If there’s one thing that Marvel Studios is known for, it’s how they’ve revolutionized the use of the mid-credits and post-credits scenes. Whether they offer a final punchline to a joke, a teaser for an upcoming film, or simply a bit of closure, Marvel fans in theaters worldwide often know better than to get up out of their seats once the credits start rolling. However, few instances of this have provided as much of a shocking reveal as the mid-credits scene in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which premiered in theaters on Nov. 11. Spoiler warning: Spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever follow.
The sequel to 2018’s massively successful Black Panther had big shoes to fill following the death of Chadwick Boseman, who played the eponymous superhero. Boseman passed away in 2020 due to complications that arose from colon cancer, and the sequel’s plot had to be shifted around, with T’Challa now having died due to an “undisclosed illness” in the film. Shuri takes center stage and becomes the new Black Panther, and also the queen. With both T’Challa and Queen Ramonda (played by Angela Bassett) dead by the end of Wakanda Forever, Shuri is left to carry on the legacy of her family alone… or so we thought, until T’Challa’s love interest Nakia (played by Lupita Nyong’o) drops a major bomb in the mid-credits scene: she and T’Challa have a secret son.
Who is Toussaint, T’Challa and Nakia’s son?
At the end of the film, Shuri goes to visit Nakia in Haiti and completes the mourning ritual for her mother and brother (burning her funeral clothes) on the beach. After she’s done, Nakia comes back holding the hand of a young boy she introduces as Toussaint — her son. Apparently, Nakia, T’Challa, and Ramonda all knew about Toussaint and had prepared him for T’Challa’s eventual death, and only Shuri was left in the dark. In fact, Nakia explains her notable absence at T’Challa’s funeral by telling Shuri that T’Challa didn’t want her nor Toussaint to attend. Toussaint was kept a secret from the rest of Wakanda because his parents wanted him to be able to grow up without the pressure of the throne.
At the end of the mid-credits scene, Toussaint explains that Toussaint is actually only his Haitian name. He tells Shuri he also has a Wakandan name: Prince T’Challa, son of King T’Challa. Aww. This moment is maybe the biggest tearjerker in the entire movie.
When was Toussaint born?
It’s not totally clear when Toussaint was born, but he looks to be about 6 years old. Remember, part of Nakia’s struggle with T’Challa in this film is not only mourning his death, but essentially having to mourn him for a second time, since T’Challa was also caught up in Thanos’ five-year blip during Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Does T’Challa’s son exist in the comics?
Marvel made some changes to the comics for Wakanda Forever (like the cultural origins of Talokan, the underwater city featured in the movie), but Toussaint does have some roots in reality. It’s just not a perfect match for a character in the comics.
In the comics, T’Challa actually fathers a son with X-Men member Storm. (How’s that for a crossover?) His name is Azari T’Challa, and he eventually becomes a hero of his own, as a member of the next generation of Avengers. His first appearance in the comics was in 2010. Considering the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t crossed over with the X-Men film franchise we may not see Azari in the Black Panther movies. There could be an X-Men and Avengers crossover in the future, so don’t quote me on that — but considering Nakia and Storm are two different people, if there is any crossover, it’ll likely take some liberties from the comics.
But Toussaint could be Marvel’s compromise to feature him in the film without the X-Men present — and also a final way to honor T’Challa’s (and Boseman’s) legacy. If he is part of a new generation of heroes, it’s likely going to be a long, long time before fans see him suiting up. He’s got some growing up to do, after all.