Tenoch Huerta as Namor

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Contains spoilers for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

Now that "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is out, it’s giving audiences major hints as to where the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going in the future. The appearance of Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and the Talokan empire, the debut of the Midnight Angels, and the addition of Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), or Ironheart, are just some of the new elements that may figure largely in future MCU projects.

But what about "Black Panther 3"? While producers have not even confirmed that the third installment of this film series is coming, the second film does provide plenty of setup for a new addition to the Wakanda saga — including the fact that there’s a new Black Panther in town and the fact that the royal line seems ready to continue for some time thanks to the revelation that comes out of "Wakanda Forever’s" mid-credits scene.

So far, the antagonists portrayed in the two "Black Panther" movies have been on point — Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) is definitely a contender for best MCU villain, while Namor is a compelling character that could be quite a major figure in Wakanda’s future. That means that a new "Black Panther" enemy has a lot to live up to. But how might the MCU set up a new villain for the next movie, and who might it be? Here are some options to ponder in Phase 5 — and some have alternate universe connections because we are, after all, still experiencing the Multiverse Saga.

Doctor Doom is likely to make an appearance in future MCU projects

Doomwar cover Black Panther 3?

Rumors indicate that Doctor Doom will make his MCU appearance in the upcoming 2024 "Fantastic Four." Film critic Jeff Sneider, on "The Hot Mic" podcast with John Rocha, said, "I’m told that Doctor Doom is not the villain of ‘Fantastic Four,’ that Doctor Doom will be introduced basically in like a mid-credit or post-credit scene."

If this is true, the popular villain is finally arriving after years of speculation. But if he’s not going to be the main antagonist in the one franchise that would make the most sense, where might he turn up? Actually, "Black Panther 3" isn’t a bad contender, considering the storyline of 2010’s Black Panther: Doomwar (per ComicPop), which had Doctor Doom triumphing over Wakanda, taking control of its vibranium reserves, and dealing with two Black Panthers — T’Challa and Shuri. As T’Challa tells Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four in the comic, when Reed expresses that he always thought of Doom as his personal nemesis, "Doom is the enemy of everyone on Earth."

One of the elements already set up by "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" points to this eventuality: The elite Midnight Angels debuted in "Doomwar" and were originally created by T’Challa out of the Dora Milaje to support Deadpool’s mission to bring down Doctor Doom.

Scarlet Centurion could be a Kang variant that appears in future movies

Jonathan Majors in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

MCU fans know that the next Thanos-level villain the Avengers have to take on will be Kang the Conquerer. Back in July, Marvel head Kevin Feige announced that "Avengers 4" would be subtitled "The Kang Dynasty" (per Deadline), which is coming at the end of Phase 6. The MCU has already been building up to the appearance of Kang and will continue to do so as Phase 5 begins. In fact, fans who watched "Loki" have already seen a variant of the character in He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors). And "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" will also feature Kang, who appears in the trailer that recently dropped. Given that Kang is a fixture in Fantastic Four stories as well as an "Avengers" foe, he might appear in the 2024 "Fantastic Four" film as well.

Since the films are all part of the MCU’s Multiverse Saga, and Kang variants are already popping up in different places, it’s very possible that one variant, the Scarlet Centurion, will be a major part of future films, including those set in Wakanda. Kang, whose real name is Nathaniel Richards, adopted the moniker of the Scarlet Centurion in an alternate timeline after encountering Doctor Doom. This meeting inspired him to take on a form closer to Doom’s, a potential ancestor of his. We already know that Doom may figure largely in future MCU projects, too, so this would just be taking things full circle.

Could M’Baku and Shuri come into conflict in the future?

Winston Duke is M'Baku in Black Panther

Hear us out. Although M’Baku (Winston Duke) showed himself to be pretty noble in "Wakanda Forever," he’s always been a bit of a wild card. Remember when he challenged T’Challa for the kingship of Wakanda? It wasn’t at all clear at first that he would commit the Jabari to help T’Challa get rid of Killmonger, either. But, according to the end of "Wakanda Forever," which is admittedly a bit ambiguous, M’Baku is probably now the king of Wakanda.

And Shuri (Letitia Wright) is Black Panther. Given that she has shown a penchant for acting against the good of Wakanda in going off after Namor for personal vengeance, maybe she and M’Baku could come into conflict down the road. In this latest film, M’baku advises Shuri about the consequences of her actions if she succeeds in killing Namor. And apparently, she listens to him — this time. But that may not always be the case. As the future of Wakanda remains in doubt under pressure from global events, so could the relationship between the two most powerful Wakandian figures surviving.

Consider how often heroes have been pitted against each other due to scenarios like this. For example, look at Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and her turn to the dark side in "Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness" following her grief at Vision’s death. Civil war, like the one that split the Avengers back in 2016 after the Sekovia Accords, would not be an impossibility under certain circumstances.

T’Challa’s other sister could become a factor if the multiverse has anything to say about it

T'Channa in Marvel Mangaverse

Fans have already seen the skeletons in the closet of the Wakandan royal family, thanks to Killmonger’s appearance. Ah, but there might be another supervillain in the family tree to uncover: T’Channa, who appeared in the Marvel Mangaverse starting in 2002. She was a short-lived character, appearing in issues between No. 3 and No. 6, but her story is compelling and proves that she could be a powerful vindictive force.

T’Channa is one of T’Challa’s siblings in a different reality (that darn multiverse, again!). She was beaten badly by her brother in a contest to succeed to the throne, so she left Wakanda in hopes of finding a way to increase her magical abilities. T’Channa travels to Doctor Doom’s kingdom, Latveria, where she trains under him and then kills him to take over his position as ruler, according to CBR. That’s right — she becomes Doctor Doom. In Earth-2301, she defeats the Avengers, kills Steve Rogers, and takes over Manhattan.

Doctor Doom actually being the sibling of the Black Panther opens up some interesting narrative possibilities, especially since that baddie is due in the MCU in Phase 5.

Tetu is a more standard-issue supervillain with power over nature

Tetu as a Black Panther villain

If "Black Panther" wants to continue exploring themes like colonization, power, and the exploitation of underprivileged people, Marvel might want to stick with a more standard-issue supervillain like Tetu, who comes straight from the pages of the main-line "Black Panther" comic books and can control the forces of nature — which could make for some epic battles.

Tetu was a student at a Wakandan academy when he decided to leave civilization to pursue a more mystic education in the wilderness of his country. He returned with new powers and used them to rally a group of rebels called the People, who then teamed with another superpowered human, Zenzi, and Wakanda’s neighboring country of Niganda to overthrow the king of Wakanda. Tetu’s goal is to turn Wakanda into a more spiritually-minded nation by way of a violent insurrection, and he’s come pretty close a few times.

Tetu would make a pretty good antagonist for a future "Black Panther," although, based on the elements being put into place right now, Marvel producers will have to tie up a few other loose ends (like Namor and the fact that every other country appears to covet Wakanda’s vibranium) before introducing someone like him as the bad guy. Of course, they could also figure out how to incorporate Tetu’s revolutionary tendencies into those Phas 5 narratives, too.