Spoiler alert: please don’t continue reading unless you’ve seen Black Panther and the post-credit scenes.
Now, we already talked about those Black Panther post-credit scenes and what impact they could set up for Avengers: Infinity War and future MCU films. Both scenes were impactful in their own way and with their own specific meaning.
So when we saw Bucky emerge into the light, we also saw those three curious children refer to him as White Wolf. It’s entirely possible that it’s just the nickname they gave to him. He’s scruffy and long-haired and we can totally see the wolf thing. However, this is Marvel, and most things have a point.
So, what could this point be? Well, if you’re a fan of comics, you know that White Wolf is a power player in Wakanda.
After a plane crash in Wakanda left a young boy stranded, T’Chaka took him in and raised him as his own. That took place against the better judgment of some in Wakanda, but Hunter grew to love the country and do anything he could to protect it.
The Marvel Fandom Database says this about his character.
When his parents died in a plane crash in the African nation of Wakanda, Hunter was adopted by its king, T’Chaka. Because he was a foreigner and White, Hunter was viewed with suspicion and even contempt by the xenophobic Wakandans. Nevertheless, he developed a true love for Wakanda and became one of his adopted home’s staunchest patriots.
After the birth of T’Challa, Hunter knew he wouldn’t be the one to rise to the throne. Feeling cheated he developed a deep jealousy for his adopted brother. In an attempt to upstage T’Challa, Hunter drove himself to be the best Wakanadan possible. It was this fervor that led to T’Chaka appointing Hunter as leader of the Wakanda’s secret police, Hatut Zeraze. Hunter from that point was known as the White Wolf.
Now, Bucky’s storyline obviously differs from that of Hunter, but he is an outsider who has been welcomed into Wakanda. His relationship with T’Challa wasn’t always on the smoothest of terms and he will undoubtedly want to remove himself from the Winter Soldier persona as Avengers: Infinity War kicks off.
In the comics, T’Challa disbanded the Hatut Zeraze but White Wolf was still loyal to Wakanda. So there’s some room to play with his storyline and who better to take on that role than Bucky? Now, that would mean he wouldn’t be taking on Cap’s shield next unless the MCU went somewhere totally different with it, but he wasn’t the only real option. Falcon could take on that role while Bucky becomes White Wolf, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
For now, and ideally in our minds for quite some time, we’ve got Steve Rogers as Captain America and we aren’t letting that go until we’ve absolutely got to.
We would love to see what Bucky would be capable of in Wakanda though, and with everything T’Challa plans to do with the resources in his country for the world, Bucky could become an even bigger power player. Plus, Shuri and T’Challa have already set him up as someone important enough to protect and reprogram. They’ve obviously seen something special in him too.
What do you think is next for Bucky Barnes? Send us your feedback.
‘…but I knew him’