“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” has introduced a game-changer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: a new heir to Wakanda’s throne. Though many fans expected King T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) sister, Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright), to step up as the nation’s next leader, an unexpected character may be next in line instead.
If fans can recall from “Black Panther,” the budding romance teased between exes T’Challa and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) actually led to something more, because it turns out the two conceived a child! Per “Wakanda Forever”‘s end credits scene, the 6-year-old boy named Toussaint (played by Divine Love Konadu-Sun) who’s introduced to Shuri is actually named Prince T’Challa, an obvious nod to his father. In that scene, Nakia explains how Prince T’Challa came to be and why she waited so long to introduce him.
According to her, she and T’Challa made plans for their son to grow up far away from Wakanda in the event of his father’s death. The reason being, T’Challa didn’t want Prince T’Challa to feel pressured to take the throne at a young age. Hence he and Nakia have lived in Haiti and were absent from T’Challa’s funeral, though Prince T’Challa was able to meet his grandmother, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), before her tragic demise. Both T’Challa and Nakia felt it was best for their son to have a normal life without worrying about royal affairs, and “Wakanda Forever” ends with Nakia and Prince T’Challa asking Shuri to keep their secret.
It seems the MCU is setting up more exciting twists for Phase Five, should “Black Panther” continue in more installments (which it seems it will considering that, after the credits rolled, the words “Black Panther will return” appeared on screen teasing more to come).
Now, T’Challa’s son isn’t a huge surprise to those who keep up with the Marvel comics. However, there is a big difference between the onscreen and comic book portrayals. Read ahead to learn more about the origin story behind the new “Black Panther” addition.
Does T’Challa Have a Son in the Marvel Comics?
T’Challa does, indeed, have a son in the Marvel comic books, but his name is Azari T’Challa. According to Collider, his mother is X-Men member Storm, aka Ororo Munroe. Azari possesses both Black Panther’s augmented strengths and Storm’s electrokinesis abilities. In “Wakanda Forever,” Nakia and T’Challa’s son appears to be an entirely new character, and because he’s so young, it’s unclear if he’ll inherit his father’s Black Panther powers.
Will Prince T’Challa Exist in Future Marvel Projects?
For now, it seems Prince T’Challa simply serves as an ode to Boseman’s beloved character, offering a sense of hope for what the future holds for the MCU and “Black Panther” franchise. But as with all Marvel films, the possibilities are endless. An older version of Prince T’Challa could potentially surface in other projects since Phase Four has focused on building up a new generation of heroes, aka the MCU’s Young Avengers. Since Shuri has figured out how to re-create the Heart-Shaped Herb, Prince T’Challa has that and more resources that could transform him into the Black Panther should that time come.