One of the standout attractions in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War from Joe and Anthony Russo was everything having to do with Black Panther. Besides a comic book icon coming to life, Chadwick Boseman’s sleek armored costume was a visual feast. But artist Jerad S. Marantz, a 15-year industry vet who worked in-house at Marvel during the film’s pre-production, posted on his personal blog some early concepts that were passed over.
Compared to the armor-centric designs in the final version, Marantz’s designs make the Black Panther resemble a big action figure. His Black Panther sports an intricate, organic design, as if the wearer’s body was dyed obsidian and his body sprouted plates and the muscle was exposed (ew). It’s really neat, and makes me wonder if this is something we’d see in a Marvel movie from Alien director Ridley Scott. But it’s also clearly not in line with the aesthetics of Marvel Studios. I could imagine a ton of CGI needed to make it work, and Marvel historically prefers practical effects for its costumes.
Still, it’s all really cool. It’s still distinctly Black Panther, particularly with the mask/cowl that could have almost had gold eyes like T’Challa has in some comics.
Marantz also had another design on his personal blog that more closely resembles the final costume seen in the final film, with Panther’s silver necklace and metal claws. But it’s also more pronounced in its weave, particularly around the shoulders, chest, and feet.
The Black Panther’s costume in Civil War is one of my favorite superhero costumes of all time, but it is fascinating to see these early designs. I wouldn’t want to see many upgrades or changes in 2018’s Black Panther from Ryan Coogler, but some of Marantz’s ideas wouldn’t be bad to lift from.