In the Black Panther movie and the trailer, we see Michael B Jordan seems to posses a vibranium suit of his own.

However, according to Wakandan traditions, he doesn't wear a suit that represents the Black Panther.

Killmonger is the new Black Panther and king of Wakanda because he defeated T'Challa in mortal combat and took the throne and the title of the new Black Panther, however...

he seems to wear a customized suit depicting 'The Golden Jaguar'.

Why does he do this? Why doesn't he choose to be another Black Panther instead of choosing to be the 'Golden Jaguar'.

Not once in the film did he refer to a jaguar (I believe). He isn't from any kind of Jaguar tribe, he doesn't even mention he likes that kind of animal. So why did he choose this kind of outfit over another Black Panther one?

We must also mention he

consumed the Heart-Shaped Herb which gave him the powers of the Black Panther

Also, I do realize Marvel likes to have movie villains to be doppelgangers of the protagonist (Iron Man 1, Antman, Doctor Strange etc) but I don't understand why he chooses to change the tradition of Black Panthers.

  • Just as a fun side note. When the Black Panther suit is chosen its stated "the point is to not be seen" which as a statement embodies Wakanda's stance on interacting with the rest of the world. The gold one fits Erick well as he embodies the voice of justified outrage for people Ill equipped to protect themselves from decades of systematic oppression.
    – Riley
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 3:27

1 Answer 1


There are multiple reasons, all of them connected with each other.

First, both suits represent the Black Panther. T'Challa's sister made both for him to wear, one flashy (to show off as a king), the other more subdued one. In fact, on his first mission, T'Challa wanted to wear the golden one since he was interested in it but since he was persuaded to wear a stealthy suit for the stealth mission, so he wore "the silver" one. I guess "The Golden Jaguar" is the name from the comics.

Second, Michael B Jordan's character Erik Killmonger was trained and specialized in the destabilization of authoritative regimes. In Wakanda, he gets there, disposes of the ruler, takes over. And what do we see him do with power he gains that way?

He shows off at first and for a good reason. Earlier, we see T'Challa wear simple, traditional clothes. Why? Because the people of Wakanda know him. They all know that he is the king and there is no need for showing off. Killmonger wears flashy golden clothes with US-style shoes and pants. Why? Because his power is not certain yet, he just took over. All of his clothes scream: I am in charge. I wear the crown, I wear the gold here.

It is easier to follow a king which looks like a king, thus the golden ornaments for the benefit of his subjects. And yet, it is easier to look and act authoritatively when you're wearing your own pants and shoes, clothes you're used to and feel comfortable in.

Third, he wasn't given much chance to pick a suit. T'Challa's sister steals the suit and some other equipment before the final battle. The only remaining suits are the old suit and the new golden one. Killmonger picks the golden one. Of course he does, because that affirms his power. No shabby old suit for him, but the newest and best, fit for a king.

Fourth, why he chooses to burn the flowers and change the traditions? Because that's what newly crowned dictators do! Out with the old, in with the new, just do it fast before anyone gets funny ideas to ask you "What the hell are you doing?" and stops you. History starts with a dictator. In a few years, nobody will remember how it used to be. And those who remember will be afraid to say anything because by that time the new leader will get a chance to stabilize and fortify his power. And by burning the flowers, nobody will get any funny ideas to overthrow him, to even think about throne succession after him.

We live in the now, where I am the king. My word is law, there was no past before me and there will be no future after me.

  • 2
    Any reason for the down vote? Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 23:37
  • 2
    Nice answer, I didn't realise there was a golden suit already made for him I thought it was customized. Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 11:48
  • 4
    @MetroBoomin: They show the necklace that turns into the golden suit in the same scene that they show T'Challa first take the necklace that turns into the purple-ish suit (that he wears throughout the movie).
    – V2Blast
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 4:23
  • @V2Blast Must not have paid attention cheers for that, I genuinely thought he custom designed it Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 15:41
  • 2
    Glad to help! Shuri actually designed all 3 suits (the one T'Challa wore in Captain America: Civil War, and the two worn by him and Killmonger in the Black Panther film).
    – V2Blast
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 19:45

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