It’s a cat-eat-cat world out in the far reaches of Wakanda.
The newest trailer for Black Panther provides more of a focus on Erik Killmonger, the potential usurper to the Wakandan throne that T’Challa (Black Panther) sits on. In a period of unrest and civil turmoil, Killmonger, in partnership with the untrustworthy weapons dealer Ulysses Klaue, is looking for the best ammunition to destroy T’Challa.
That just so happens to be a similar, panther-like suit that Killmonger can have wash over his entire body in a matter of seconds.
There are a number of questions associated with Killmonger’s suit that stem beyond, “Uh, hey, where did he get that high-tech, weaponized armor that can probably withstand Black Panther’s attacks?”
The appearance of the gold suit, which is more akin to a jaguar instead of a panther, is interesting because it’s not canonical. Killmonger doesn’t receive a suit in the comics. The only similarity between the comics’ version of Killmonger and his Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) counterpart is the intense rivalry between Killmonger and T’Challa. In the comics, Killmonger, whose actual name is N’Jadaka, competed for the Wakandan throne as an exiled outsider. He resented T’Challa for exiling him and that hatred as carried through into the movie.
Back when the teaser trailer was released, offering a glimpse of the suit, Entertainment Weekly asked Jordan about the suit. The actor skirted around the question but addressed the tumultuous, tenuous relationship between the Wakandan rivals.
“Me and T'Challa have two totally different approaches to the throne as well and you see those two opposing sides clash,” Jordan said. “So, you can call it a Magneto/Professor X type of chemistry. That's all I can give away.”
The other aspect of the suit that should be addressed is how representative it is of the nano-technology Black Panther has built itself on. Wakanda is one of the most advanced nations in the MCU and the technology developed there is a big part of the culture’s identity. Having an incredible, mind-boggling suit that Tony Stark himself would be jealous of is important in visually explaining the power of the tech harnessed and explored on Wakanda.
Hopefully we’ll learn more about the suit when Black Panther is released on Feb. 16, 2018.