Early Black Panther Concept Art Features A Batman Style Mask

Artist Jerad S. Marantz has shared a piece of very interesting concept art from Marvel Studios' Black Panther, revealing a rather different approach to T’Challa’s now-iconic costume.

"I was on the movie briefly working under the direction of the head of visual development @ryan_meinerding_art I tried to incorporate Ryan’s design language he established in the original design from #captainamericacivilwar," Marantz explained in his Instagram post. "This pass was about using very minimal armor and really just seeing what we could do with fabric alone. The director wanted to see this option. In the early days of the comic black panther had a half mask briefly."

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Though longtime fans will likely recognize the inspiration for MArantz's design as coming from a brief era in the '60s when the Black Panther wore a mask that covers only half his face, those less familiar with Marvel Comics history might see an influence from another universe's premiere superhero.

This is understandable, of course; the Panther mask in Marantz's design is less black than it is dark gray, and the hi-tech appearance of the costume's material evokes more of a Batman feel than it does the African influence Marvel's costumers would eventually incorporate into T'Challa's suit, as well as all of Wakanda. Even the now-signature necklace that accents the Black Panther costume is re-imagined as something more akin to computer chips than the animal teeth the one seen on screen resembles.

In theaters now, director Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue, Winston Duke as M’Baku and Forest Whitaker as Zuri.

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