We’re big fans of alternate movie history. For example, what Wonder Woman looked like in George Miller’s abandoned Justice League movie. Or how if Sir Ian McKellen had accepted the offer to be in Mission: Impossible 2, he may never have been Magneto or Gandalf. Those are pretty major alternate reality movie changes, though. Sometimes the way things could have played out are purely cosmetic.
We’ve already seen a proposed, but unused, design for the bad guy in Captain America: Civil War, and now we’ve got a look at an alternate version of one of the good guys. These Black Panther pitches come from artist Jerad S. Marantz (via Screen Rant), who was working in Marvel’s visual development team during Civil War’s production. Obviously they’re not quite as drastic as those Baron Zemo changes, but it’s still a cool peek into what could have been.
These designs take on a more veiny, muscular thrust, which is certainly imposing but that lack of skin, so to speak, covering the muscle also makes the character look like an alien. That difference could work – Wakanda is basically like an alien society to the rest of the world – but it would have looked extra jarring standing alongside the more simple designs we’re used to in the MCU.
As a comparison, here’s what the Panther ended up looking like. And you can head to Marantz’s site for more concept art.