The following article contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame.
Avengers: Endgame is far more concerned with wrapping up the past 11 years’ worth of Marvel Studios movies than planting seeds for the future. That is exactly how it should be. There are some hints at the future, however, possibly including a very subtle setup for Black Panther 2.
There is a scene in Avengers: Endgame featuring a handful of heroes checking in with Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), who’s running point from Avengers Compound. Okoye (Danai Gurira) reports seismic activity in the ocean on the African plate.
Natasha wants to know how Okoye plans to handle the situation. “It’s an earthquake under the ocean,” Okoye responds. “We handle it by not handling it.”
Okoye may be right. The purpose of this exchange between her and Natasha may only be to illustrate the latter’s desperation to act after feeling so helpless at the snapped fingers of Thanos. We may very well never hear about this incident again, but what if Okoye is wrong? What if it wasn’t an earthquake?
The source of the aquatic rumblings may not be entirely natural. It could be a warning sign that another hidden society in Marvel lore, Atlantis, is ready to emerge and perhaps go to war with Wakanda. It has happened in the comics with arguably the most antagonistic “superhero” of all time, Namor, challenging Black Panther and the latter’s kingdom.
Black Panther vs. Namor or Wakanda vs. Atlantis has been a popular fan theory for the inevitable Black Panther sequel. It’s not the only option (internal revolution is another viable story choice), but it is one of the best ones available. Being a player on the global stage inevitably invites challenge and Wakanda may experience that from a nation they didn’t even know existed.
Marvel Studios may not have the rights to make a Namor movie, but the studio can use the character in team-ups as well as the franchises named after other characters (kind of like the Hulk). Namor is available to Ryan Coogler if that’s what the director wants.
If so, Avengers: Endgame may have tipped Coogler’s hand just a bit.