With Black Panther: Wakanda Forever came a hoard of new characters like the Talokan king Namor the Sub-Mariner and Dominique Thorne’s Ironheart and a number of actors taking over their previous roles from Black Panther in the sequel. However, that has come to become a sort of dealbreaker as fans lament about old characters not getting more screen time in Black Panther 2.
A Twitter user recently criticized the epic sequel, claiming that Winston Duke, the Tobagonian actor who portrays the character of M’Baku in the first film was sidelined in the wake of new characters being introduced as well as some old ones who were brought back, and unnecessarily so. And people seem to be of similar views as they point out where Wakanda Forever apparently went wrong.
Winston Duke as M’Baku in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Winston Duke was first introduced as the leader of the Jabari Tribe in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther wherein he headed a group of Wakandans who originally opposed T’Challa’s rule.
Also popularly known as Man-Ape, M’Baku wished to challenge the late Chadwick Boseman‘s Black Panther for the throne in the first movie. But when their kingdom had come to face the threat of Erik Killmonger, M’Baku ended up uniting forces with T’Challa to help him defend Wakanda against the supervillain instead.
After his debut as M’Baku in the 2018 film, Duke instantly became a fan favorite, and with his return to the Black Panther franchise in the sequel, he was once again seen defending The Golden City, this time against Tenoch Huerta’s Namor as he helped out refugees and provided shelter for them during Talokan’s attack on Wakanda. However, toward the end of the movie post the heartbreaking scene of Queen Ramonda’s tragic demise, M’Baku made yet another attempt to fight for the Wakandan throne, leaving fans in deadly suspense about whether or not he emerged successful in doing so.
And although Duke just recently confirmed that his character in fact gets crowned as the King of Wakanda toward the film’s ending, fans seem to be unhappy with the Us star not getting as much screen time as he really deserved in Wakanda Forever with other characters getting more importance instead.
Fans claim Winston Duke should’ve had a “bigger role” in Black Panther 2
A user on Twitter recently pointed out how the characters of Ironheart, Val, and Everett Ross were more unnecessary than imperative, and how Winston Duke’s M’Baku “deserved a bigger role” in Wakanda Forever.
None of these characters should have been in Wakanda Forever and Winston Duke deserved a bigger role. pic.twitter.com/hryimmTZei
— The Moonlight Warrior 🌙 (@BlackMajikMan90) November 19, 2022
While Riri Williams, aka Ironheart, marked her debut in the film, Valentina Allegra de Fontaine or Val along with Everett Ross are fairly old characters and have previously appeared in various other MCU films. But they don’t seem to be that welcome anymore with fans more or less complaining about their presence in Black Panther 2 as their roles seem to have overshadowed that of Winston Duke’s.
Winston was done dirty.
— Sorrymissjackson702 (@Sorrymissjacks7) November 19, 2022
— SuperDot18 (@SsjKDot18) November 19, 2022
Many people are also claiming that Dominique Thorne‘s Ironheart held no actual purpose in the film other than to promote her upcoming Disney+ series Ironheart, with Val and Everett Ross too being merely present to set up the base for the 2025 movie Thunderbolts.
Nah thanks Iron Heart didn’t even have a real reason to be her except for promoting her next series.
— Arthur Varlet (@avarlet95) November 19, 2022
The Everett Ross/Val scenes was just building up to Thunderbolts.
— F.Hakeem (@FHSJ) November 19, 2022
However, with Duke recently clarifying that M’Baku indeed becomes the new king of Wakanda, his character will naturally be presented in a much more vital light in the next projects of the film’s franchise. Even with Black Panther 2, the Spenser Confidential star did play a much more pivotal role given he literally becomes takes over the throne, but it was probably just the cliffhanger that failed to highlight his importance.
Hopefully, M’Baku will be represented more prominently in upcoming MCU projects, leaving no room for fans to get upset.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is playing in your nearest cinemas.