Note: Major Spoilers For Black Panther Ahead!!!!
The long-awaited Black Panther has finally hit the big screen, and the reviews are off-the-charts. This is a superhero film that both fans and critics can finally agree on; it’s simply impossible not to love this film. And if you’re a Marvel junkie like myself, the only thing that you were just as excited for as the movie itself was the inevitable post-credits scene. This is the last Marvel film before the anticipated/dreaded Infinity War, after all, which will undoubtedly bring some major character deaths. This post-credits scene was bound to set something up, and wow, did it ever.
The scene begins with three young Wakandan children looking into the camera, curiously. This goes on for long enough that you question whether this is it, the entire post-credits scene. You’re just starting to analyze what it could mean when the scene cuts to Shuri (T’Challa’s younger sister), outside. The three children run out of the tent, playing and laughing, followed by a man. And this man is not unfamiliar to us. It’s the one and only, Bucky Barnes.
Now, we all knew that Bucky was returning. Marvel decided to unleash that secret the second they included him in the Infinity War trailer. And if you’ll recall, at the end of Captain America: Civil War, Bucky was taken to Wakanda and cryogenically frozen. If any nation had a chance at finding the technology that could rid Bucky of his Winter Soldier wiring for good, it’s Wakanda. And it looks like Wakanda’s resident tech expert, Shuri, has found a way! Not only does he look healthy, he actually looks happy. He’s walking like himself, talking like himself, and almost seems peaceful!
This is exciting in and of itself, but the scene gets better. As he exits the tent, the children refer to him as White Wolf. And comic book fans will know that this is so much more than just a cool nickname (though it is that, too). In the comics, White Wolf was actually T’Challa’s adoptive brother. His true name was Hunter, and his family crashed in Wakanda when he was only a child. Against the suspicion and hesitation of his people, King T’Chaka decided to raise the boy as one of his own. He is, as you may have guessed from his nickname, white.
T’Challa and Hunter’s relationship was interesting, to say the least. Hunter ended up becoming a mercenary and living outside of Wakanda, but whenever his brother needed help, he would come. He was there for the people of Wakanda, because even though he was an outsider, he was also one of them.
Marvel decided against bringing Hunter himself into the cinematic universe, but White Wolf was just too good to pass up. And Bucky fits the criteria! His relationship with T’Challa is also incredibly rocky, but as we see in the Infinity War trailer, he’s fighting alongside the Wakandans without hesitation! Not to mention that the post-credits scene shows Bucky and Shuri rather close. Whether Bucky will join the inevitable Black Panther sequel as White Wolf is of yet unclear, but one thing is certain. The Winter Soldier is dead. The White Wolf is born.
Black Panther Is In Theaters Now.