The Panther Habit was worn by the King of Wakanda for many generations, who would then take the mantle of "Black Panther" to be Wakanda's protector. T'Chaka was the latest owner of the suit during his youth. His son T'Challa was trained most of his life to be the next user of the Habit.
After T'Chaka perished in a terrorist attack believed to have been committed by the Winter Soldier, T'Challa became the new king and donned the Panther Habit to avenge his father. Tracking Bucky Barnes to Bucharest, Black Panther fiercely hunted him down to a traffic tunnel, facing off against Winter Soldier, as well as Captain America and Falcon, where he proved to be a match for all three. However, Black Panther's attempt was prevented by Captain America, followed by the arrival of War Machine and an entire police squad, to whom he removed his mask and revealed his identity.
Seeking revenge against the escaped Winter Soldier, T'Challa would don the Panther Habit again, fighting on Iron Man's side in the Clash of the Avengers against Captain America and Winter Soldier along with their supporters. However, he was stopped short of capturing the pair by Black Widow, who held him back with her Black Widow's Bite as they escaped in a Quinjet. Later, planning to finally find and kill the Winter Soldier, T'Challa followed Tony Stark to the Winter Soldier laboratory in Siberia where he discovered that the terrorist attack that killed his father was actually orchestrated by Helmut Zemo. Seeing the effects of revenge on Zemo, Black Panther chose to spare him to the point of preventing Zemo from taking his own life.
The Habit's Vibranium composition makes the user completely bulletproof and near-indestructible, able to withstand two explosive arrows from Hawkeye's arsenal at point-blank range without any noticeable injury. Despite being made of metal, the suit doesn't seem to inhibit the wearer's mobility in the slightest. Due to the vibranium absorbing and redirecting force, the user becomes physically superhuman, enough to outmaneuver and vault over moving cars, lunge across several feet in a quadrupedal fashion, land on their feet from several stories unphased, and send humans flying with attacks, as well as overpowering the likes of Winter Soldier. The gloves have vibranium-laced knuckles built in, while the toes are also laced with vibranium, both of these are meant to enhance strike attacks. The suit is accompanied with:
- Claws: Two sets of extendable and retractable Vibranium Claws embedded in the fingers of the gloves like nails; serving as both utility and primary weapon of T'Challa during combat. The claws are exceptionally strong and razor-sharp it could cut through almost anything it was even able to put scratch marks on Captain America's Shield during the airport clash.
- Helmet: The Black Panther helmet, which has similar properties with the suit, and is adorned with silver trimmings and slightly pointed arches on either side of the top that mimic the ears of the animal. The helmet seems to have some kind of safety lock in the rear area, enabling it to attach firmly to the user's head.
- "It is lighter, completely bulletproof and it absorbs energy for redistribution."
Presented upon his return to Wakanda, the latest version of the Habit was highly upgraded by Shuri to be lighter than T'Chaka's version, as well as entirely bulletproof. Most notable, the Habit was outfitted to harness a powerful energy field that it absorbs from external sources for later distribution, greatly enhancing its offensive capabilities.
- Advanced Technology: Upgraded by Shuri, the Habit houses an advanced array of sophisticated technology to greatly enhance T'Challa's capabilities as the Black Panther.
- Energy Pulse: As explained by Shuri, a prominent feature of the suit is its ability to redistribute stored energy, as displayed when T'Challa was able to make a car flip over using a kinetic energy pulse, using the propelling force to launch himself further into his pursuit.
- Suit Manifestation: T'Challa can allow the suit to manifest around himself, with the same energy it's shown to be capable of shredding the clothes worn above it.
Behind the Scenes
- Ryan Meinerding, Head of Visual Development of Marvel Studios, said "I tend to like to design the 'men-of-action' of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I find the ones I'm drawn to are the more physical ones, the ones who specialize in hand-to-hand combat. Panther's silhouette throughout the comics has always been lithe, and because the costume was primarily black with muscle shapes, the challenge with this one was trying to find a way to translate something that's simple to a real-world setting with enough texture and detail to not just be a man in a black leotard. I was trying to come up with ways of having he suit constructed that the audience wouldn't understand - it's meant to be woven together in ways that are nearly impossible to achieve in a practical setting, and therefore make it feel like it's from a culture that's way more advanced than ours. The overall concept is that it's a woven suit - on a more granular level, there is vibranium woven into the fabric. This vibranium would provide a silver sheen so that when it catches the light, it would glisten a bit. From there we tried to create a design language for patterns to fit very subtly into the hard vibranium pieces that are woven through the suit."