Black Panther T'Challa and Shuri

CIA honors Black Panther's Oscar nods by exploring how Wakandan tech could work in real life

Contributed by
Feb 25, 2019

Last night, Black Panther made history by winning Marvel's first-ever Oscars for Costume Design, Production Design, and Original Score. While it did not take home Best Picture, the superhero film proved that the comic book genre can stand toe-to-toe with some of Hollywood's finest cinematic offerings.

Of all the groups to celebrate the movie's major nominations, it was the CIA — yes, America's preeminent spy organization — that tweeted its jubilation over the news. However, a shoutout from the Central Intelligence Agency is pretty apt when you consider that Black Panther was described as having serious James Bond-esque undertones when it first debuted in theaters last winter.

In a series of tweets, the Agency used Panther's performance at the Oscars to promote its own "Reel vs. Real" campaign, which explores spycraft depicted in film and then seeing how it might actually work in the real world. To that end, the CIA looked at such Wakandan tools as T'Challa's kinetic-capturing super-suit, Kimoyo beads, and more.

During its examination of Vibranium, the mysterious metal that gives Wakanda a technological advantage over the rest of the world, the CIA's blog states that while it isn't real, there are substances which are slightly similar:

"Tungsten carbide is used to compress materials; at the same time it stores some of that compressive energy and can release it later. Piezoelectric materials transform vibrations into electricity (like kids’ shoes that flash when they run), a simpler form of the way Black Panther’s suit stores kinetic impacts and then releases them as energy blasts."

A sequel to Black Panther is currently in the works with Ryan Coogler returning as writer and director. As such, everyone fully expects King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) to return from Thanos' Infinity Stone snap by the end of Avengers: Endgame (out in theaters April 26).


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