Black Panther: Wakanda Forever established Shuri as the next Black Panther to take on the mantle after her brother’s passing. Also, Riri Williams, aka Ironheart, got introduced in the MCU, and the on-screen chemistry between Shuri and Riri was amazing. Fans even wanted a romantic spark there, which opens the question: who is Shuri’s love interest in the comics?
So far, in the comics, as well as the MCU, Shuri didn’t really have a love interest one could point at, especially not a relationship. She’s still a teenager and has been focused on science and family. Shuri dealt with tons of losses in her young life, so romance wasn’t really on her mind.
Although countless fans root for Riri and Shuri getting together (and I mean – countless), I find the approach the MCU is taking with now-Queen Shuri and her romantic life is actually perfect and a breath of fresh air. Keep reading to find out why that’s the case.
Who is Shuri’s love interest in the comics?
Princess Shuri (now Queen Shuri) is a Wakandan ruler that first appeared in the comics in Black Panther Vol. 4 #2 in 2005. She became Black Panther, however, years later, in Black Panther Vol. 5 #5, in 2009. Shuri is the brilliant teenage sister of King T’Challa, aka the Black Panther, just like in the MCU.
She becomes the Queen of Wakanda and takes over the Black Panther mantle not because she wants to but because fate deems it so. Shuri dealt with a massive amount of loss and hardships throughout her young life, forcing her to grow up overnight.
Along the way, she has had tons of close friends, and superhero partners like Miles Morales, the Fantastic Four, and others. However, none of the relationships ever turned romantic – the Wakandan Princess simply never had romance in her mind.
I don’t even remember her showing interest in any character in a romantic way. It may point to the fact that she’s still young and searching for her identity on that front, or maybe Shuri is simply asexual.
I like that angle, too, especially considering what she’s been through in life. Not every character needs a cheap love story to stay entertaining. Shuri is a boss, and I hope that they keep threading in the same direction, at least for a while more.
Who is Shuri’s love interest in the MCU?
So far, Shuri has appeared in several movies, from Black Panther to the Avengers. There were many rumors, hopes, and insinuations made by fans about her potential relationships, but the truth is, nothing ever happened, really. Just like in the comics, Shuri didn’t have any significant romantic relationship or encounter so far in the MCU.
That can change in the future, of course, but I liked that they didn’t cram in some goofy, weak love story in the mix, as Shuri is a character quite rich in emotion and detail. Still, people saw potential with several characters, the last two coming in the new Black Panther: Wakanda Forever movie.
Who could be Shuri’s love interest in the MCU?
The first ‘potential’ love interest for Shuri was Bucky Barnes. They were quite close while Bucky lived in Wakanda, but it was clear that the relationship was platonic and more brotherly than romantic in any way.
It would be a totally silly love story, in my opinion, and it’s no wonder that the writers never even considered it. I mean, Shuri is still a teenager in the first Black Panther movie, so she’d be way, way too young for Bucky. Although, technically, every woman would be…
Next came the idea of Peter Parker and Shuri ending up together. Honestly, I don’t know how people envisioned that to happen, especially considering Spidey had his MJ the whole time he was a part of the MCU.
The only reasons why I could see fans seeing this happen are: a) they are about the same age, and b) Shuri once teamed up with Miles Morales in the comics, but that’s about as far as the relationship goes.
And then, we have the two characters who fans are rooting for to end up with Shuri after Balck Panther: Wakanda Forever. The first one, believe it or not, is Namor himself. Sure, the guy is centuries old, and she’s just a teen, but who cares?
Tenoch and Letitia had outstanding chemistry, while Namor and Shuri had a lot in common – they were both ‘consumed by vengeance,’ and they both ruled their nations after great personal losses. I saw a few moments where I thought – oh, this could work. But, knowing Namor from the comics, that will never happen. He always has something up his sleeve. Or fin, whatever.
And, last but not least – and this is the one I’m rooting for, too, if a Shuri love story has to happen in the future – is with Ironheart, aka Riri Williams. The new Black Panther movie was Riri’s introduction to the MCU. She clearly holds great respect and admiration for Shuri from the start, and the two hit it off quite well.
Granted, it was all in a friendly manner, but fans on Twitter went crazy, asking for the relationship to be made real officially. I mean, it could work – Riri was already rumored to be canonically bisexual in the MCU. We thought she’d meet her MCU partner in her TV series on Disney+, Ironheart, but Shuri could be the best choice, especially after seeing their chemistry.