The debut of a new TV spot for the Black Panther movie shows off a new ability for the titular hero’s suit, and it’s got us wondering just how overpowered this costume actually is. T’Challa’s long-awaited solo movie is just weeks away now, and as excited as fans are to see Black Panther finally get his time to shine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, folks are just as psyched to get their first real look at the famed nation of Wakanda. Black Panther’s fictional homeland was as isolationist nation until recently, but when the curtain gets pulled back on February 16th, the rest of the MCU will come to know Wakanda as the most technologically advanced nation on Earth.
One of the major reveals of our Black Panther set visit was that T’Challa’s younger sister Shuri is in fact the brightest mind on the planet. Despite her youth, she’s the head of the Wakandan Design Group, making her the one responsible for much of the amazing technology we’ve seen in the movie’s trailers. The crown jewel of all this tech, of course, is the Black Panther suit, which looks to have received some serious upgrades since we last saw it in Civil War.
Black Panther’s souped-up supersuit has been teased for months now, but it wasn’t until we got a look at the first clip of the film that the costume’s true abilities were put on display. Building on the vibranium-weave, bulletproof duds seen in Civil War, his costume (known as the Panther Habit) now sports the ability to absorb and redistribute energy. In the clip, after being blasted by a hail of bullets from a machine gun, T’Challa uses their kinetic energy to flatten the front end of a speeding vehicle, launching it into the air. That was a pretty insane maneuver on its own, but in the TV spot seen above, he takes the suit’s energy redistribution properties to a whole new level, punching the ground and unleashing a pulse that sends dozens of adversaries flying through the air. And while it makes for a great visual, we can’t help but wonder if it’s all a bit much.
The Panther Habit has sported a vibranium weave since Christopher Priest’s famed run on the character in the late ’90s. But while the suit’s ability to absorb momentum and energy has a long history in the comics, the power to then house and redistribute those forces into an energy wave was only introduced in the past year or two. Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze’s acclaimed run on Black Panther has done a whole lot of good for the character, but beefing up the Panther Habit’s capabilities has occasionally overshadowed T’Challa as a character. He’s not only a great hero because he wears a powerful suit, but because he’s a world-class athlete and martial artist, as well as one of the smartest people on the planet. Strapping him into a highly advanced supersuit could minimize how distinctive he is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In fairness, we had similar concerns for Peter Parker’s Iron Man-esque Spidey suit in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The web-slinger’s Stark Tech-infused costume gives him a major advantage in a fight, one he doesn’t usually enjoy in the comics. At the end of the day, however, it didn’t take away from the movie in any real way. We’re hopeful that the extraordinary advances we’re seeing in Black Panther’s suit will end up having a similarly minimal impact on the title character’s solo debut.
Do you think the new Panther Habit is bordering on overpowered? Or is the tech infusion more of a reflection of the scientifically enhanced nation the Black Panther hails from, or even an attempt to make the hero a bit less perfect, grounding him in reality? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments.
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