The Evolution of Black Panther’s Costume | Yellow Spandex #12 | NowThis Nerd

The Evolution of Black Panther’s Costume | Yellow Spandex #12 | NowThis Nerd


Hey guys, I’m Kya and I’m finally back with more ‘Yellow Spandex.’ Today, we’re kicking off the superhero season right, with a look at ‘Black Panther.’ T’Challa’s costume might seem basic on the surface, but there’s a lot to unpack beneath all that shiny black vibranium. It’s so much more than a super suit. It’s a sacred symbol of the Wakandan people, and, at the same time, it’s high-tech sci-fi battle armor. It’s also the first costume ever worn by a black superhero, so naturally, it’s caused a lot of controversy, one of which led directly to its most iconic feature. But we’ll get to that and more as we sink our claws into The Secrets of Wakandan Wardrobe Let’s start with The Comics T’Challa first appeared in Fantastic Four #52, in 1966. Stan Lee felt that comics were long overdue for a black superhero, so he kicked the idea to Jack Kirby, who created a character called Coal Tiger. They dropped the Keebler Fudge Stripes and renamed him Black Panther, without a clue that the Black Panther Party would form in Oakland just three months later. But the character was causing a stir well before that. Originally, T’Challa had a half mask exposing his face, But the higher-ups at Marvel didn’t want to risk putting black skin on the cover of their flagship ‘Fantastic Four’ book. So, they told the inker to paint over it, giving us the suit’s distinctive full mask. It really sucks that the most iconic part of Black Panther’s costume had such an ugly origin, but to Kirby’s credit, he was never down with that. He drew every single cover and panel with T’Challa’s skin exposed, Leaving the inkers to do the dirty work, when they remembered to, anyway. But that’s why they call him the King, baby. He beat up Nazis, and he stuck it to the man. It’s like on ‘Star Trek,’ when Kirk and Oohoora flubbed every take except the ones where they actually kissed, as a well-deserved forget you to the network censors. You are flawed and imperfect! T’Challa’s design is a classic, no matter how we got there, and it hasn’t actually evolved too much since the ‘60s. But there’s still plenty to talk about when it comes to The Black Panther Habit That’s right, I said habit, and I’m not talking about a repetitive action. First and foremost, Black Panther’s costume is religious garb, just like monks and nuns wear. For thousands of years, Wakandans have worshipped the Panther God, Bast. It’s their state religion, and throughout the millennia, the chief of the Black Panther tribe had the honor of wearing the sacred Black Panther Habit, which is a lot snazzier than a big old Pope hat, and definitely packs more of a punch. Kirby’s design established most of T’Challa’s signature look, like the striped gloves and boots, and the little kitty ears. I wish I had my little kitty ears… For decades, the costume only changed in small, subtle ways. The cool little cape comes and goes throughout the years, and during T’Challa’s first stint in the Avengers, the artists experimented with the half-mask that Kirby fought for in the first place. But by then, it was too late. Even though comic fans were more accustomed to black superheroes by the ‘70s, T’challa’s fully-covered face was already established as his signature look, and through the ‘80s and early ‘90s, T’Challa’s suit stuck pretty close to his classic design. We didn’t see any huge developments until 1998, when the always-awesome Christopher Priest launched a new solo Black Panther comic for Marvel Knights The Priest run is one of the most definitive modern takes on the character, and it established everything from the Dora Milaje to Everett K. Ross. But Priest’s biggest addition to T’Challa’s arsenal was his brand new habit. In addition to the kingly gold accents, Priest introduced the idea that the Black Panther suit was actually made of a Vibranium weave. It was a big power upgrade for the character, Who, up to that point, was basically just a really strong, fast guy in spandex. [WHOOSING NOISES] Instead of relying solely on the power of the Panther God and her Heart Shaped Herb, T’Challa finally started using some of that crazy Wakandan tech he’s got lying around. Priest basically turned the Panther into Marvel’s own Batman, ditching the gregarious Kirby vibes for a darker, more independent persona. Back the frick up, because cultural appropriation is real. Priest is just like “Y’all appropriating our culture, get the frick out. On top of the Vibranium armor, Priest also gave Black Panther a frickin’ brain aneurysm, which led to his brief replacement by an NYPD officer named Kasper Cole, who added an edgy trench coat and utility belt over the traditional Panther habit. After low sales, Priest was replaced by ‘House Party’ director Reginald Hudlin, who rebooted the character with a high-profile new series in the 2000s. It was a big hit, but it played fast and loose with Panther lore. For one thing, it completely ignored T’Challa’s incurable brain damage, And retconned his sister Shuri into existence. She took up the Panther mantle herself after Doctor Doom put her big brother in a coma. After T’Challa kicked his ass using mystic runes painted all over his body, The Black Panther relocated to NYC, where he briefly took up Daredevil’s role as the protector of Hell’s Kitchen. He added some SWAT-inspired street armor on top of the traditional habit, but that was long gone by the time Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Brian Stelfreeze took over the character. In the current comics, the Black Panther is back to basics again, only now his trademark mask looks a little more feline. That hasn’t made it to his MCU costume, yet, but there have been a few– too few– examples of the Black Panther Off the Page T’Challa’s first animated appearance came a shameful 29 years after his debut, on an episode of the ‘90s ‘Fantastic Four’ show. He’s dressed in his classic costume and, more importantly, he’s voiced by Keith David. I applaud your cleverness, Mrs. Richards. But even when a panther cannot hear his victim, he can always detect the scent! A.K.A. Spawn. A.K.A. Goliath from ‘Gargoyles. A.K.A. just an awesome human being with a really great velvety voice. As far as I know, I’m already dead. Which means I’m waiting for your sorry ass in the afterlife. Honestly, how Black Panther looks in adaptations is usually less awesome than who’s playing him, like D’Jimon Honsou in his short-lived motion-comic series on BET, There is no feat I can achieve that you are not capable of. and even Taye Diggs in Superhero Squad. I’m hopin’ for some REAL action! The cartoons don’t usually mess too much with the classic look, Although ‘Ultimate Avengers 2’ gave us a slimmed down sleeveless version of the habit, and the jacked black and yellow Panther in this weird Marvel anime is pretty sick, but I prefer the simple sleekness of his ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ design. Still, you don’t want to get too simple. When Wesley Snipes was lobbying hard to get a ‘Black Panther’ movie made in the early ‘90s, his plans for the costume was basically to get as jacked as possible and wear a plain old leotard with cat ears on it. Just no. No one’s sad that movie didn’t happen. Someone’s sad. Just not me. That might have worked for Snipes, who started his career as a dancer, but when it was time for T’Challa’s live-action debut in Civil War, designer Ryan Minerding needed to make the habit fit in with the complex, tactical costumes of the MCU, so he pounced on the idea of the Vibranium weave giving the costume depth, texture, and an almost silver shine, which he accented with larger patterns throughout the suit. The live-action habit really gives you the sense that it’s made by a culture that’s impossibly more advanced than ours. It just looks more elegant than anything Tony Stark could come up with, and its otherworldly effect was heightened by the fact that, in ‘Civil War,’ it’s completely CG in every single frame. For Black Panther’s huge solo debut, director Ryan Coogler recruited Hollywood legend Ruth Carter, an industry vet who created the costumes for films ranging from ‘Do the Right Thing’ and ‘Selma’ to ‘Meteor Man’ and ‘Black Dynamite.’ Freeze, turkey! Dynomite! Dynomite! Her Afro-futurist concepts for the world of Wakanda are absolutely stunning, and the movie has some of the most jaw-dropping designs I’ve ever seen. It looks like we’re getting an updated version of the habit, too. Carter’s redesign loses a lot of the decorative elements from his original suit, stripping away the excess and delivering a back-to-basics classic that’s the spitting image of his simple comic costume. And I just love it when they use the comic costume, and call it a day. It’s sleek. It’s new. It’s you. Black Panther. I dunno what the heck that was. Since his debut, T’Challa has been at the forefront of a comics revolution, and for his first movie, Marvel is giving him the coronation he deserves. ‘Black Panther’ is the last stop on the road to ‘Infinity War,’ and for a lot of people, it’s going to be their first introduction to one of the coolest, and coolest looking, characters ever created.

100 Replies to “The Evolution of Black Panther’s Costume | Yellow Spandex #12 | NowThis Nerd”

  1. Thanks for watching, nerds, and welcome back to 'Yellow Spandex!' We're back in the superhero cycle and taking requests for which costumes you want to learn about most, so leave a comment and let us know!

  2. You should've mentioned how the new film version is heavily influenced by Stelfreeze's design for the current run. There was never the purple accents of Wakandan symbols (seen in the new film suit) until the current run. And the usage of Wakandan tech integrated into the suit to the degree that it currently is (both current comic & film).

  3. (I was going to like the video anyway) but really it was the hilarious slogan at the end that cemented the decision. "It's sleek, it's new, it's you." 💖 So glad I'm not the only that does that

  4. OMG, new to the channel, absolutely love Kya's charm/vibe/charisma/awesomeness. She made this video even better than it would've already been.

  5. it doesnt matter how cook BPs suit is but you just dont compare it with tonys suits. bleeding edge and extremis and model prime are far more cooler then BP suit . thats a fact

  6. Why the diss to Wes Snipes? Snipes would have killed the roll of T'challa. He was already a 3rd degree black belt, dark skin, plus a well established actor and he can rock an African dialect. The only reason why I'm happy that it didn't happen, is that we would not have witnessed the Blade franchise, and Black Panther would not have been part of the MCU, nor director wise; I don't think it would have been as great as Coogler's film today.

  7. I prefer Black Panther’s Civil War costume to his new costume. They should’ve kept it how it was.

    Also, did you really have to mention the stupidity of cultural appropriation? Cultural appropriation is a GOOD thing. We should be able to pick and choose which parts of different cultures we like. For example, if I want dreads, I don’t have to take the high crime rate with me.

  8. "Cultural appropriation " dude it's a made up African tribe, that's not your culture, not everything African is black culture, like just because I'm Hispanic doesn't mean i associate with Aztec and Mayan culture, and if there was a superhero that was Hispanic I wouldn't automatically relate myself. I'd like to know when the first Hispanic superhero went on the big screen

  9. Please make a "How to Kill Zanta Claws" video. I'd love to see a character from my favorite webtoon be on a How to Kill video.

  10. NICE Commentary,  but just remember, Star Wars has also shown "Walking Robots" that many "Thought" was fantasy!  until someone actually "Created one" ..Also remember that Dubai Palm Jumeirah Island –>>    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMoA8ZfY_Ts  NEVER EXISTED before the year 2000!  … Yet there it is!!!  a  "MAN MADE"  island "Created" into existence!  … Likewise, a Black City likened to that of  "Wakanda"  (if you will)   can just as well be "Created/Built" into existence somewhere in Africa!  so, people shouldn't  assume such a place is only in fantasy!   …..Blacks (Black Nations) can unite and actually develop something like make "Wakanda" into an actual real place!   It's only a matter of either sitting on one's ass and dreaming about it, or, getting off one's ass and MAKE IT HAPPEN!  …… Remember, there was a time when the United State of America didn't exist!  ..But NOW there she is!  and her populous are at the heartbeats of her existence!  ..And while many Blacks may yet hang on to it as a fantasy, they can also think of the 6 BILLION Dollars that BLACKS spend annually on  "Superficial Bullshit"  like Hiding their OWN HAIR under that of "Someone else's" solely to BE more appealing (so they think) to everyone BUT themselves! …Go Figure!

  11. His first animated cartoon appearance was in the 80’s ff. Your team really needs to look up their research better.

  12. Why do you have to make this a black person thing he is a fictional comic book character from a fictional country not your culture.

  13. BRO….. BLACK PANTHER, BLACK PANTHERS STARTED IN OAKLAND, RYAN COOGLER’S FROM OAKLAND, MOVIE STARTS OFF IN OAKLAND, ARTIST IN THE SOUNDTRACK ARE FROM OAKLAND…… BRO

  14. Ok. Enough with the cultural appropriation garbage. Its a fictional superhero from a fictional african territory.

  15. The vibranium armor is very inconsistant as he is hurt by characters without super strenght and was knocked out by a rifle whip.

  16. Oh shit does this mean Shuri might become the Black Panther?

    Because that would be the best thing ever.

  17. Honestly after seeing all those costumes, only the MCU’s version looks like a superhero costume, everything else is just black spandex

  18. All the Urban folk loved Black Panther and everyone praised it but when I finally watched it at home I thought the CGI looked super tacky and the story was boring and predictable as hell. I'm assuming it just got a lot of attention because it was Black Panther. Lol the absolutely stunning line kind of killed me, all the green screening and bad cgi just makes my head hurt when I watch that movie. It's sad I thought I was going to love Black Panther with all the hype and then I ended up LOVING Spider-man Homecoming instead. But I also hate the Sam Raimi Spider-man movies and thought Homecoming was finally the first GOOD Spider-Man movie to come out in my lifetime. I think I just find Black Panther boring, never really cared about him when I was reading comics growing up, but I'm also not black so /shrug

  19. he's equivalent to a space marine,just give him an iron man suit and let him learn some of stranges magic.

  20. I honestly don't really like t challa without the cape because yeah the cape looks really awesome but also it kind of symbolises royalty as well which is pretty neat considering he is the king of wakanda

  21. I don't get how making BP into a Batman-surrogate was somehow going against cultural appropriation…what a weird thing to make into a statement

  22. I think the only reason BP got a new suit in his movie was so we can see his face more. Keep the mask on! Deadpool can do it, why can’t you. I’m looking at you too Spider-Man.
    #KeepYourMaskOn

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