Fans have been eagerly awaiting Black Panther and the solo adventures of T’Challa ever since he committed grand larceny with Captain America: Civil War.
The hype was real and inescapable, especially once headlines started rolling in about Black Panther breaking ticket sale records and becoming the highest-rated superhero movie on Rotten Tomatoes ever.
Part of what makes Black Panther and his home nation of Wakanda so cool is the bleeding-edge technology that fuels the African superpower, all of it tied to the rare metal vibranium.
The isolated nation has remained hidden from the world for centuries, quietly developing and refining their gadgets and gear into technological marvels that would make Elon Musk quit and go home in frustration.
In the movie, Black Panther’s suit and its gadgets are the brainchild of his little sister Princess Shuri, a child prodigy who heads the Wakandan Design Group. In the comics, however, T’Challa is an accomplished inventor and scientist who could give Tony Stark a run for his money, and in both the Black Panther suit is much more than meets the eye as a result.
Even though the origins of the suit are high-tech, the mantle of Black Panther and the ones who’ve worn the suit are shrouded in mystery.
Here are the 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Black Panther’s Suit.
15 It can fire vibranium energy daggers & track people
Besides the suit’s formidable claws, its signature weapons are vibranium energy daggers, knives that the suit generates automatically. T’Challa can wield them as knives, throw them, or fire them like darts, and energy sheaths the blades for maximum damage and penetration.
The neatest feature of the knives is that they also function as impromptu GPS trackers.
All T’Challa has to do is stick an enemy or vehicle with one of the vibranium daggers, and he can track the dagger anywhere in the world using his Wakandan Kimoyo Card personal data assistant by homing in on their unique vibranium signature.
They give the Black Panther suit an effective ranged weapon without compromising the honorable combat ideals of T’Challa and Wakanda; plus, everything’s better with glowing energy knives.
14 It comes in a special “Hulkbuster” model
T’Challa, ever the scientist and pragmatist, prepared properly for the possibility of confronting The Hulk. Like Tony Stark, his solution was basically, “my normal suit, but bigger,” and he ended up engineering a special Hulkbuster version of the Black Panther suit.
It probably would have intimidated the Hulk more had it not followed the whole panther design scheme to the letter and had a cute little cat nose and ears.
However, it still got the job done, and T’Challa was forced to break it out during 2016’s Civil War II event to take down the raging new Hulk, Amadeus Cho.
After Bruce Banner was murdered to prevent him from going on a prophesied rampage, his friend Cho took the fight to the rest of the Marvel universe with the powers of the Incredible Hulk at his disposal, and T’Challa with his Hulkbuster suit was on the front lines.
13 The lenses augment Black Panther’s natural night vision & allow him to see in infrared
The heart-shaped herb that heightens T’Challa’s strength, speed, and toughness also heightens his senses to the level of his namesake jungle cat. It strengthens T’Challa’s natural senses of smell and sight to superhuman levels, improving his tracking skills and reaction time.
However, sometimes, that isn’t enough in a combat situation when you’re personally responsible for the welfare of an entire nation.
The Black Panther suit is also equipped with special lenses in the helm that enhance T’Challa’s sight beyond the benefits the heart-shaped herb provides.
The suit’s lenses ramp up his night vision so he can see with perfect clarity and detail even with no light sources, and if that isn’t enough, they also allow him to see infrared light. No living thing with a heat signature can hide from T’Challa thanks to his suit.
12 Its boots have vibranium energy regulators that allow the user to scale walls & walk on water
The suit’s boots are incredible, as they use energy regulators that are based on vibranium technology to dampen T’Challa’s footsteps.
They make no sound, enabling T’Challa to stalk his foes, jump, and pounce with complete stealth. In the Black Panther movie, they’ve been engineered by T’Challa’s sister Shuri.
However, in the comics, they go beyond that-- given enough momentum, T’Challa can not only move silently, but scale walls and even walk on water. In both comics and movies, they can still absorb kinetic energy, should T’Challa need to jump down multiple stories.
