Killmonger. The throwing wig. M’Baku. At a certain point watching Black Panther, I didn’t think I could enjoy the film more than I already was, but then our lord and savior Ryan Coogler had to throw in a shield cape.
A SHIELD CAPE.
For those who haven’t seen Black Panther yet—looking at the box-office numbers, there are approximately two of you—the shield cape is a fashionable bit of tactical garb worn by the Wakandan Border Tribe, of which T’Challa’s BFF W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) is a member. Crafted by Black Panther costume designer Ruth E. Carter, it’s a snazzy garment that utilizes a blend of different patterns and a shoulder … hoop … thing … that keeps it attached to its wearer’s body. It also, as we see in the third-act battle between the Border Tribe and the Dora Milaje, is a high-tech bit of BAMFery that can repel incoming projectiles.
Yeah, W’Kabi rolling up on a war rhino is pretty cool. But is it cape shield wall cool? No, shush, it is not. I bet the shield cape even has pockets. It's probably a wi-fi hotspot. It can walk your dog, babysit your children, and water your plants.
Captain America’s shield: It’s iconic, but is it a fashion statement? Can it double as a comfy blanket? No. W’kabi’s shield cape does what the world of Wakanda as a whole does so well: blending an eye-catching visual aesthetic with high-tech practicality.
I wonder what else in Wakanda is capes.
Toaster? Cape toaster.
Coffee machine? Cape coffee machine.
Defibrillator? Cape defibrillator.
Can I move there?