The Marvel Cinematic Universe is filled with mysteries that have yet to be explored. While the Infinity Saga already touched upon various mythologies of the franchise, it appears that there is still a wide array of secrets that are waiting to be discovered by the remaining heroes of the post-Endgame world.
The next chapter of the MCU is still months away, but Marvel Studios recently released an in-canon book in the form of The Wakanda Files: A Technological Exploration of the Avengers and Beyond to tide fans over while they wait. As expected, the book didn't disappoint since it already revealed several notable tidbits about the franchise.
It was confirmed that Tony Stark knew all along about "tangential split-timelines" while mapping out the time-travel master plan of the team during Avengers: Endgame. Additionally, new details about the abilities of both Pietro and Wanda Maximoff may have shed some light on their ties to the mutant gene.
Not only that, but it was also revealed that Shuri is attempting to synthesize her own version of Wakanda's heart-shaped herb. And now, it seems that this is not the only experiment that the Wakandan princess is currently working on.
Screen Rant unearthed evidence from The Wakanda Files that Shuri is finding ways to create more super-soldiers. In the excerpt from the book, it was revealed that Shuri collected the files in order to "study supplementation" about the super-soldier program, analyzing where others have succeeded and failed:
"If we are to synthesize, and by process improve upon, an ancient Wakandan herb, we must first study supplementation where others have tried and succeeded. And also, where they have failed."
This led her to discover notable tidbits about MCU heroes and villains such as Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Abomination, and even the Extremis formula from Iron Man 3, leading to the conclusion that radiation served as the most vital piece of the program. Still, the Wakandan genius wasn't able to find out the full extent of how the super-soldier program will be revived in the modern age.
"[The Red Skull's] transformation failed because his serum lacked radioactive exposure. Rogers was exposed to Vita-Rays. Banner became a massive rage monster because he was exposed to gamma radiation. It is likely that Zola utilized gamma radiation from the Tesseract to enhance Barnes. [Hydra] figured out a way to expose subjects to whatever cosmic rays the Mind Stone emits and it transformed them.
How is massive amounts of radiation linked to superhuman abilities? Does the Mind Stone emit a type of radiation? The heart-shaped herb produces the same enhanced effects without the need for radiation. So where do the two methods diverge and what links them?"
WHAT THIS MEANS
It appears that The Wakanda Files is more than a tie-in book for the MCU, potentially laying the groundwork for future storylines for the franchise. Shuri's attempt in cracking the code of the super-soldier program is a surprising tidbit to reveal within an in-canon book, and it seems that this information is placed on purpose for fans to speculate on how it will all play out.
Wakanda's heart-shaped herb made its debut during 2018's Black Panther, but it was ultimately burned down due to the order of Erik Killmonger. It makes narrative sense for Shuri to recreate the herb in some form since it serves as a vital piece to their tradition. However, creating a new herb to be used as a catalyst for the revival of a super-soldier program is an interesting decision, but not much is known behind the motivations of the Wakandan princess regarding this ordeal.
There's a good chance that Shuri became fascinated with the super-soldier program by analyzing Bucky while he was in Wakanda before Avengers: Infinity War. Aside from that, given the genius intellect of Shuri, it is likely that the main reason behind her attempt to recreate the super-soldier program is for Wakanda to be more well-equipped against otherworldly invaders, especially after succumbing defeat to Thanos and his army during Infinity War.
Whatever the case, it's nice to think that Shuri is mapping out a strategic defense for Wakanda, and it could very well be adopted by the rest of the world when another threat comes knocking at Earth's door.