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Now that Ryan Coogler's Black Panther has finally debuted in theaters, audiences have had a chance to check out the bizarre and almost alien world of Wakanda for themselves. The film creates something otherworldly in Africa, and the technology seen in this film is unlike anything that we have ever seen from the Marvel Cinematic Universe before -- even by comparison to what Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has to offer.
That's what we're going to talk about today. We have combed through some of Black Panther's scenes and compiled a list of the coolest gadgets, weapons and pieces of tech seen in Wakanda. Let's get started with a new gizmo that makes changing clothes considerably easier for King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman).
The Nanotechnology Suit
There's little question that Black Panther has one of the coolest suits in the entire MCU. It is sleek, powerful and it makes him practically bulletproof. That said, in Captain America: Civil War, the suit looked like it was probably reasonably cumbersome to put on and take off. That is where Shuri (Letitia Wright) comes into the equation, Black Panther. Using her knack for nanotechnology, T'Challa's little sister devises a new incarnation of the Panther suit that's entirely stored in his necklace and can materialize over his body in an instant, which in turn allows him to dress formally, but prepare for action at a moment's notice. That sure beats Tony Stark having to wait for his Iron Man suit to fly across the country to him in Iron Man 3, doesn't it?
The Kinetic Energy Blasts
That nanotechnology enhancement is far from the only trick that T'Challa's new suit has up its sleeve in Black Panther. Beyond the outfit's ability to materialize over his body, the Black Panther outfit also can absorb kinetic energy from incoming enemy attacks, regardless of their strength. As a result of this enhancement, the suit can charge itself up with kinetic energy, convert that energy to potential energy and then refocus the energy outward in a blast that doesn't hurt the wearer of the suit, but dolls out severe damage to whomever it's targeting. T'Challa mostly uses his fists to take on his attackers, but this major upgrade offers him a serious means to turn the tables whenever he finds himself outnumbered in a fight or on the wrong end of too many guns.
Sometimes it's not about how hard you can punch or how many bad guys you can take down in a fight. Sometimes it's about getting in and out quietly. That's where Black Panther's new kicks come into play. Developed by Shuri, the advanced boots absorb are made of vibranium and absorb pretty much all of the sounds made by the wearer, rendering The Black Panther silent on a stealth mission. The absorption of energy also protects T'Challa against shock damage, meaning that he can fall from great highest and run at top speed without sustaining much damage. Beyond all of that, the scene in which Shuri introduces T'Challa (and by extension, the rest of the audience) to the Sneakers gets some of the biggest laughs in Black Panther when the titular hero's little sister belts out a Vine-worthy "What are those!"
Based on how early we see the EMP discs appear in Black Panther, our assumption is that T'Challa had them on him at least as early as Captain America: Civil War. However, this is the first time that we truly saw them in action. Tiny, circular gadgets that let out powerful electro-magnetic pulses, the EMP discs are effective tools for non-lethally stopping a convoy of soldiers when Black Panther embarks on a rescue mission. They are roughly the same size and shape as the stingers used by Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but they arguably have far more practical and useful applications due to their ability to shut down seemingly any piece of technology that would stand in a hero's way while on a mission.
The climactic battle in Black Panther makes one thing abundantly clear to members of the audience: Shuri is not someone who you want to piss off in a serious way. Despite her small size, T'Challa's little sister is a master of technology, and she has developed some serious offensive weapons that can even give Iron Man's repulsors a run for their money. Chief among these are the vibranium-powered wrist blasters that she uses against Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) at the end of the movie. Although experience (and a Black Panther suit) ultimately prove to be the superior assets during that encounter, Shuri shows audiences that she can turn on her badass switch with some genuinely awesome sci-fi weaponry. And, of course, the fact that Shuri's blasters look like two feral beasts is just icing on the cake.
Remote Transmissions From Shuri's Lab
Many kids had at least one remote-controlled car growing up, but Shuri takes that idea to an entirely new level during Black Panther's South Korea sequence. Specifically, we're talking about the moment in which the hero's younger sister (from the comfort and safety of Wakanda) powers up their car and helps T'Challa pursue Klaue (Andy Serkis) through the streets of Seoul. The car is already badass in its own right, but the implication of wireless technology that can operate across the entire planet without any lag or delay is enormous. We only get a few brief scenes that show off this advanced tech, but the idea of it becoming more ubiquitous in the Marvel version of Earth means that we could see the way these characters travel and operate completely change going forward into the remainder of Phase 3 and the beginning of Phase 4.
The Wakanda Cloak
One of the most exciting things about Wakanda is the fact that nobody in the outside world seems to have any idea as to what the fictional nation is capable of in terms of technology or culture. That's because of the cloak that the country has placed over its biggest cities in order to keep outsiders from finding it or uncovering its true nature. Think Themyscira in Wonder Woman, except with more science and less magic. Though T'Challa eventually chooses to lower the cloak and reveal Wakanda to the world during one of Black Panther's two end credits scenes (and perhaps rightfully so), the visualization and sheer potential of a cloak that can hide an entire nation from the outside world is nothing if not intriguing for what it means going forward. This technology could change the MCU.
This one is not quite as sexy or stylish as the other entries on this list, but it stands out because of how cool it is and its roots in technology that humanity is actually working towards in the real world. While countries like the United States and Japan have spent decades attempting to perfect magnetic levitation technology, it looks like the folks in Wakanda have already figured it out. The result? A system of trains that allows them to quickly haul mined vibranium from below the nation's surface and transport it to where it can be repurposed into weapons, clothing, vehicles or any other piece of tech that a Wakandan might need. Trains are already a cool way to travel, but these take the process to the next level in a major way.
Last, but not least, we come to a piece of technology that you probably wouldn't see in any other movie except for one centered on King T'Challa: the armored rhinos. Distinctly African in aesthetic, the animalistic artillery pieces stand out because they embody everything that we love about Wakanda: insane science fiction elements and a spiritual connection with nature not really seen in any other corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Just don't get on the bad side of these hulking creatures, because the film's climactic battle scene shows the sheer amount of damage that they can do, and it's not something that you would want to experience up close. Let's just hope these creatures return when Thanos (Josh Brolin) sends The Black Order to Wakanda in Avengers: Infinity War.
Black Panther is now in theaters. Make sure to check out the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe adventure now and let us know what you thought the coolest piece of Wakandan tech was in the comments below!
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