The following article contains spoilers from Black Panther #15, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
T’Challa may be exiled from Wakanda in order to satisfy a new alliance with Atlantis, but that doesn’t mean Wakanda has suddenly become a less interesting place in the Marvel Universe. If anything, the end of Black Panther #15 (by John Ridley, German Peralta, Jesus Aburtov, and VC’s Joe Sabino) leaves the advanced nation with a plethora of stories to explore. For all reviews of John Ridley Black Panther received, he’s set up a new future for Wakanda that doesn’t rest solely on T’Challa’s shoulders.
So often fans aren’t able to separate the idea of Black Panther and Wakanda, however, there’s more to it than just its main hero. Wakanda is home to some of the most dynamic characters in the Marvel Universe. The country is in the midst of massive change, and without T’Challa, they have an excuse to step into the spotlight.
Marvel’s Wakanda Has Entered A New Era – Without Black Panther
Perhaps the biggest change to Wakanda’s status quo has been the removal of the monarchy in favor of democracy. This alone creates new opportunities for the country, giving them the ability to introduce new characters under the banner of helping Wakanda move forward. This can already be seen in new characters such as Folasade and Tosin, both of whom recognize the systemic problems in Wakandan society and actively seek to address them.
However, these positives come with negatives. A democracy is good for giving more weight to the people in the future of their country. But it also facilitates access to positions of power for those with less noble intentions. Fans may be delighted to suspect that the future will see more political machinations at play as Wakanda begins to build its fledgling democracy and defend its nation against those who would seek to abuse its power for their own gain.
Black Panther’s Absence Lets Other Wakanda Characters Shine
Aside from the upcoming political changes in the country, T’Challa’s absence also allows other Wakandan characters to spend time in the spotlight. It’s already been revealed that Shuri has a dark prophecy hanging over her head, so she’ll likely command attention as she faces her fate. Ridley’s run introduced quite a few new characters who will play a prominent role in Wakanda’s revamp. Tosin is a particularly exciting prospect for the country. Its introduction gave Wakanda its own brand of mysticism that contrasts with the country’s heavy use of science. This makes him uniquely positioned to help the new government make amends with the various tribes they’ve ignored for so long.
Last, but not least, is Folasade herself. Wakanda has never had a democratically elected leader before, let alone someone who is an entirely new character. Fans can expect to see more of her as she leads Wakanda into the future while battling all the threats that come her way. She has already proven herself to be one of the best things to ever happen to the country with her openness and integrity. Either way, Wakanda has a solid foundation to tell a number of wonderful stories in the near future.