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Black Panther’s end-credits scenes, explained

How the King of Wakanda’s first outing connects to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studios
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Black Panther is now in theaters and on track to have a record-breaking $200 million+ opening weekend, and if you’re stepping out of your screening you might be wondering whether there are any relevant details or comic book connections you missed. Marvel movies often use these credits moments to tie its movies together, or lay down stepping stones to the next big team-up event.

And when the next big team up is Avengers: Infinity War, watching those stepping stones is key. So we’ve got you covered: Here are Black Panther’s credits scenes. Oh, and:

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for Black Panther.]

Okoye (Gurira) prepares to throw a spear. Image: Marvel Studios

T’Challa reveals Wakanda to the United Nations

To be fair, there aren’t many layers to this scene. Playing out of the major events of Black Panther, it establishes that T’Challa follows through on his resolution to reveal Wakanda’s secret technological advancement and use it to better the world outside its borders.

“More connects us than separates us,” he tells a group of confused officials. They raise skepticism that a nation of poor farmers would have something to offer the world, he smiles, knowingly, and the scene ends.

Up until now, vibranium has been vanishingly rare in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, used only in a precious few objects like Captain America’s shield and Ultron’s body. To find out exactly what happens when Wakanda’s foreign aid programs begin, we’ll have to wait for further installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe; maybe even a Black Panther sequel.

Bucky, the Winter Soldier, is the White Wolf

Our second and final credits scene opens with a gaggle of Wakandan children teasing our old pal Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier, in a Wakandan village. He meets up with Shuri, and thanks her — presumably for fixing his brain so he could be woken from stasis.

This is all a reference to a credits scene of Captain America: Civil War, where Bucky volunteered to go back into cryostasis in Wakanda. His psychological conditioning meant that anyone with the right code words could use him as a virtually unstoppable assassin, and so he opted to be “sedated,” until a cure could be found. We know from a tie-in comic that, as one of Wakanda’s foremost scientific experts, Shuri developed that cure. This scene implies that it’s be successfully implemented: Bucky wouldn’t be awake otherwise.

This neatly ties up Bucky’s subplot about his psychological conditioning, leaving him free to participate in Avengers: Infinity War without much exposition needed — as we know he does. But there is one more comic book layer on this scene, in the form of the nickname that those Wakandan kids have for Bucky.

Apparently, Bucky’s earned a new name for himself, one with a history in Marvel Comics: the White Wolf.

In the Marvel Comics version of the Black Panther’s story, T’Challa has an older foster brother named Hunter, a child orphaned when his plane crashed in Wakanda, killing his parents, all before T’Challa was born. Despite Hunter being a foreigner — and white — King T’Chaka, T’Challa’s father, adopted him and raised him.

Hunter, the White Wolf, in Black Panther #12, Marvel Comics, 1999. Christopher Priest, Mark Bright/Marvel Comics

Hunter grew into a devout Wakandan patriot, despite his outsider status in the country, and T’Chaka appointed him to be the leader of the Hatut Zeraze, or “War Dogs,” Wakanda’s secret police and special forces. (In the Black Panther movie, Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia is a member of the Hatut Zeraze.) As the leader of the War Dogs, he became known as the White Wolf.

A lot of the White Wolf’s character doesn’t seem easily transposed to Bucky — his family relationship to T’Challa, for example, or his sometimes antagonistic relationship with the Black Panther. But the idea of Bucky putting his martial skills to work as a Wakandan spymaster? Now there’s an interesting possibility. After all, Bucky’s essentially considered a war criminal in most other countries around the globe.

We’ll probably find out more about the White Wolf — and Bucky’s relationship to the name — in Avengers: Infinity War on May 4.