‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Sets a New Record as Fans Look Ahead to Phase 5

Kim Taylor-Foster
Movies Marvel
Movies Marvel MCU

The following article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Proceed at your own risk.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever marks the official curtain call for Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And, boy, did it deserve a round of rapturous applause.

Not only does the sequel work as a heartfelt and moving tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who had formerly played former Black Panther T’Challa in the MCU, but it also effectively and satisfyingly moves the Black Panther story on. We see major characters coming to terms with T’Challa’s passing in their own ways, rocking Shuri’s faith in Wakandan traditions as it’s revealed that Vibranium exists outside of their mystical yet technologically advanced nation. Yes, it’s under the ocean, folks, with the movie suggesting that when the meteorite landed in Wakanda, blessing its individuals with this precious metallic ore, it’s likely another landed elsewhere.

This turn of events introduces mutant Namor (Tenoch Huerta) to the MCU, as the villain of this story. He rules an undersea kingdom called Talokan, and is cross with Wakanda for bringing the world’s grasping eyes to their home in the search for their own slice of the Vibranium pie. No matter the cost.

The movie also gratifyingly expands the roles of Wakandan women Okoye (Danai Gurira), Ramonda (Angela Bassett), and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) while simultaneously sowing seeds for fertilisation in Phase Five. This includes the role Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is set to play as director of the CIA and orchestrator behind the future group of supervillains the Thunderbolts, due to have their own movie adventure in 2024. Could Val be planning to use them to help her obtain her hands on that precious Vibranium? Or perhaps she simply has the acquisition of ex-husband Everett Ross’s Peloton in mind…

Anyway, the movie might be smashing the box office and gaining high praise, but how did Black Panther: Wakanda Forever perform at Fandom? We’ve crunched the numbers to bring you the lowdown on what the fans are looking up, and how it compares with other MCU releases.

Phase Five Ahoy

(L-R): Danai Gurira as Okoye and Letitia Wright as Shuri in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'.
(L-R): Danai Gurira as Okoye and Letitia Wright as Shuri in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'.

As Phase Four’s finale, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever prompted a 22% bump in traffic to the Marvel wiki over its release weekend, and 69% growth to the MCU Wiki. This suggests that fans were more interested in the movie’s connections to other films and TV shows in the MCU than they were in its comic book roots and implications as they look ahead to Phase Five and what comes next. Indeed, Phase Five’s page itself features in our Top 10 trending pages (for the first time) following Wakanda Forever’s release. Just ahead of the inaugural phase of the Multiverse Saga, known as Phase Four, as it happens — as fans look to remind themselves of the events to date in the phase that began with the WandaVision series on Disney+.

This also makes Wakanda Forever the release causing the highest weekend spike for all of Phase Four on the MCU Wiki, as fans, primarily, have been driven to create sure they fully understand the concept of Black Panther as a new wearer of the suit is ushered in in the form of T’Challa’s grieving sister. Shuri works through her issues in the movie in order to be believed worthy of taking on the mantle in her own eyes, as well as the audience’s, and indeed other characters. Consequently, the MCU’s Black Panther is the number one page with the highest number of visitors and a 180% uplift. Also presumably looking to find out how T’Challa’s son, revealed in the mid-credits scene, fits into the picture.

Interestingly, as a side note, the highest weekend spike for all of Phase 4 on the Marvel Wiki was not Black Panther: Wakanda Forever but Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with 37%, which was mostly driven by the introduction of Charlize Theron’s Clea in the stinger.

Below are the Top 10 page results that came from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hitting theatres:

  1. Black Panther (MCU Wiki)
  2. Namor (MCU Wiki)
  3. Namor McKenzie (Marvel Wiki)
  4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (MCU Wiki)
  5. Phase Five (MCU Wiki)
  6. Phase Four (MCU Wiki)
  7. Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU Wiki)
  8. T’Challa (MCU Wiki)
  9. Marvel Database (Marvel Wiki)
  10. Midnight Angels (Marvel Wiki)

Who Exactly Are the Midnight Angels?

(L-R): Danai Gurira as Okoye and Angela Bassett as Ramonda in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever also introduces the origin of the Midnight Angels. With Okoye experiencing exclusion from the Dora Milaje amid tensions with Queen Ramonda, she’s forced to soul-search and discover a new way to do things.

Okoye’s relationship with the newly introduced Aneka (Michaela Coel), a captain in the Dora Milaje, is such that it makes sense that by the end of the movie the duo is ready to splinter off, coining the name Midnight Angels. We also witness Okoye in the movie fighting in a Shuri-made advanced suit that grants the wearer superpowers, which she’ll presumably take into her new role. It’s something we could see more of in a rumoured Okoye spin-off series.

In the comics, the Midnight Angels are a sub-group of the Dora Milaje composed of its best members. One of their most notable opponents was Doctor Doom, originally thought to be showing up in a post-credits sequence tacked onto the end of Wakanda Forever. Another member of the elite team in comic-book canon is Ayo (Florence Kasumba), who we see in this movie and who had a prominent role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Namor No More?

Tenoch Huerta as Namor in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'.

Finally, complex new villain of the MCU, Namor, takes the #2 and #3 spot in the Top 10 list (on the MCU Wiki and Marvel Wiki respectively). It’s perhaps not surprising that he features so highly since not only is he the bad guy (gotta love a villain) as well as super-interesting and empathetic, he’s also a brand new character in the MCU — despite being one of the comic books’ oldest superheroes dating back to 1939 — and one of the MCU’s first mutants. His comic book backstory differs significantly from that of the MCU’s and this could be one reason both pages have been checked out by so numerous fans.

With the movie leaving us in no doubt that there’s more to come from Namor, we should expect him to feature in the trending charts again following future MCU releases. Watch this space.

Can’t obtain enough of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? Check out our interview with composer Ludwig Göransson who talks about why he had to approach this movie differently to other sequels, scoring Namor’s music, and more.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.