Black Panther Concept Art Shows Character's Early Designs

Marvel Black Panther

Captain America: Civil War has been an unquestionable success for Marvel Studios in 2016. Not only has it made over $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office, but directors Anthony and Joe Russo created a Cap movie (spearheaded by Chris Evans) that included a host of familiar and new Marvel faces to excellent effect. Franchise regulars Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), War Machine (Don Cheadle), and Vision (Paul Bettany), were joined by the newest hero Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), who shared the screen with Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) for the first time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And it was the introduce of the latter two - Spider-Man and Black Panther - that got audiences the most excited during Civil War. It was the first time the rights had been granted for Marvel to use Spidey in one of their movies; but more significantly, the impact and popularity of Black Panther generated all the more interest in his upcoming solo movie, with what looks like one of the studio's most exciting casts ever. Alongside Boseman as its leading hero, Lupita Nyong'o (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Michael B. Jordan (Creed) are set to forge a strong lineup under the direction of Creed and Fruitvale Station helmsman Ryan Coogler.

With Black Panther not due out until 2018, speculation over whether his suit would be tweaked or even changed (much like we've seen with Captain America and Thor in various Marvel movies) is a hot topic at the moment. But now, and rather interestingly so, a number of original concept ideas for Panther's suit has been released by artist Jerad S. Marantz: the talent who designed the character's outfit for Civil War.

Black Panther concept art, Chadwick Boseman

Sharing the detailed artistry of the initial live-action vision of the MCU version of Black Panther (see above), Marantz reminisced over his memories of the experience:

"I had the honor of doing some early passes on the Black Panther while working in-house at Marvel with their amazing Visual Development team. It was a great project and ended up being one of my favorite Marvel Movies."

Black Panther concept art, Chadwick Boseman

And with the warm reception the formidable hero (known as T'Challa when out of the costume) and Civil War itself received, it's great to see how the visual style of the comic book icon began and indeed developed over the course of pre-production via the Visual Development team - as seen the images above and below, too.

Black Panther concept art, Chadwick Boseman

What's striking here is the strong emphasis on a musculature-type suit for the vigilante. It looks like his ligaments and tissue and muscles are all bare, having his skin stripped back, which creates an intimidating, powerful appearance. The costume then gradually moves away from that exposed aesthetic to more of a futuristic body suit armor fit for a soldier. In fact, the general appearance begins to look a little like Spider-Man antithesis Venom. What we see in the final film, however, is something that's designed even further away from that comparison, now sporting a more hardenend, solid, metallic design that appears less organic and more suitable for battle.

In truth, the practicality of physically making what ideas were originally conceived may have proven too difficult - especially without incorporating CGI into the mix. And as is true for a majority of Marvel Studios' creative choices, this successfully introduced Black Panther as a formidable, complex and hugely intriguing addition to the MCU's superhero roster.

Next: Black Panther Casting Ape-Man & White Wolf?

Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.

Source: Jerad S. Marantz

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