King T’Chaka wears a comics-accurate cape in a newly released piece of Black Panther concept art. Veteran concept artist and Marvel Studios visual development supervisor Andy Park served as one of the main concept illustrators for Black Panther, and his work played a big role in the movie’s visual treats. The Ryan Coogler-directed movie is, of course, a massive success and has a chance to become the biggest in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Despite Black Panther’s impressive achievements in its first two weekends, that doesn’t mean the movie was a wholly faithful adaptation of the comics. Coogler made changes both big and small with characters both major and minor, and that includes main character T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman). And visually, it appears that the director had a chance to give Black Panther his classic cape at some point – but at some point decided against it.
Park revealed via Twitter on Sunday the detailed design of an alternate concept of King T’Chaka, “the former Black Panther”, complete with a cape. The tone of Park’s tweet suggests that there was never much of a chance for the titular hero to don the cape; he says “I HAD to do a version” with the classic look. It’s unclear whether T’Challa ever had a chance to wear the cape himself. As you see below, the concept art depicts Black Panther with a black & gold suit complete with the cape, in addition to the large collar that was the character’s signature for a long time in the comics. Check it out:
This is an alternate concept design I did on the film of the former Black Panther, T’Chaka! I HAD to do a version w/his classic cape look from the comics. #BlackPanther #WakandaForever #conceptart #costumedesign pic.twitter.com/eLgHZG7aNG
— Andy Park (@andyparkart) February 25, 2018
Interestingly enough, the gold look ended up being more a part of the Vibranium suit worn by Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) during the movie’s climactic battle scenes. Additionally, fellow artist and Marvel Studios head of visual development Ryan Meinerding recently revealed an unused design for Killmonger’s suit.
Of course, this is just the latest stunningly detailed concept art from Park, one of the best and most reliable concept artists in the industry. And while it’s curious that the cape never found its way into the movie – whether through a T’Chaka flashback or as part of T’Challa’s look – it did at least have some influence on the movie, presumably, due to the final look of Killmonger’s costume.
Black Panther made bigger changes to the movie. Namely, Killmonger’s backstory and the relationship between T’Challa and the Dora Milaje. It’s a much more important change that movie T’Challa is older than his comic book counterpart than the fact that he lacks a cape. The movie arguably had some missed opportunities to at least make a nod to the cape, however, with the numerous ceremonial-type scenes taking place in Wakanda. But with Black Panther’s presence and influence in the MCU only beginning, there’s still a chance that the cape makes a comeback.
Source: Andy Park
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