For a movie, that deals with unquantifiable grief and tragedy on screen and off — Black Panther 2 has done exceedingly well. And then comes Shuri in all her subdued brilliance, the tradition-defying Panther who displays as much skill on the battlefield as in courtroom politics. However, even while carefully treading through the difficult, expansive, and sensitive narrative, the Phase Four film managed to carve out a little hope for the fans on the sidelines — the chemistry between Riri “Ironheart” Williams and Princess Shuri was tangibly present in the scripted undertones.
Is Black Panther 2 Setting Shuri Up With Riri Williams?
There was nothing lacking in the Marvel film — Black Panther: Wakanda Forever redefined the genre of “antihero” with a perfect balance of empathy, manipulation, and evil in Namor; it introduced Marvel’s Iron Man legacy without making her an imposition in the narrative, and then there was the introductory lesson on the Talokans, their rich history, and their fierce loyalty. But in all the elaborate glory of the war between the land and the ocean, perhaps the fandom missed out on a brewing romance between MCU’s next big heroes.
From the very first moment of Shuri meeting Riri Williams in the dorm rooms of MIT, each was taken with the other’s sheer brilliance and presence of mind. Adding on to that is their unparalleled wit and constant to and fro, the underlying concern of one for the other’s well-being even as strangers, and Shuri’s readiness to sacrifice herself to let Riri live. Perhaps all of it can be chalked up to base human concern or the budding signs of Shuri’s rise as a worthy Queen who puts her subjects and the people’s safety before her own. On the other hand, it could also be symptomatic of Shuri’s non-platonic feelings toward the child prodigy who can build a Vibranium detector for fun in under two weeks while still in school.
Fans React to Shuri & Riri’s Interaction in Black Panther 2
Even though Shuri’s sexuality hasn’t been expressly mentioned in either the MCU or the comics, it might be a little too early to pin romantic interests on the growing list of duties the Wakandan royal has to declare. In the comics, the 2005 Black Panther issue paired Shuri briefly with G’Mal but that is the farthest the princess has delved into romantically. The cinematic version is not much different, it seems. But that has barely ever stopped the fans from dreaming.
Me every time I saw Riri and Shuri interacting pic.twitter.com/hMfIbvaZG8
— Ria🧛🏽♀️ (@_yujae) November 11, 2022
shuri = lesbian
riri = lesbian/bi
okoye = unlabeled sapphic
ramonda = definitely not straight
nakia = bi
namor = gay
m'baku = bi
thank you for coming to my ted talk bye.
— liv ⧗ ᱬ 𖤍 ミ☆ SAW WAKANDA FOREVER (@valkswife) November 11, 2022
I'm shipping Shuri & Riri 🤭
— Care MET FLORENCE PUGH | Parksborn's Daughter (@Heroes__Time) November 11, 2022
idk if y’all count this as a spoiler but
riri’s crush on shuri was BAD like pic.twitter.com/82trVOOsTX
— LYNDSEY! saw The Movie (@nct616) November 11, 2022
shuri and riri.. i know what you are pic.twitter.com/Mra4MFO8AH
— ًmari (@THEG6RDEN) November 12, 2022
— lev ™ (@DtFdevil) November 11, 2022
shuri and riri got some crazy chemistry alright pic.twitter.com/OtPBk7yPx0
— 🧘🏻♀️watched wakanda forever (@EYESWlDE0PEN) November 11, 2022
— nirilia (@stressedpisces_) November 12, 2022
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has made Marvel fans go “bonkers!” with an overdose of endorphins, perhaps out of starvation after the entirety of Phase Four’s lack of goodness or simply because it was just that good. After a vivid exposure to cinematic beauty, the bold screen presence of the actors, a near-perfect storyline, an astounding music score, and just an all-around emotional balance that ties up the poignant narrative — the audience could have expected nothing more from a worthy Marvel masterpiece.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now playing in theatres globally.