Ryan Meinerding has revealed his original design for Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok. Undoubtedly one of the critical and commercial cinematic highlights of 2017, the third solo adventure for Marvel's God of Thunder saw the titular hero lose his hammer, his friends and his people and wind up alone on the planet Sakaar, desperate to return home and teach the villainous Hela a thundery lesson.
One of the most notable supporting figures in Thor: Ragnarok was fellow Asgardian, Valkyrie. Although Thor finds Thompson's character working as a mercenary for Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster, Valkyrie used to be one of Odin's elite warriors until Hela stepped in and decimated her squadron. The feisty bounty hunter is initially reluctant to join Thor in his quest to save Asgard but, of course, eventually relents and joins "The Revengers" to kick some Nordic ass. The character was certainly well received by fans and although much of the credit for this must go to the actress herself, Valkyrie's strong visual appearance also played a key role.
Character designer and Marvel Studios' Head of Visual Development, Ryan Meinerding, has now revealed his initial concept art for the character. Featuring the likeness of Tessa Thompson, the angular and metallic design is battle-ready with a black, blue and gray color scheme and two blades - one on the back and one on the hip. Check out the design below:
— Ryan Meinerding (@MeinerdingArt) January 3, 2018
Considering this was the first pass at designing Valkyrie, the concept art is surprisingly close to the eventual outfit worn by the character while on Sakaar. Although the final design sees Valkyrie in more simple, leather attire, the colors, shape and white face paint are remarkably similar to her final look. It could be said that this concept art is somewhat of a mixture between Valkyrie's two main wardrobes in Thor: Ragnarok: her casual mercenary gear and her Asgardian final battle garb that features the blue cape and armor-like qualities from Meinerding's original design.
It's clear to see how this initial pass influenced Valkyrie's finished design in Thor: Ragnarok - a somewhat surprising feat considering that most first concept art attempts end up sharing very little in common with the finished product. The art does, however, suggest that Marvel Studios always intended to steer away from Valkyrie's comic appearance. Although the print version of the character is just as strong and intimidating as Thompson's incarnation, it was probably a wise decision for the live-action version to drop the Madonna-esque cone-shaped breastplates.
Source: Ryan Meinerding (via Twitter)
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