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Wakanda Forever’s Riri Williams Complicates 1 New Captain America Detail

Including a vibranium suit for Riri Williams in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever definitely helped enhance its final fight scenes – but the move also complicated an aspect of the new Captain America suit. While audiences knew Riri Williams was confirmed for the movie, and this would likely foreshadow her taking on the Ironheart hero mantle, the reveal that she’d created a technologically-advanced suit using Wakanda’s vibranium likely took many viewers by surprise. However, Riri had to leave the suit in Wakanda at the movie’s end, and though this made sense, the reason given clashed somewhat with the details of Sam Wilson’s Captain America suit.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever showcases the often ruthless tactics other countries have employed in order to access Wakanda’s vibranium supply. Given how ardently the country defends its resources, sending Riri Williams back with a suit made of the substance would go against Wakanda’s insistence that they cannot supply other countries with the precious material. Oddly, though, Sam Wilson’s Captain America suit has new wings made of vibranium that were provided to him by the Wakandan Design Group, which contrasts somewhat with the narrative provided to take away Riri’s new suit. All this said, there are good reasons for this discrepancy, both in the universe itself and also in real life.

Related: Black Panther 2 Repeats An Infinity War Trick To Make Namor More Powerful

Why Riri Williams Had To Leave Her Vibranium Suit In Wakanda
Riri williams wakanda forever Tony stark iron man
On a practical level, having Riri Williams go into her own impending show with a full custom vibranium suit would’ve sabotaged the Ironheart show. As the MCU hero set to follow most closely in Iron Man’s footsteps, Riri’s character arc benefits more from her fully showcasing the same engineering talents shown with the first suit audiences see, rather than her possessing one the offset made with the universe’s strongest material. One of the most engaging aspects of Riri’s character – especially in contrast to Iron Man – is how she works with her limited resources at her disposal, and this is lost if she starts Ironheart with the vibranium suit.

In-universe, Riri Williams is already seemingly at great odds with the US government given their attempts to detain her, and it’s unlikely she’s fallen off their radar after working with Shuri and company to defeat Namor and save Wakanda. Though it’s established she won’t be in direct trouble when she returns to America, the tensions between Wakanda and America mean that her returning with a vibranium suit for her personal use could outright cause a war, and also put Riri herself in danger. With Riri already having the difficult task of refusing to make further devices like the vibranium detector, taking the suit would’ve been a major risk.

Why Captain America’s Suit Can Use Vibranium When Riri Williams’ Can’t
Sam Wilson Captain America Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Sam Wilson being provided with vibranium for his Captain America suit – while at odds with Riri Williams having to leave her suit in Wakanda – does make sense given the different set ups for these characters. Sam was seemingly provided the wings prior to the arms race over vibranium becoming as potent as it is shown to be in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, meaning giving an accomplished hero with the material wasn’t as potentially catastrophic a move, especially in the direct wake of Avengers: Endgame. Secondly, Sam Wilson’s Captain America suit was created at the request of Bucky Barnes, who Shuri would likely trust enough to allow special requests for.

Similarly, Sam’s position as Captain America prevents him from facing the issues Riri Williams could have faced upon returning with a vibranium suit in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. While the government could take Riri’s suit without her being able to do anything, stealing the new Captain America’s suit from him to take the vibranium would be a massive issue both in the reaction of the general public, and in risking alienating a major superhero figure who has demonstrated he works by his own morals, and not the governments. On the plus side, this may allow Riri Williams to later have her own vibranium suit properly, via her becoming Ironheart officially.


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