Emotional new MCU fan art sees Chadwick Baseman’s T’Challa join Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow in the afterlife.
Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa joins Iron Man and Black Widow in the afterlife in a heartbreaking new piece of MCU fan art. After his introduction in Captain America: Civil War in 2016, Boseman's hero would go on to star in his own solo movie, Black Panther. The character would then play an important role in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, but Boseman tragically passed away in 2020 after a battle with cancer. The recently-released Black Panther: Wakanda Forever chooses not to recast T'Challa but instead sees the character die in-universe with somebody new taking up the mantle of Black Panther in his stead.
In an emotional new piece of MCU fan art from artist Rachel Hoo (@raychelwho) on Instagram, T'Challa is depicted joining Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man and Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow in the afterlife, with the latter two characters having died during the events of Avengers: Endgame. The art features Tony Stark eating a cheeseburger, a callback to the first Iron Man movie, and the former Avengers leader refers to T'Challa as "Bagheera", the black panther character from The Jungle Book. Check out the heartbreaking fan art below:
Related: Marvel Doesn't Need To Bring Back RDJ's Iron Man Anymore
By choosing not to recast T'Challa following Boseman's death, the MCU essentially affirms that his version of the character will live on, in a sense. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is largely about Shuri (Letitia Wright), Ramonda (Angela Bassett), and others coming to terms with T'Challa's death, speaking to just how important he was as a character. While some fans evidently wanted T'Challa to be recast in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, director Ryan Coogler, and even stars like Winston Duke feel that not recasting the late actor is a way to honor him and lay his version of the character to rest respectfully.
When major characters die in the MCU, future movies tend to carry on their legacies in interesting ways. Iron Man's sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame, for example, has a profound impact on the young Peter Parker (Tom Holland), which is explored in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Stark also continues to be referenced within the MCU, even recently in an early episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. After Black Widow's death, the hero's prequel movie served to pass the torch, in a way, from Johansson's Natasha Romanoff to Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova. Yelena hasn't totally become the new Black Widow just yet, but it's possible that her upcoming role in Thunderbolts will see her grappling with her sister's legacy in some way.
A new hero has now taken up the mantle of Black Panther, but T'Challa's impact on what it means to be the Wakandan hero will live on and likely continue to affect MCU characters moving forward. While Boseman's loss was a devastating blow to his co-stars and to his fans around the world, Marvel is evidently committed to treating both the actor and the character with the utmost reverence. With the MCU's treatment of both Iron Man and Black Widow serving as strong demonstrations of the franchise's respect for dead characters, T'Challa's legacy seems to be in very good hands.
Next: Marvel Finally Gave Black Widow's Endgame Death Real Meaning
Source: Rachel Hoo (@raychelwho)/ Instagram
Ryan Northrup is a Senior Writer at Screen Rant and a contributor at MovieBozo and Flickfeast. After earning a degree in History from McMaster University and working briefly in digital marketing, Ryan decided to turn his focus to the world of entertainment, his true passion. Torn between wanting to write about movies and wanting to write his own, Ryan attended Vancouver Film School for Screenwriting in 2019, developing a number of close friends and industry contacts. He was also fortunate enough to option his first-ever screenplay to an established Canadian producer fresh out of film school. Now, while continuing to pursue his screenwriting endeavors like a younger but equally overwhelmed Barton Fink, Ryan covers the latest news and developments of the entertainment world in addition to writing thoughtful and informative features and reviews. Whether it’s the latest Marvel release, the hottest new Netflix series, or a smaller indie film, Ryan just loves the art of storytelling – and writing about it! If you’d like to keep up with all the latest from Ryan, feel free to follow him on Twitter.


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