Spoilers for Black Panther ahead
Black Panther has conquered the world and the Marvel universe as one of the biggest releases not just in comic book movie terms, but in the history of film. Now that the overwhelming praise has been given, fans are picking apart the plot and putting it under a microscope. Unlike another recent blockbuster, there are only a few questions.
The biggest perceived plothole of the blockbuster is that the Winter Soldier himself, Bucky Barnes, is missing from the movie. During a Captain America: Civil War post-credit scene, Cap and Bucky are in Wakanda, ready to put Bucky “on ice” so they can hopefully rewire his brain back to normal. It’s making people wonder why he didn’t make an appearance in Black Panther.
In an interview with Empire, director Ryan Coogler and producer Nate Moore explained their reasons for keeping Bucky frozen and out of site of the Wakandians that prefer a life of isolation.
“We kind of drop the hint at that when they bring Ross in and she’s like, ‘Oh another one.’ So we dropped hints in there, but what we kind of decided was that her cracking his mental code, if Shuri’s as smart as she is, that wouldn’t really be a big problem,” Coogler said.
The second point is dark, but it makes sense:
“Bucky would have horrible PTSD, he would need spiritual guidance. The last thing he would need to do is jump into that Civil War, and so that was kind of the thought process there. And it could be potentially problematic if it’s a bunch of Africans fighting and you bring in a White dude, he comes in shootin’ people (laughs). We were aware of that. Bucky’s not trained to neutralize people peacefully, he’s an assassin.”
In other words, it seems like Shuri will crack the code and The Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes will be woken up just in time for the battle with Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.