Marvel has just released some concept art that reveals what the Killmonger suit almost looked like in Black Panther and it’s surprisingly close to the Ta-Nehisi Coates version of the character. Black Panther continues to break records and has now become the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s biggest week-long earner at the box office at $292 million domestically, outselling the previous record holder The Avengers. The total comes to $520 million worldwide in only 7 day, making it one of the biggest movies, not just superhero movies, in recent times and it’s still going.
Interest in Black Panther is far reaching, getting people into the theaters who normally wouldn’t see a superhero movie from word of mouth as well as the cultural significance. The Kendrick Lamar curated soundtrack is number one on the Billboard music chart and fans are looking into the original score by Ludwig Goransson to see where in Africa some of the instruments that he used were from. Now, we get a chance to check out what Erik Killmonger’s suit almost looked like in the movie, and it’s pretty awesome.
Marvel concept artist Ryan Meinerding took to social media to share one of the unused designs for Killmonger’s costume. Instead of the gold that is shown off in the final product, we’re treated to a more nuanced look, that is all black and sleek. The mask is more of a traditional panther face and as previously noted it actually looks really close to Ta-Nehisi Coates version of the character in his current run of Black Panther graphic novels. In the Ta-Nehisi Coates pages, the suit is designed by Brian Stelfreeze. The suit is quietly menacing and there’s hope amongst fans that it might show up at some point in the future.
The detail in the unused Killmonger suit is pretty amazing and it makes one wonder why the suit didn’t at least make an appearance for a brief moment. The panther face with gray eyes is less torturous looking than the gold version that ended up in Black Panther. Additionally, the suit also shows of the scarification of the character with the raised lines and bumps on full display. Some of the elements made it into the final version of the suit, but this is a really cool representation of the big screen version mixed with the comics.
Everybody seems to be a fan of Killmonger now that Black Panther is out in theaters. In a recent interview, rapper Kendrick Lamar has revealed that if he could play a character in the sequel, he’d like to play a character like Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger. Lamar showing up in the sequel to Black Panther would be pretty cool, but one has to doubt that he’d get to play an awesome villain. You can check out the unused version of the Killmonger suit below, thanks to Marvel concept artist Ryan Meinerding’s Twitter account.
This is an unused Panther design I did. The bundles of rough thread are to represent Killmonger’s scarification. @N_I_Z_Z_I incorporated that in the final Killmonger design. Final #BlackPanther design is by the amazing @Adi_Granovpic.twitter.com/pXj4IvsUyA
— Ryan Meinerding (@MeinerdingArt) February 21, 2018