Watch: Trailer for superhero sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
NOTE: The following article contains loads of spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Marvel's post-Endgame run of movies and TV shows — known as the studio's Phase Four — has been something of a bumpy ride. With the threat of Thanos banished, there has been a bit of a lack of direction for all of our favourite superheroes, and the array of new additions to the cast.
Phase Four comes to an end this week with the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — Ryan Coogler's hotly anticipated sequel to 2017's Black Panther. Two years after the shocking and tragic death of leading man Chadwick Boseman, the reworked movie arrives in cinemas and follows Wakanda as it deals with its grief as well as the threat posed by the newly resurfaced aquatic ruler Namor (Tenoch Huerta).
The movie concludes with T'Challa's sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) taking on the mantle of the Black Panther after recreating the heart-shaped herb. She then leads the people of Wakanda in a fight with the people of Namor's home of Talokan, before forming a fragile peace with him. The movie ends with the future of the Wakandan throne and the Black Panther mantle uncertain.
What happens in the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever mid-credits scene?
The mid-credits scene picks up immediately after the final scene of the movie, in which Shuri (Letitia Wright) is in a moment of contemplation on the Haiti beach close to where Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) has been living.
Nakia emerges and introduces "Auntie Shuri" to her young nephew Toussaint — the secret son Nakia had with T'Challa. She reveals that she and T'Challa had agreed that he would be raised away from the pressure of being Wakandan royalty.
Toussaint then reveals that he also has a Wakandan name — he's Prince T'Challa, son of King T'Challa. The credits reveal that the actor in the role is Divine Love Konadu-Sun, who attended the movie's premiere.
There will no doubt be plenty of column inches dedicated to what this means for the future of Wakanda and the "Black Panther" mantle taken up by Shuri in the movie. However, the young T'Challa we meet in this sequence is comfortably a decade or more away from being old enough to assume any royal role or take part in superhero action.
In fact, like a lot of Wakanda Forever, this feels like an elegant and simple tribute rather than any attempt to nod to the future direction of the MCU. It shows that T'Challa's name and legacy will live on for many years in the Marvel universe — just like Boseman's will in the real world.
What happens in the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever post-credits scene?
The format of MCU credits sequences has tended to be that there will be a more serious or story-focused mid-credits scene, followed by a throwaway gag in the final post-credits scene. There is no post-credits sequence on Wakanda Forever, just the words "Black Panther Will Return".
Rumours about the possible introduction of Dr Doom in a credits sequence had been spreading for months, but none of that transpires in the finished film. One of the Wakanda Forever producers, Nate Moore, explained the decision and his reaction to the rumours in a chat with Collider.
He said: "I've heard those rumours, too. No, I think the subject matter of the film was such that it didn't feel appropriate to have, then, a stinger. Much like Endgame felt like an emotional experience that you also didn't need a stinger at the end of this. This felt like we just wanted to tell the story as it was conceived without an added bonus. So, unfortunately there isn't an end credits [scene]."
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is out in UK cinemas and IMAX now.
Watch: Martin Freeman on making Wakanda Forever without Chadwick Boseman