Their ability to absorb kinetic energy also comes in handy during combat, where he can stop charging opponents like the Hulk into the ground just by planting his foot on them. Opponents get robbed of their kinetic energy, and that energy becomes T’Challa’s.
11 Its claws can break down almost any metal on a molecular level
In Black Panther, T’Challa sticks the claws of his suit straight into an SUV’s wheel and tears the hub and axel to shreds, seemingly in defiance to the laws of physics.
Maybe he can do this just because of his super-strength courtesy of the heart-shaped herb that all Black Panthers ingest to give them powers.
The comics offer a solution, though, in that the claws of the modern Black Panther suit are made of a rare kind of vibranium only found in Antarctica.
Anti-Metal, as its known, breaks down all other metals at the molecular level.
Essentially, Black Panther in the comics has claws that emit a mixture between super-rust and acid, and given how quickly he makes shreds of of the car in the movie, it’s a fair bet that his movie suit’s claws are built of them too.
10 It’s made of a vibranium microweave mesh
In the movie and comics, Black Panther’s suit is made out of a vibranium microweave mesh.
This means that his suit boasts all the properties of vibranium, including near-invulnerability due to its ability to absorb kinetic energy and redistribute it at the wearer's will.
Given this, the suit can therefore absorb pretty much any attack, as any impact is meaningless. Bullets and grenades may throw T’Challa back, but all of their deadly force is absorbed into the suit.
The suit is even able to shrug off punches from the most physically powerful character in the Marvel universe, The Hulk. T’Challa’s has faced off against two versions of him-- the classic Bruce Banner flavor and New Hulk Amadeus Cho.
9 It has hologram generators that create multiple illusions of its wearer
The Black Panther suit can also use Holopods, which were designed by Wakandan gadgeteer genius N’Lix. They’re spherical blue pods that activate when thrown by the Black Panther suit wearer and project multiple holographic doubles of the wearer.
It’s a perfect tool for confusing living enemies in a chase situation, but it also acts to confuse mechanical enemies.
The holographic doubles of the wearer also have a heat signature, so it can even fool drones and robots that can see in infrared.
Shuri was the first to use them during her time as Black Panther in the midst of a rapidly escalating domestic crisis in Wakanda, and they ended up a permanent mainstay of the Black Panther arsenal after T’Challa took back the mantel.
8 It features a small hard-light deflector shield
If all else fails, the wearer of the Black Panther suit has one final defense that can be deployed against attackers.
T’Challa’s standard suit now features “hard light” deflector shields. Fittingly, this sci-fi gadget was used in New Avengers #1 during a crisis involving parallel Earths and universes collapsing in on our own, and Black Panther was forced to team up with Mr. Fantastic to save both universes from complete annihilation.
The shields don’t make the Black Panther suit’s wearer invulnerable, as shown in New Avengers when they fail to protect two teenagers after a combined onslaught breaks through them.
However, they give T’Challa temporary protection from hand-to-hand and projectile attacks, and he can also extend the shields to protect teammates and civilians in harm’s way.
7 It's equipped with the most advanced smartphone in the world
Wakanda is light-years ahead of the rest of the world in military and industrial technology, so it makes sense that their consumer technology is just as far ahead.
Black Panther audiences got to see Kimoyo beads on screen, a variation on smartphone technology that is wearable around the wrist and utilizes a holographic interface to make calls and display information.
The coolest part is that you don’t have to plunk down hundreds of dollars for Kimoyo beads: every Wakandan is given their first bead at birth, which helps regulate their health.
Beads can be added on to the bracelet to serve any function the user needs, like apps on a smartphone.
T’Challa uses a variation of the beads with his suit, a slim credit-card-sized version called the Kimoyo Card. Different package, but just as powerful and multi-functional.
6 It has golden spheres that can be thrown to release a cloud of micro-EMP disrupters
In the movie and in the comics, it seems like most of Black Panther’s suit gadgets come in sphere form, and the Desert Sands are no exception.
They’re golden spheres that burst open when thrown at a target and release a mist of nano-sized electromagnetic pulse disrupters. Living targets aren’t harmed, but they disable any electrical system touched by the mist.
