Tony Stark has made his mark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by being the smartest character in the franchise, a fact that he has repeatedly proven and reminded everyone in each movie he’s appeared in. However, in Black Panther, fans were officially introduced to Shuri, T’Challa’s younger sister.
Shortly after her introduction, she was confirmed to be the smartest character in the MCU, even more so than Tony. While she hasn’t been in the franchise as long as him, she does have a long list of achievements that rivals his. Even though fans have been given a definitive answer, there are plenty of reasons why each of them is deserving of that title.
Even though she is only 16, Shuri is the lead scientist of the Wakandan design group and is responsible for all of the country’s technological advancements. This includes weaponry like Bucky’s Vibranium arm and her sonic canon gauntlets as well as vehicles like the Vibranium train beneath her lab used to move the metal.
She also made upgrades to the Kimoyo beads that almost all the Wakandans wear and gifted T’Challa a pair of sneakers that mask the sound of his movements.
Much like Shuri, Tony was an exceptionally bright child and was able to accomplish a lot at a young age. In Iron Man, it’s revealed that he built his first circuit board, assembled his first engine, and hacked his way into the pentagon all before finishing high school.
Luckily his parents saw his potential and he started attending college at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at just the age of 15. Two years later, he graduated Summa Cum Laude at age 17 with a Master’s degree in Physics and Electrical Engineering.
While the Black Panther suit gets passed down from each warrior, Shuri was the designer responsible for upgrading T’Challa’s version.
That version was the first suit in the MCU to feature Nanotechnology beating Tony’s Mark 50, which debuted in Avengers: Infinity War, by about 2 years, allowing it to be discretely hidden in a necklace and be mentally controlled by the wearer. Another major upgrade Shuri made to the suit was the ability to let it charge up with kinetic energy and use it for redistribution, an ability that proved useful in all of his future battles where he was up against entire armies.