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10 Things You Never Knew About Black Panther's Costume

Black Panther is considered one of the most radical superhero movies this decade, and for good reason. It is one of the first Marvel films that did not shy away from political and racial issues relevant today. Of course, even without such themes, it also works as a good sci-fi/action film on its own, with Black Panther (a.k.a. T'Challa) himself being one of the best assets of the movie.

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From the moment he was first shown in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther has always sparked the interest of fans. Even those who did not know him prior to seeing him were enamored. The first thing we noticed, of course, was his costume, or suit. A bipedal muscular big cat as a superhero is bound to be a scene-stealer. Even when the Black Panther film got released and satiated our thirst for more, there are still some pretty impressive unknown facts and qualities about Black Panther's costume that were either left out in the films or never stated outright.

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8 It Has A Name

Well, not a designated name from its user, but rather, a traditional name for a royal garb. The Wakandans call it the Panther Habit. So, from this point on, let's minimize our tendencies of calling it costume or suit. As we all know, it's a Vibranium-weave garb worn by the official Black Panther of Wakanda. Only their king is allowed one, of course.

That means it's not as abundant or expendable as Tony Stark's Iron Man suits. In fact, the Panther Habit also holds significant cultural importance and regard to the Wakandans. One has to pass many trials in order to be deemed worthy to wear it.

7 It Also Came With A Cape

At least, in the comic books. The classic Black Panther in the Marvel comics actually came with a cape–a black one. Oddly enough, he starts resembling Batman from DC, due to the all-black get-up and pointy ears. Still, he somehow looks more kingly and mysterious with a cape.

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However, as Edna Mode from the Incredibles religiously upheld, capes are all for show and might even serve as weaknesses. Well, at least, Black Panther's cape was. In fact, the Panther Habit for the Black Panther film had an early concept design which had a cape included. As we all know, that design was scrapped. Besides, a cape wouldn't let us see T'Challa's wide lats and robust posterior anyway, everybody wins!

6 It Shreds Clothing

Some cynical film veterans might have noticed this already, but the latest version of the Panther Habit has a... habit *giggles* of obliterating any clothing worn by the user once it activates. We can recall that Shuri gave the Panther Habit a "nanite" upgrade where a full-body suit can be stored in a traditional necklace. As a result, it will shred any clothing in the way.

That means whoever wears the Panther Habit will be naked underneath. Wearing the funkiest duds is a big no-no for T'Challa, but he's rich anyway so it probably isn't a problem. One would think that the Black Panther would be left with nothing on if he deactivates the nanite suit, but as it turns out...

5 It Can Mimic Clothing

What do you know? Shuri (or the comic book writers) has everything figured out. You can't call the Panther Habit bleeding-edge if it lacks some of the most obvious quality-of-life improvements for the user. One such improvement lets it be used as a disguise for those who want to look like normal civilians.

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The Panther Habit can imitate any clothing, whether by hologram or reshaping and re-coloring itself. This pretty much turns the Black Panther into a chameleon. Oh, that also eliminates the need for any form of clothing. Who needs underwear when you have a Panther Habit?

It Can Make The User Invisible 

Turns out, you don't even need the Panther Habit to mimic clothing if you want to blend in. You can simply make it turn you invisible. Of course, this is already a given; a suit that can imitate clothing can also imitate or manipulate the light around it. This is only one of the many "secret" surprises of the Black Panther, despite having a costume that is immune to bullets or explosions.

Needless to say, it makes the Black Panther more stealthy, for those delicate infiltrations or spy missions. Too bad we never really got to see T'Challa utilize such a capability of the suit in the films, not that he needed it.

4 It Allows The User To Walk On Water

There are only two known people who can do this. One is a Jewish preacher from Nazareth, the other is a ninja from the village of Konoha. Now, we may have to add the Black Panther to that list. His Panther Habit has the ability to redistribute and nullify energy, and he can actually skim on water if he wants. Not exactly slow walking, but it still counts.

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This allows the Black Panther to traverse terrain that would otherwise require boats or helicopters. Because when you're chasing someone, you can demoralize them even more by showing you can outrun them even on water.

3 It Has Armored Variations

We already know that the Panther Habit is pretty much indestructible unless attacked with vibranium weapons. However, there are some threats that can prove too much for the Black Panther. After all, he's not exactly the strongest, fastest, or the most powerful in the Marvel world. Even a regular Panther Habit wouldn't stand a chance against the Hulk... IT might, but the wearer will get turned into a paste inside the suit.

For special occasions such as that, the Black Panther has contingencies. Just as Tony Stark had a Hulkbuster armor, T'Challa or the Black Panther also has a Hulkbuster variant of the Panther Habit. Other times in the comic books, the Black Panther also donned something called Heavenly Armor, which is similar to Iron Man's and lets him fly too.

2 It Has Wings

Not all the time, of course, but the Panther Habit can be equipped with a variety of glider wings that allow the user to ride air currents. Essentially, this allows them to fly for a limited distance or amount of time. It's worth noting that said wings have no engines or rockets, meaning sustained or supersonic flight is quite impossible with them.

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Nevertheless, those glider wings allow T'Challa some vertical movement without having to resort to bulky rockets or his other Panther Habit armors. It's more of a safety cushion or convenience device than anything else.

It Had A Teleportation Device At One Point

Yes. There's just no end to the modifications and improvements being made to the Panther Habit. We have invulnerability, invisibility, and even flight in certain models, but who needs flight when you can just teleport?

Granted, the Panther Habit's teleportation device was shown quite sparingly and on one occasion only, in New Avengers Vol. 3 #1. It appeared as part of T'Challa's standard gear, though the range or frequency of the teleportation remained ambiguous. We can assume that it's more of a convenience device and was nothing too overpowered because such a thing would have made the Black Panther unstoppable.

1 It Had A Hidden Message For T'Challa's Mother

The Panther Habit in the Black Panther actually came with an Easter egg which was spotted by some eagle-eyed fans. Zoom in on the Panther Habit and you can see some glowing purple Wakandan writings. It was spotted by one Redditor who then used a handy Wakandan translator online.

As such, they discovered that the glowing text says "I Love You, Mom." Shuri is the one who made the Panther Habit, and probably put the message there in honor of her and T'Challa's mother, the Queen of Wakanda. That, or she just wants to make fun of T'Challa.

NEXT: Black Panther 2: Us Actor Evan Alex Wants to Play T'Challa's Son Azari

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