As such, it’s a handy weapon in hostage situations, or when facing off against technological foes that need to be taken alive.
They were first used by Shuri, sister of T’Challa, when she assumed the mantle while her brother was incapacitated, and are but one of many sphere-encased weapons the new Black Panther used to defend her title.
They were designed by N’Lix, basically the Wakanda Design Group’s version of Q from the James Bond movies.
5 It’s passed down from leader to leader
It’s alluded to in Captain America: Civil War and explicitly shown in Black Panther that the title of Black Panther is passed down from ruler to ruler of Wakanda.
The wearer of the suit is charged with protecting Wakanda and its people.
More than that, though, the wearer of the Black Panther suit is also the leader of the Panther Cult, the official state religion of Wakanda that worships the panther goddess Bast.
Think about that-- the wearer of the Black Panther suit is basically the King and Pope of Wakanda, all while also fighting at home and abroad to protect national security.
Black Panther could have been titled Battle King Pope, and who knows, it might have made even more money that way.
4 You have to be judged worthy by the Panther God in order to earn it
Ritual and spirituality play a big part in anointing new Black Panthers. The title is not strictly hereditary, since anyone with royal blood from Wakanda’s tribes can challenge the sitting King and Black Panther for the title.
However, traditionally, new wearers don’t get to seal the deal until they’re judged by the patron goddess of Wakanda’s religion, the Panther Cult.
The panther goddess Bast granted the first Black Panther Bashenga his powers so that he could protect his tribe in 10,000 BC, and through this strength Bashenga was able to unite Wakanda into one nation.
New Black Panthers must live up to that legacy and through the heart-shaped herb commune with Bast. If the Panther Goddess judges them worthy, they are allowed to become the new protector of Wakanda.
3 Shuri wore it for a while when T'Challa was near death
In the movie Black Panther, T’Challa’s younger sister Shuri is basically his version of Q from the James Bond series. She equips him and constantly develops new gadgets to protect and arm him in the field.
Her scenes with T’Challa are some of the coolest and funniest in the movie, and she even gets a chance to show off her fighting chops in the climactic fight.
Here’s hoping its foreshadowing for future Black Panther movies, because in the comics, Shuri got to take up the mantle of Black Panther herself when T’Challa was in traction following the Doomwar story arc.
Though she eventually returned the mantle to her brother, we know from the movie that there’s multiple Black Panther suits.
How awseome would it be if Shuri suited up along side her brother?
2 It can throw electrified nets to incapacitate living targets
The Desert Sands electromagnetic pulse gadget isn’t the only electrical weapon in the Black Panther suit’s arsenal. Wakandan gadgeteer N’Lix also designed Shok Nets for the suit.
Again, they’re tiny spheres, but unlike the Desert Sands golden orbs, these are silver to distinguish them, and when thrown at an attacker, they spheres break open and release an electrified netting that envelopes a target.
The nets are non-lethal, but according to N’Lix they pack ten times the punch of military weapons of similar design. That’s to be expected from Wakanda’s superior technology and innovation, and they nicely complement the Desert Sands in Black Panther’s arsenal since they incapacitate living targets where the Desert Sands do not.
They were essential elements of the suit when T’Challa’s sister Shuri had to don it and defend the throne after T’Challa was put in traction.
1 It’s equipped with cloaking technology
The Black Panther suit is already stealthy enough thanks to the noise-dampening vibranium boots and black color scheme, but it’s got one final invisible ace up its sleeve.
The Black Panther suit comes equipped with cloaking technology that has two different modes.
The first can disguise the suit as street clothes so T’Challa can walk amongst the the population of Wakanda incognito, but ready for action at any time.
The second takes it even further, and can envelop the entire suit in an invisibility field, so that the wearer of the Black Panther suit can hide in plain sight.
All controls for the cloaking system are by thought, so all the wearer has to do is think to disappear and reappear as needed during infiltration or combat missions.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Black Panther's suit? Sound off int the comment section!
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