Black Panther May Have Revealed The Fate of Iron Man in the Larger MCU

Black Panther has only been in theaters for a few days and it is already shaping up the larger MCU with respect to one of its most iconic superheroes. In a classic turn of events, the Black Panther movie reveals a possible future for Tony Stark within the MCU. Unbelievable? Keep reading…

Spoiler Alert: The following paragraphs contain MINOR spoilers for Black Panther. The faint-hearted are advised to stay away…..

Robert Downey Jr. could be very well be termed the father of the MCU. If it wasn’t for his quirky, quick-witted portrayal of the playboy genius Tony Stark, there wouldn’t have been an MCU in the first place. In 2008, Iron Man was released and was a massive blockbuster, it set the stage for the entire MCU. But with the end of Marvel’s phase 3 and the release of Infinity War, many of the MCU’s flagship faces will be leaving the shared superhero universe, including RDJ.

Tony Stark

Even though the face may be leaving, the hero isn’t. Marvel is already carving up a plan to replace RDJ with a face that could fit behind the Iron Mask – Shuri. Shuri is T’Challa’s sister and the brightest mind within the MCU, even smarter than Tony Stark. If Marvel could have its way, it will cast Letitia Wright (who plays Shuri in Black Panther) to take over the mantle of Iron Man or find someone who fits the role at the very least. 


It is just like a comic book character named RiRi Williams, a teenage prodigy who went to MIT like Tony and created an Iron Man armor for herself in her dorm room, she got Tony’s endorsement to don the mantle after he is done. Shuri could be MCU’s version of RiRi Williams and continue the legacy of Tony Stark’s Iron Man.

In Black Panther, Shuri’s technological prowess is clearly evident. She not only designed the high-speed rail track that could carry Vibranium from the mines to its designated location in minutes but also the Black Panther costume that suddenly springs out of T’Challa’s necklace when called upon. Shuri, at such a young age, is heading Wakanda’s technological innovation department.

Tony Stark does that too but outside Wakanda. His technology is creating scientific wonders all around the world. He is also the benefactor and the official sponsor of the Avengers, being one of the richest men alive. Shuri is also one hell of a nerd and with Wakanda’s entire wealth at her disposal; she could give Tony’s bank accounts a run for their money. 

In the TV Spot trailer for Infinity War, we see Tony Stark remove his glasses as the Iron Man suit builds around him. The tech is similar to the one we see in Black Panther. Could it be possible that Shuri built the Infinity War Iron Man suit? Or did Tony Stark borrowed the technological know-how from Shuri to build the suit himself not that Wakanda’s existence is no longer a secret? In either case, once RDJ rests the mask on the floor forever, Shuri would be the most likely candidate to put it on, since she must have had a hand in building it herself.

Shuri has the wit and the guts to back up her claim as well. When she takes on Killmonger, she knows she will lose but she fights him anyway. When people think that she is actually challenging her own brother for the throne, all she is doing is trying to find a way to let go of the outdated ceremonial rituals that Wakanda has held on to since centuries.

There is one more possibility. At the end of Black Panther, Wakanda decides to expand its reach by creating ‘Outreach’ centers worldwide, a place where gifted people could find a place to explore their inner potential. Shuri will be heading to Oakland, California to head the Outreach center there. In case you don’t know, that place is eerily close to Riri Williams’ home, the new successor to the mantle of the Iron Man. 

In Marvel Comics, RiRi Williams goes by the moniker Ironheart. She is essentially Iron Man 2.0. Robert Downey Junior will most certainly let go of the Iron Man suit after Infinity War. The MCU is not going to follow the Marvel Comics Universe in a definite sense, but they could follow a similar route. With the right circumstances and a little push, Riri Williams or Shuri herself could end up piloting the Iron Man suit.

In comics, Tony Stark’s personal life was going out of control and almost imploding as he came to know about the fact that Howard Stark is not his real father, Rhodey aka War Machine has just died, Stark Industries is bankrupt, an in-human is on the loose and Captain Marvel doesn’t trust him. Hence, Tony decided to allow someone like RiRi to take on the mantle.

In MCU Infinity War movies, something like this could also happen. Tony Stark will watch his friends die at the hands of Thanos, he will not be able to save countless civilians who will be slaughtered by Black Order, he will see for the first time what it means to feel utterly helpless, till now he has only been carrying this bravado of being a rich playboy who is also a superhero, but Thanos will take all his pride and leave him to die a horrible death. He will then let Shuri take the mantle of Iron Man.

black panther

Black Panther is already in theaters. The official synopsis reads:

After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and as Black Panther — gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.

Black Panther and Iron Man, both will be seen next in Avengers Infinity War where they will have to join forces to take on Mad Titan aka Thanos and his Black Order hell-bent on global destruction. Hopefully, we will get a scene featuring these two superheroes as Black Panther was, in fact, part of Team Iron Man in Civil War. Here is a different line of synopsis released for the movie by the Marvel Studios:

“As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain”.

“Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet — the evil Thanos. On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment”.

“An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time. The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe”.

Avengers Infinity War will hit the theaters on May 4, 2018. It is directed by Russo brothers and produced by Marvel President Kevin Feige along with a host of Executive producers such as Stan Lee, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, and Michael Grillo. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have written the screenplay.

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Bibhu Prasad

Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just... do things
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