Marvel’s latest blockbuster, Captain America: Civil War, introduced us to – and it’s no exaggeration to say that he was one of the stars of the show! Black Panther plays , learning to reject revenge even as Tony Stark pursues it, and visually is every bit as impressive as he is in the narrative. But how was that pulled off? Little by little, interviews and concept art are combining to give us a glimpse of a unique superhero design…
THE BLACK PANTHER COSTUME
It’s no surprise that the Black Panther’s costume was a major piece of work. Over in the comics, it’s usually presented as a fairly simple affair; a black bodysuit, form-fitting and with distinctive muscle-tone. In Civil War, though, it was very different.
The original concept came from Marvel’s visual department, with Marvel’s visual director, Ryan Mynerding, working closely with costume designer Judiaanna Makovsky. Artist Jerad S. Marantz also worked on the concept art, and beautiful examples of their work are gradually being released on to the Internet.
The suit’s actually made up of a stretch with three interwoven textures, and some molded pieces. The focus was more on getting the look and feel of a gymnast rather than your traditionally bulky superhero. Meanwhile, the level of detail is truly remarkable. Just look at this concept art for the claw alone.
This close-up really helps you to get a sense of the design. The central idea was that the suit had to look like a woven fabric – with vibranium woven through the material. Because vibranium is a metal, of course, it also needed to have a metallic edge. And those retractable claws are featured to devastating effect in the film!
THE BLACK PANTHER CGI
But Black Panther is also a celebration of CGI. Originally, Marvel had intended to have a live actor portraying the Wakandan warrior’s moves, but during filming that plan changed. ILM visual effects supervisor Russell Earl told :