How ‘Black Panther’s Post-Credits Scenes Set Up the Future of the MCU
As Marvel movies go, Black Panther is pretty un-Marvel-y. Wakanda is a secret African nation cut off from the rest of the world, which doesn’t give you too many opportunities for characters from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to pop by for cameos. But Black Panther is still an MCU movie, and all MCU movies must have at least one or two (or, if they’re made by James Gunn, eight) post-credits scenes. It’s just a rule.
So here’s what goes down in each of the film’s two stingers, and what they both mean for the future of the Black Panther franchise and the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. (SPOILERS, obviously)
Post-Credits Scene #1
Just after the animated closing credits that appears on every Marvel movie, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), and Okoye (Danai Gurira) walk into the United Nations in Austria in civilian clothes. (Fun Fact: There really is a major United Nations office in Austria.) T’Challa gives a speech before the assembled delegates, announcing Wakanda’s plan to share its knowledge and resources with the rest of the world. Making good on his promises in the film’s final scenes, he declares that Wakanda will no longer hide in the shadows. Then his pleas turn more passionate and more overtly political. He warns the U.N. about “the illusion of division that threatens our world,” and notes that “the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers.”
When T’Challa finishes his speech, an incredulous member of the U.N. then says (I’m paraphrasing) “What could a nation of farmers have to share with the world?” There’s a lingering shot of T’Challa as he smiles and says nothing, and then a cut to black.
What It Means:
While this is technically a post-credits scene, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if we eventually learn it was originally in the script as part of the main movie but was later shifted into the credits because of rewrites or timing concerns. While we could see the impact of Wakanda’s decision in Avengers: Infinity War, it seems much more likely that we won’t really know the fallout of T’Challa’s speech until a Black Panther sequel in a few years.
Post-Credits Scene #2
After the rest of the closing credits, viewers are treated to one final scene. It starts with a POV shot of several Wakandan children looking into the camera lens. They call the person they’re looking at “White Wolf.” Then the camera cuts outside, as Shuri approaches the hut and ... the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) walks out, sans his robot arm. Shuri asks him how he’s feeling and he says good. He also asks her to call him Bucky. Then she tells him to follow her. “There’s much more for you to learn,” she says as the scene ends.
What It Means:
If you were placing bets on anyone showing up as a surprise at the end of Black Panther, Winter Soldier would have been the odds-on favorite. He was last seen in a post-credits scene from Captain America: Civil War, where he was put in suspended animation by Wakandan doctors until a cure for his brainwashing could be found.
This new post-credits scene is brief and a little underwhelming given the massive changes to the MCU looming in Avengers: Infinity War, but it does tie up that loose end from Civil War. Wakanda’s future medicine has seemingly cured Bucky and restored his mind to its state prior to his conditioning by Hydra. That clears the way for the Winter Soldier to fight alongside Captain America, Black Panther, Okoye, and the Wakandan army as seen in the first Infinity War teaser.
The Civil War post-credits scene ended with Captain America (Chris Evans) warning T’Challa that if the U.S. government discovered Bucky was hiding in Wakanda they would come looking for him. Black Panther doesn’t pay off that threat, but it could still happen in Infinity War (assuming they have time for that kind of plot development while finding ways to cram 75 Marvel characters onto the screen at the same time).
Gallery - Hi-Res Black Panther Images: