How Black Panther Has Super Strength Revealed

His suit is only half the story.

Steve Rogers went from Corporal “Radar” O’Reilly to G.I. FREAKING JOE with the super-soldier serum. Tony Stark used his big brain and bigger wallet to make his Iron Man suit. Bruce Banner unleashed the beast within by overdosing on gamma rays. Thor’s a god, god damn it! Hawkeye is super-terrific with a bow. Black Widow fight good. And as for Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, she’s weird and he’s dead.

But what is it that makes Black Panther so super-duper? Yes, it is partly due to T’Challa’s vibranium-coated suit, which is the same metal Captain America’s nearly indestructible shield is made of. However, that only explains why he can absorb the attack of another person and repel or respond to that attack; it doesn’t explain how he has superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, and reflexes

Okay, so what’s the answer? “The Heart-Shaped Herb is how Black Panther achieves his powers,” director Ryan Coogler explained to EW. “He can fight hand-to-hand with Cap, who’s a supersoldier, so he has super strength and heightened instincts that give him his enhanced abilities. The Heart-Shaped Herb is what Black Panthers over the generations would consume, once they earn the title, which gives them their physical edge.”

And what makes the Heat-Shaped Herb so special? The same reason Wakanda is more technologically-advanced than the rest of the world: its large deposit of Vibranium. “People who read the comics would be familiar with the Heart-Shaped Herb and the ceremonies that surround that,” Marvel boss Kevin Feige shared. “That’s partially spiritual. We certainly don’t call it magic, but there’s Vibranium that has been interwoven within that soil and that land for thousands of years, so there are other things going on with it.”

After the events of Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakanadan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.

The film stars Chadwick Boseman (Get on Up), Michael B. Jordan (Creed), Lupita Nyong’o (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead), Martin Freeman (Sherlock), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), with Angela Bassett (American Horror Story), with Forest Whitaker (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), and Andy Serkis (Avengers: Age of Ultron).

Additional cast members include Letitia Wright (Urban Hymn), Winston Duke (Modern Family), Florence Kasumba (Emerald City), Sterling K. Brown (The People v. O.J. Simpson) and John Kani (Coriolanus).

Ryan Coogler directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is in theaters now. Spider-Man: Homecoming lands on July 7, 2017, followed by Thor: Ragnarok on November 3, 2017. After that Black Panther debuts on February 16, 2018, while Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on May 4, 2018. Ant-Man and the Wasp is slated for July 6, 2018, followed by Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019.

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