Marvel's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever concludes T'Challa's story arc at the same time as it opens up new realms of the Afrofuturist kingdom.
With the movie due for imminent release, here's your essential guide to the new and existing characters.
- Played by Letitia Wright
T'Challa's sister designs and develops the technological marvels that distinguish Wakanda on the battlefield and in the wider world. She's assisted in Wakanda Forever by her new colleague Riri Williams (more on whom below)/
Questions abound as to whether the grieving but quick-witted Shuri will become the new incumbent of the Black Panther suit.
- Played by Angela Bassett
T'Challa's mother must grieve for her son at the same time as she must hold her kingdom together.
Having resurrected the seemingly deceased T'Challa during the events of the first movie, Ramonda now faces a parent's worst nightmare in the form of a loss of a child. Ramonda's anguish is part of the driving force of Wakanda Forever's narrative.
- Played by Danai Gurira
Okoye is a fierce warrior belonging to Wakanda's Dora Milaje, the secret army that helps protect the kingdom. In Wakanda Forever, Okoye may be forced to confront an insurgent threat from within her own ranks.
- Played by Tenoch Huerta
Namor is the ruler of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. Following T'Challa's United Nations address in the first Black Panther movie, in which he brought Wakanda to the attention of the wider world, Namor responded with fear.
How will full transparency and disclosure threaten his secretive realm? Enraged at T'Challa's actions, Namor seeks explosive revenge on Wakanda as he vows to protect his own people.
- Played by Lupita Nyong'o
Nakia is one of the lead operatives of the Dora Milaje and must learn to balance her grief over T'Challa's absence with her desire to keep the kingdom safe.
- Played by Winston Duke
In Black Panther, M'Baku was established as T'Challa's Jabari tribe rival and he lost out on the Wakandan throne during an early trial by combat scene.
However, he later became T'Challa's staunch ally during the climactic battle against Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and one imagines that he will come to the aid of Shuri and Ramonda as Namor goes on the rampage.
7. Everett Ross
- Played by Martin Freeman
CIA operative Everett Ross became entangled with T'Challa when the latter sought to capture arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) in Seoul. The injured Ross was taken back to Wakanda where he was healed via the power of Shuri's technology.
It remains to be seen what part he will play in the battle against Namor, although his relative loyalty to Wakanda has already been established.
8. Riri Williams
- Played by Dominique Thorne
Riri Williams is one of the most significant additions to the Wakanda Forever ensemble. An engineering student and technological wizzkid, Riri has more than made her mark on Marvel comic book history, impressive given she only debuted in 2016.
In the comics, she was endorsed by Tony Stark to become a superhero after he was impressed by Riri's configuration of the Iron Man armour. She adopted the pseudonym Ironheart, although how these origins will be translated into the Wakanda Forever narrative remains to be seen. We know that she forms a union with Shuri – surely more than one mechanical marvel will emerge from this and send Riri on the path toward becoming Ironheart?
- Played by Mitzi Mabel Cadena
Namora is Namor's cousin and her arresting costume design (particularly the feathered headdress) bears distinct Mesoamerican influences. Much has been made as to how Wakanda Forever ditches the Greek origins of Atlantis, reconfiguring the mythology in favour of a different geographical culture.
- Played by Florence Kasumba
Dora Milaje warrior Ayo appeared in the first Black Panther movie but her role could potentially get a lot more complex and interesting in the sequel. In the Marvel comics, she formed an alliance with Anneka, set to be played in Wakanda Forever by Michaela Coel (more on whom below).
- Played by Alex Livinalli
As per his comic book origins, the spear-wielding Attuma, a member of the Skarka tribe, was born in Atlantis but later banished owing to his barbaric nature. Interestingly, he was pitted against Namor in the comics, so it remains to be seen if the movie will reconfigure Attuma's backstory and transform him into Namor's main heavy.
In the comics Attuma was also regularly pitted against the Fantastic Four, so could we be seeing more of Alex Livinalli's villain as we approach Marvel Phase Six and the brand new Fantastic Four movie?
- Played by Michaela Coel
In the Marvel comics, Aneka and Ayo, both veterans of the Wakandan Dora Milaje army, formed a vigilante alliance. This occurred when Aneka was put on trial by Queen Ramonda and subsequently sentenced to death. Ayo then saved Aneka using the Midnight Angel armour and the two women later took to roaming the Wakandan landscape, helping the oppressed and persecuted.
In the first Wakanda Forever trailer, Aneka appears to be wearing the Midnight Armour itself, which may align with Ramonda's seemingly enraged mood. This could be another intriguing sub-plot to add to the expanding tapestry of intrigue in the Black Panther sequel, particularly as it implies that the Wakandan forces are pitted against one another
Are you ready to return to Wakanda? Then click here to book your tickets for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The movie opens at Cineworld on November 11.