Marvel’s Phase 4 comes to an end with a bang as Black Panther Wakanda Forever has hit theatres all over the world. With it comes a story about loss and acceptance, plus all the complexities of ruling a nation in a world ravaged by Thanos and other superhuman threats in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And while fans are introduced to Namor and the threat he brings to a Wakanda without its Black Panther, there are also a lot of intricate details and hidden trivia lurking beneath the surface. We take a look at some Black Panther Wakanda Forever easter eggs every MCU fan should definitely know.
After T’Challa’s funeral and the one-year time jump, MCU fans get to see how Wakanda is doing in the eyes of the public. This is effectively done by using an Anderson Cooper cameo as himself reporting about the current predicament of the once-hidden nation after revealing the existence of Vibranium to the world.
As this scene is happening, eagle-eyed fans can see two easter eggs pertaining to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Thor: Love and Thunder. There’s a reference for the former about Scott Lang going on tour to promote his book while the latter shows that a treaty was signed in New Asgard, which shows how much the new country has grown under King Valkyrie’s leadership.
Similar to JARVIS, FRIDAY, and EDITH, Shuri has come up with her own A.I. program called GRIOT. Voiced by the former host of The Daily Show Trevor Noah, this program is developed solely for the use of Wakandan citizens, mainly those in positions, like Shuri and Queen Ramonda.
Funnily enough, Shuri makes a low-key reference to Ultron when her mother asked if this A.I. program will revolt. The princess replies that it’s impossible and GRIOT would never do that, as opposed to what Tony Stark and Bruce Banner’s work did in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
6. Valentina Allegra de Fontaine
Much like how Nick Fury was all over the place during the Phase 1 films, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is at it again with an appearance in Black Panther Wakanda Forever.
After appearing in several MCU Phase 4 projects, such as Black Widow and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Fontaine has a bigger role in the Black Panther sequel. This time, though, it’s revealed that she’s now the new CIA director, making her the one in charge of Everett Ross, her ex-husband. In a way, Contessa’s appearance here sets up MCU’s Phase 5, which will culminate in the group she’s been gathering all along – the Thunderbolts.
With Shuri and Riri Williams captured by Namor’s forces, Talocan’s ruler took it upon himself to show the former his underwater kingdom. Before he does, Namor explains how he and his people came to be, thanks to the heart-shaped herb they ingested during the late 1500s.
Using the said plant, the Talocans gained the ability to breathe underwater with their skins turning blue. Her mother, pregnant with Namor at that time, took the herb, which caused his son to gain flight, super-strength, and a delay in ageing. Namor himself says to Shuri that he is a mutant because of these abilities, which are not found in any other Talocan. This mention of mutants all lines up with the MCU’s plan to bring the X-Men in the coming years.
4. Attack on Wakanda
Sometime during the 2010s, the Avengers went to war against the X-Men in the comics. During an event dubbed Avengers vs. X-Men, several mutants gained the power of the Phoenix with Namor being one of them. Since the Avengers were resisting the utopia created by Phoenix-powered mutants, the ruler of Atlantis decided to retaliate by attacking Wakanda and flooding its capital.
This moment in the comics was recreated for Black Panther Wakanda Forever. This time, though, Namor does this act after Nakia rescues Shuri and Riri from his clutches, killing several Talocan guards in the process. This act was seen as a declaration of war by Namor, hence the attack on Wakanda’s capital. This event also caused the death of Queen Ramonda, which pushes the film closer to its eventual climactic battle between Shuri and Namor.
At the start of Wakanda Forever, Shuri refuses to recreate the heart-shaped herb due to her belief that the Black Panther belongs to the past as her brother died. After Ramonda passes away, the princess goes back to synthesizing the said herb to defeat Namor. With a successful sample and Nakia’s aid, she ingests its juice and transcends into the Ancestral Plane only to meet Erik Killmonger.
During this scene, Shuri speaks to her cousin about Namor and how to handle his threat to Wakanda. The first film’s antagonist reminds her that while T’Challa may have been noble, he won’t take any chances with the Talocan ruler by letting him live. This short, but sweet cameo, helps Shuri in her transformation to becoming the new Black Panther and all the burdens that come along with it.
Much of the film’s plot centres around the Vibranium-detecting machine invented by Riri Williams, leading Namor to attack Wakanda later on. With Talocan targeting the young genius, it’s up to Shuri and Ramonda to keep her safe from those who would kill her. As the movie builds up to the climax, MCU fans see her creating an armour using Wakandan resources, one that resembles the suits created by Tony Stark.
In the comics, Riri Williams is one of the smartest individuals in the Marvel universe. With her prowess, she gets to create her own armour and take on the identity of Ironheart. For a time, she even gets to be the primary armoured hero after Tony Stark was presumed dead in the comics. It remains to be seen how her comic history will play out when the upcoming Ironheart series will debut on Disney Plus soon.
1. Prince T’Challa
After defeating Namor and the Talocans, Wakanda has now seemingly found its king in M’Baku while Shuri is now its defender, the new Black Panther. With the threat resolved, Shuri visits Nakia in Haiti and finally moves on from the death of his brother. At this point, Nakia introduced Toussaint as her child with T’Challa. She reveals that it was her and T’Challa’s decision to raise the child away from the pressures of the throne. Nakia also adds that Ramonda met him before she passed away.
Speaking to her aunt, Toussaint says that he has another name in Wakanda. He reveals that his name is T’Challa, similar to his late father. This scene heartfully pays tribute to Chadwick Boseman while opening up the future of the character in the MCU. With the success of Wakanda Forever, this Black Panther easter egg can bear fruit in the coming years, much to the excitement of fans everywhere.