Endgame to back up Captain America, Secret Wars may want to pay homage to one of the original Black Panther's finest moments with Toussaint's appearance.
With the potential to reintroduce T'Challa to the MCU with Avengers: Secret Wars, there is also the ability for Marvel Studios to keep an aged-up Toussaint around after the Multiverse Saga's end.
Will Marvel Studios Keep Using T'Challa After Avengers 6?
While Marvel Studios isn't looking to replace Chadwick Boseman's performance as T'Challa, this could give the mainline MCU a chance at still using some version of Wakanda's King in the story.
With the Multiverse being utilized more fully than ever in Avengers 6, Marvel Studios has a golden opportunity to bring a fully realized Toussaint version of T'Challa into play following the fight against Kang. Perhaps Secret Wars closes with a merging of several universes similar to the comic's storyline, allowing Marvel Studios to cherry-pick which incarnations of heroes it wishes to use in its mainline universe – Toussaint's T'Challa included.
This would provide an established version of Wakanda's protector alongside the 616-universe's Shuri as she continues her reign, all while keeping Chadwick Boseman's legacy intact and not introducing a new Earth-616 take on T'Challa.
While the "Recast T'Challa" movement has been quite vocal about not wanting to lose the character, this could potentially be the best option for all parties involved in the MCU's future. While the young T'Challa grows into his own role as Wakanda's next leader, this Multiversal T'Challa could come in as an already-established hero to keep Wakanda safe while still honoring the work Chadwick Boseman put in.
Fans will actually remember a similar event to this one happening in Season 1 of What If...?, in which Lake Bell's Black Widow finished Episode 9 by going to a universe that had lost its own Natasha Romanoff. While the heroine had lost everybody in her own universe and didn't want to go back to that demolished reality, the Watcher brought her to a world that was in need of her where she could fit in almost seamlessly and find a new purpose.
This could be a potential path that Marvel decides to take with T'Challa in order to give the MCU's Earth-616 its own T'Challa, who could bring to life stories from the comics that haven't been explored yet in a potential Black Panther 3 or other future Marvel movies.
This would also help Shuri and M'Baku adjust to their new roles in leadership positions with T'Challa's help, especially now that Shuri is the only member of her original family left following Ramonda's death.
This direction could even reintroduce another version of the Illuminati, the first take of which just appeared in 2022's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with Mr. Fantastic, Captain Carter, and Professor X. Introducing a Multiversal version of T'Challa could be the way to bring a more comic-accurate take on that highly-regarded team, so that they can watch over the entire narrative of the MCU in secret.
While it's difficult to say what Marvel will decide to do with the Black Panther moving forward, there are possibilities that could bring the MCU fandom together in quite a meaningful fashion.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now playing in theaters worldwide.