Marvel’s Black Panther is finally upon us. While Erik Killmonger’s brief ascension to the throne didn’t involve Thanos or the Infinity Stones, Black Panther is a very important entry in the long-running Marvel Cinematic Universe. The post-credits scenes, reserved only for cinematic universe brick building, delivers in several major ways.
Here’s how the post-credits scenes of Black Panther will fundamentally alter the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it.
End-Credits: Welcome to Oakland
Oakland is an important place for T’Challa. In the low-income apartments where his greatest nemesis, Killmonger, was born, T’Challa starts Wakandan outreach to help the poor communities, which could have helped someone like Killmonger. Expect Black Panther 2 to loosely adopt Christopher Priest’s run in the comics, where T’Challa and his crew relocated to Brooklyn for a time.
Mid-Credits: “I am Black Panther.”
The mid-credits scene of Black Panther, in which T’Challa holds a press conference to reveal the real Wakanda at the United Nations, is a strong callback to the first movie of the MCU. At the end of Iron Man, Tony Stark dropped his bombshell reveal — “I am Iron Man” — to the press. In Black Panther, T’Challa does something quite similar.
Whether T’Challa said “I am Black Panther” or not is unclear. But what is clear was that T’Challa wanted to open Wakanda’s doors for the first time. In the comics, Wakanda isn’t mistaken as a third world country, nor does it hide its riches. (Wakandans just sort of keep it for themselves, mostly.) This is a big deal. Given how practically alien Wakanda is with their mega-advanced technology and science, Wakandans could dramatically reshape the rest of the world. For example, Shuri practically perfected hyperloop technology on her own, whereas people IRL are still trying to just get the whole thing to work.
It’ll be compelling to see how less of a modern, contemporary Earth the MCU will look by the time Black Panther 2 rolls around.
Post-Credits: White Wolf
More pressing to the MCU than the world it inhabits, Bucky Barnes is poised to become a very important soldier in Wakanda’s military force. In the post-credits of Black Panther, Sebastian Stan makes a surprise appearance, healed from his brainwashing thanks (again) to Shuri. Shuri sure does love working to fix broken white boys.
Based on the nickname the Wakandan children call him, Bucky could inhabit the role of White Wolf, the top dog of the Hatut Zeraze, who in the comics was actually the white adopted brother of T’Challa. In the MCU, having the Winter Soldier lead Wakandan’s most lethal fighters could be a useful asset when Thanos rudely invades Earth looking for his Infinity Stones.
Marvel’s Black Panther is in theaters now.