There are high expectations for Black Panther 2’s antagonist. Who will make his MCU debut and challenge Wakanda: Kraven the Hunter, Doctor Doom, or Namor? Maybe someone unexpected?
Ever since Black Panther set box office records in 2018, the big question has been who will he face in the sequel? Here we are two years later, and we’re still no closer to an answer. And that could be by Marvel Studio’s design. Neither the studio nor director Ryan Coogler has confirmed nor denied any possibility, which builds the intrigue. That also sets the bar very high, so Marvel better have a major name to drop when the time comes.
That being said, here are the speculated front runners for BP 2’s villain and the keys you will want to add to your collection before an announcement lights up the market.
The Submariner himself, Namor, has been rumored to join the MCU since the MCU’s opening kick-off. That’s a tricky situation from a legal standpoint considering the hoops Marvel would have to jump through to bring him to the silver screen. Don’t you think Marvel already would have put him in a movie if it were possible? While I would love to see Namor and Black Panther square off in the sequel, I don’t foresee it happening. Still, Disney, the all-powerful, can pull off pretty much anything at this point, so never say never.
Sub-Mariner #1 has been the issue to have for the past year, and it isn’t cooling off yet. If you haven’t gotten your copy, you’re not likely to get one without paying an inflated price.
This rumor started up at the end of last year, and it’s still making the rounds. With Doctor Doom’s character rights fully in Marvel’s control, he is a more likely choice than either Namor or Kraven. However, I picture a villain of Doom’s caliber being set up for a much larger role than a “one-and-done” movie, and that includes a Fantastic Four reboot. He would be perfect for a slow Thanos-style build before taking on the entire MCU. That being said, he could play a background role in BP 2, playing chess with Wakanda and a lesser villain.
In the comics, Doom and T’Challa have a history that goes back nearly 50 years to Astonishing Tales #6-7. In the event these two lock horns, these will be popular issues since Doom’s first appearance in F.F. #5 is unattainable for anyone on a modest budget.
KRAVEN THE HUNTER
My old prediction was that Kraven would be the antagonist for the Black Panther sequel. Ever since Sony and Disney’s on-again/off-again relationship, I have my doubts. However, he just makes so much sense in this role. I could see him being Doom’s pawn in an attempt to eliminate T’Challa. The problem is that after the renegotiated Sony/Disney deal, Marvel may shy away from using Sony properties. I’ll leave this rumor as plausible.
Kraven’s first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #15 has been a major key for years, but including him in BP 2 would send prices into the stratosphere, not that they aren’t already. If it gives you a clue, a graded 2.0 has become a $415 comic.
WHO WILL IT BE?
If Namor and Kraven are unlikely and Doctor Doom is too big for the role, then who does that leave to challenge Black Panther? I think Red Hulk would fit the bill. Sure, the rumor is that he will appear in the She-Hulk Disney+ series, but hear me out.
Now that Wakanda is no longer isolated, the United States will want to assess any possible threats. Enter: Secretary of State Thunderbolt Ross. As he is prone to do, Ross goes to Wakanda with his own agenda, and we finally get to see him transform into the red behemoth, giving Black Panther a worthy foe. This also would help kick start the oft-rumored Dark Avengers.