Despite the fact that it’s been more than ten years since the debut of Iron Man in 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows no signs of slowing down. Marvel Studios is already looking to the future with Blade, The Eternals, and more Spider-Man, following the huge success of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, two game-changing event films that included a decade’s worth of characters. With the advent of Disney+, the exclusive home of streaming series like Ms. Marvel and WandaVision, the MCU welcomes even more Marvel superheroes.
The MCU is spectacular, but not everything about it is set in stone. Various Marvel heroes, such as Thor, Black Panther, and Thanos, have radically different looks and attitudes in early MCU concept art. Ryan Meinerding, the Head of Visual Development at Marvel Studios, Andy Park, the Director of Visual Development at Marvel Studios, Charlie Wen, the Head of Visual Development for films like Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ant-Man, and Justin Sweet, who has worked on several MCU films, shared this beautifully illustrated Marvel concept art on Instagram.
Artist: Here’s the entire look at the early pass at Starlord I painted during the beginning of production on #GuardiansoftheGalaxy Going for a bit of a piecemealed feel with this one #starlord
2. Iron Man
Artist: Here is an unused Iron Man Mark 45 design done for Avengers: Age of Ultron!
3. The Mandarin
Artist: This is an early image of the Mandarin from Iron Man 3!
Artist: And one more unused Hulkbuster design!
Artist: Spidey’s new Webwings! Here are a few versions exploring materials for Far From Home. They turned out so cool in the film!
6. Captain Marvel
Artist: One of my 1st design passes I painted up of Captain Marvel over 3 years ago. Wow, time flies! 🙂 Usually, in doing character designs they’re always standing firmly on the ground. It was a breath of fresh air to design her flying for a change.
7. Black Panther
Artist: Here’s another concept design version I did of T’Chaka, the former Black Panther. I HAD to do a version of the Black Panther with his classic cape look! My previous post shows the approved version Ryan Coogler decided to go with. What a fun character to design!
Artist: Ultimate Thor! This was an early design pitch I proposed before we knew Thor’s hair would be short at the beginning of Infinity War. It’s always a blast to translate something as directly as possible from the comics! The awesome comic design is by the insanely talented Bryan Hitch.
Artist: Another closeup of a Mantis design variation I painted up early on during the pre-production phase of the film.
10. Doctor Strange
Artist: And here’s the full image of one of the Doctor Strange concept designs I did for the film.
11. The Vision
Artist: This is an unused design for The Vision from Avengers: Age of Ultron!
Artist:This is a closeup of one of 1st past concept designs I did of the original Wasp from Ant-Man.
Artist: Sketch of young Thanos for Avengers Infinity War.