Marvel’s announcement that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ends Phase 4 supports a gamechanging Doctor Doom theory regarding his MCU debut.
Marvel confirming that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Phase 4 ends supports the major Doctor Doom theory. Marvel Studios shed new light on the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at San Diego Comic-Con 2022. This included announcing an entire Phase 5 slate, revealing Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars for Phase 6, and titling giving the MCU’s next overall story the Multiverse Saga label. All of the news about the future also included the surprise that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ends Phase 4 in 2022.
Through all of the news that Marvel Studios delivered about the Multiverse Saga, there were still some major characters and properties that were not mentioned. The SDCC panel surprisingly did not make any mention of mutants after Ms. Marvel‘s twist, while even deadpool 3 was not announced as part of Phase 5 or Phase 6. There was even little information given about how the Fantastic Four will make their presence felt in the MCU, much less casting information or an update on its director. The lack of details about Fantastic Four also meant Kevin Feige never mentioned Doctor Doom, the iconic Marvel villain audiences are eager to see join the MCU. Furthermore, the announcements that the Multiverse Saga is building to Avengers: Secret Wars and making Kang the Conqueror the MCU’s new Thanos leave Doom’s future still unconfirmed.
That said, the MCU’s Doctor Doom plans may have secretly been teased through Marvel’s SDCC 2022 announcements. Rumors have circulated for quite some time that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever could feature Doctor Doom in some capacity. He was one of the most popular suggestions to be the sequel’s villain before Namor. Now that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is confirmed to end Phase 4, those theories that Victor von Doom will appear might have gained traction thanks to both connections to the comic source material and teases from new character arrivals.
Black Panther 2 Ending Phase 4 Makes Doom More Likely
The announcement that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ends Phase 4 has massive implications for the anticipated sequel. Throughout the MCU’s history, movies that begin Phases or effectively end them are used to set up what else is to come in major ways. The Avengers ended Phase 1 with the first appearance of Thanos and Avengers: Age of Ultron wrapped up Phase 2’s main story with another glimpse of the Mad Titan, even if Ant-Man is technically the last film of Phase 2. Avengers: Endgame culminated MCU Phase 3 and the Infinity Saga without a post-credits scene, but Spider-Man: Far From Home left audiences on the Peter Parker identity cliffhanger.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is already doing a lot of MCU Phase 5 setup through the debuts of Ironheart (Dominique Thorne) and Namor (Tenoch Huerta), which introduces Atlantis too, but a Doctor Doom appearance in the post-credits would copy Phase 1’s Thanos debut. Doom is not only one of Marvel’s biggest villains in the comics, but he has major ties to where the Multiverse Saga is heading through Phase 6. His connections to the Fantastic Four and his central role in 2015’s secret wars event explain why it is needed in the MCU. It makes sense that the end of Phase 4 with Black Panther 2 could then feature Doctor Doom.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s New Character Fits Doctor Doom Theories
Another potential Doctor Doom link comes through Michaela Coel’s new Black Panther 2 character, Aneka. In the comics, she is a member of the Midnight Angels, a subgroup of the Dora Milaje who are the personal bodyguards of Wakanda’s ruler. Her introduction dela came as part of the plans for Marvel’s event mini-series doomwar. The comics saw T’Challa instruct Aneka to how to fight robots and train the other Dora Milaje to do the same, which was done in anticipation of Wakanda going to war with Doom. This storyline also happens to include Wakanda going to war with Atlantis and Namor over an assassination attempt on T’Challa, while Shuri also became the new Black Panther during the leadup to this run. Aneka joining the MCU in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever might not see her train the Dora Milaje to fight Doombots, but the connection is still notable.
When Will Doctor Doom Appear In The MCU?
Since Marvel Studios has not announced anything about Doctor Doom’s MCU future, there are plenty of options for where he could appear first. Black Panther 2 ending Phase 4 certainly makes it seem more likely that he could make a surprise appearance, even if it is just his armor being shown in the movie’s post-credits. That would mean that Doctor Doom’s real MCU debut could come in a Phase 5 project, such as ironheart (due to its Black Panther 2 connections) or Agatha: Coven of Chaos (due to Doom’s magic interests in the comics). The safer bet for when Doctor Doom will appear in the MCU is in Phase 6. This is when Fantastic Four is coming out, while a later appearance could see Doom fight Kang in Avengers: Secret Wars. But if Black Panther: Wakanda Forever includes Doctor Doom at the end of Phase 4, that will be a clear signal to audiences how important he will be to the rest of the Multiverse Saga.
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- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023
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