The Kingdom of Wakanda, a mysterious nation located in northeastern Africa, has fascinated comic book fans for years. According to Marvel lore, in the distant past, a large meteorite landed in Wakanda. The material appeared to be vibrating upon inspection, which is why the material went on to be called vibranium.
For those unfamiliar with vibranium and its properties, vibranium has the ability to absorb kinetic energy. In other words, the vibranium can stop the momentum of almost anything. This characteristic has huge implications for weaponry, making the metal famously sought after in the weapons industry.
With the Earth’s only reserve of vibranium, known as the “sacred mound”, Wakanda became an incredibly wealthy country. Wakanda’s wealth would lead to the country’s substantial military power and incredibly advanced technology.
Vibranium is one of the legendary metals of Marvel canon. This mysterious, powerful metal is the lifeblood and pride of Wakanda and its people. Many of the weapons and armor worn by Marvel’s greatest heroes is made from the precious metal. Being the king and protector of Wakanda, the Black Panther is equipped with one of the greatest creations made of vibranium: The Panther Habit.
The Panther Habit is a marvel of Wakanda’s advancements. A vibranium micro-weave mesh foundation allows the suit to provide an almost unstoppable armor, while still being lightweight, giving T’Challa full mobility. The vibranium foundation gives the Panther Habit unbelievable defensive measures, but there is more to the suit than just vibranium.
The Black Panther needs to be ready to spring into action at any time, but he isn’t always wearing the suit. This is where the Panther Habit’s first amazing mechanism comes into play. When forced into battle, T’Challa can summon the Panther Habit around his body with the necklace he wears. This manifestation technology is similar to Tony Stark’s armor sets, protecting him whenever he needs to thrust into a fight.
Along with providing armor to defend against attacks, the Panther Habit is also equipped with energy dampening boots. These boots absorb momentum as the Black Panther lands, allowing T’Challa to take enormous leaps. All the kinetic energy absorbed by the suit can then be released at a later time, allowing T’Challa to fly through the air with superhero distance, or strike his foes with incredibly strong force.
The Panther Habit can also release the stored kinetic energy for purposes other than physical attacks. With enough stored kinetic energy, the Panther Habit can release a large energy pulse, subduing multiple foes at once.
Although the Panther Habit is incredibly strong, it’s not invulnerable. If a sharp blade runs with the grain of the vibranium micro-weave mesh, the suit can sustain damage. Thankfully, due to its manifestation ability, the suit can regenerate from smaller instances of damage, keeping the Black Panther in the fight longer.
Despite all of the complex technology found in the Panther Habit, some aspects of the suit are surprisingly simple. What is the Panther Habit’s solution to the Black Panther’s everyday problems? Anti-Metal Claws. Made from a vibranium-based material, “Anti-Metal” has the ability to break down any metal at the molecular level. The Anti-Metal claws have even left marks on Captain America’s shield, as seen in Captain America: Civil War.
As mentioned earlier, vibranium isn’t exclusive to the Panther Habit, it acts as a crucial element in the legendary weapons and armor equipped by some of Marvel’s greatest superheroes. One of Marvel’s most iconic weapons, Captain America’s shield, has vibranium in its core. Although there is a mix of metals found in Captain America’s shield, the use of vibranium is vital, actively giving the shield its ability to absorb kinetic energy. Another notable use of vibranium in Marvel canon is Vision. Vision’s body uses a vibranium base, making him practically impenetrable to attack and quite the force to have in battle.
It’s hard to deny the lasting impact vibranium has had on Wakanda, the Black Panther, and the Marvel collection as a whole. With its amazing attributes, vibranium is instrumental to some of the most iconic Marvel heroes and weaponry. Maybe someday a Hyperloop company will come along, invent a new material and call it vibranium (they have, and it’s awesome).
Want to learn more about Wakanda, the Black Panther, and vibranium? Our book, Marvel’s Black Panther: The Illustrated History of a King, takes a look back at the greatest moments in T’Challa’s comic book history with some of the most beautiful panels straight from the comic books. Get caught up before Black Panther arrives in theaters on Thursday, February 15th.