Black Panther is only a few away from its cinematic release, and the unique costume of the characters is highly visible in the various promotions from Marvel Studios. This makes us wonder, how does this Black Panther suit work?
Marvel recently unveiled the first Black Panther clip. The scene shows Black Panther riding a vehicle which is being remotely controlled by his sister Shuri. Those trying to escape open fire on him, but, the bullets are bouncing off the Black Panther’s armor.
Shuri tells his brother that the bullets are only charging his suit more by allowing it to absorb their kinetic energy. This reminds us of how she had detailed the upgraded Black Panther costume ‘Panther Habit’ in the comic books to T’Challa.
“It is lighter, completely bulletproof and it absorbs energy for redistribution,” Shuri explained.
Panther jumps onto the hood of the vehicle and spreads the energy in such a way that the vehicle does a somersault.
Black Panther is not a real superhuman. In the Marvel Comics, he gets his enhanced senses and physical attributes due to a special herb, but, he is still not a car tossing superhero. Then how did he do all that? All courtesy the suit of course.
Not too many details are available about the MCU version of the Panther Habit, but, we can take some guess based on the working of the original comic book costume.
The Panther Habit, despite its superior tech, is a traditional and ceremonial dress which has been handed down from one generation of Wakandan rulers to another. In the history of Wakanda, the chief of the Panther cult rules Wakanda. Once the new chieftain is considered worthy by the Panther Goddess Bast, he gets the traditional royal costume.
TRADITION OF WAKANDA
Vibranium is essential to the technological advancement of Wakanda and core to their culture and society. Thus, it is obvious that the chieftain’s costume, whether ceremonial or otherwise, would use this rare and expensive metal.
That’s how it has been, and while the Wakandan public has advanced scientifically and understood Vibranium better, the Panther Habit has also become more advanced and capable of more enhanced superhuman accomplishments.
This is the most important part of the Black Panther suit which is produced using a vibranium micro-weave mesh. Vibranium’s unmatched properties make Black Panther absolutely bulletproof.
Vibranium has the capability of absorbing the momentum and kinetic energy of the approaching projectiles which caused them to drop to the ground rather than ricochet uncontrollably.
As far as Shuri’s Marvel cinematic universe costume is concerned, she seems to have figured out a way to let the suit store and redistribute the captured energy into a form of an energy pulse. That’s exactly what Black Panther used to send that car tumbling in the movie’s clip.
This mesh is also extremely durable and can handle even a punch from the Hulk. It can also endure stabs and bullets, but, a well-aimed slashing of the fabric can still tear it apart.
We saw how Black Panther suit in the MCU has razor-sharp claws. In fact, they are so sharp and strong that they left scratch marks on Captain America’s shield.
In the MCU, the Panther Habit has claws which are not only sharp but, they are forged out of Vibranium anti-metal.
This anti-metal is capable of breaking down things to a molecular level, and it can be used as a projectile or converted into tiny blades to be used in hand to hand combat.
Black Panther also has separate energy daggers which have ivory/stone carved hilts. The blades can be made to be used as a knife, spear, scythe or other such weapons. They can also be used as projectiles similar to darts.
Another important element of the Panther Habit is the shoes. The Panther suit has boots fitted with energy-dissipating technology.
That allows Black Panther to leap off buildings and other structures, yet land with feline grace without cracking his bones. They can even allow him to climb a building or sprint across water if he builds the right momentum.
These boots can use this technology to shatter a damaged object, or if T’Challa is in a correct position, then it can kill the momentum of a falling or hurled object. This was once witnessed when Black Panther dealt with a car thrown at him by Hulk.
Whether it is the comic books or MCU, Black Panther’s suit is capable of appearing at will on his body. Shuri’s design enables the suit to emerge out of the necklace worn by him.
As per Marvel Comics Universe, this is managed by using cloaking technology. The cloaking is controlled by T’Challa’s thoughts. Apart from switching T’Challa’s appearance from the Black Panther to a king, it can also make him go invisible.
In the comics, this capability of switching back and forth from T’Challa to Black Panther and vice-versa comes very handy as T’Challa juggles between ruling Wakanda and continuing his adventures as a superhero.
SHIELDING AND TELEPORTATION
The Panther Habit is equipped with strong-light shielding, which can be used to protect innocent people or allies of Black Panther.
Then there is the teleportation device of Black Panther which fans are unlikely to see in MCU. While it is not clear as to what all this device can do, but, he has used it to travel as per his desire in the comics.
It is true that we can’t be sure as to which of the Panther Habit’s comic book powers will be seen in the upcoming Black Panther film. However, it is certain that there is a lot that director Ryan Coogler and the team have to deal with.
Black Panther releases in cinemas on February 16th.
The upcoming MCU movies are Avengers: Infinity War on May 4th, Ant-Man, and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, Avengers 4 on May 3, 2019, and Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.