Marvel Studios Concept Artist Andy Park On Comic Accurate Costumes And Scarlet Witch's Evolution (Exclusive)

Talking to us about his work on Thor: Love and Thunder, Marvel Studios Director of Visual Development Andy Park explains the MCU's approach to comic-accurate costumes and tracks Scarlet Witch's evolution.

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For those of you who have been following the MCU from the very start, we're sure you'll agree it's been quite an experience watching this world evolve. Marvel Studios has always borrowed heavily from the comic books, never shying away from a big part of what makes superheroes so super: their costumes. 

Despite that, it definitely feels like the MCU's success has allowed Kevin Feige and his talented team of concept artists to embrace the source material in a way they might not necessarily have done back in the late 2000s. It was a different time then, of course, and that first team of Avengers was definitely inspired heavily by the grounded team known as The Ultimates.

Talking to us about his jaw-dropping, colourful work on Thor: Love and Thunder, Marvel Studios Director of Visual Development Andy Park shared his take on whether the MCU has become more comic accurate in recent years.

"You know, I’ve heard some internet chatter with people saying that in recent times [the costumes] are more comic accurate, but I don’t know," he admits in the video below. "I’ve been working here since 2010, I worked on the first Captain America and then pretty much everything since. I feel like we’re just doing the same thing we’ve always done. When I see some of the early costumes, they’re quite comic accurate from Captain America to Iron Man to Hulk to Thor [Laughs]. Even Black Widow and Hawkeye. A lot of the originals are pretty comic-accurate."

"Of course, there are going to be some characters throughout the years that veered away from some of that. You could say Ant-Man is quite a departure from the original comics. For me, I feel like we’re continuing what it is," Park continues. "There’s no mandate saying, ‘Oh, let’s be more comic accurate through the years.’ There’s nothing like that and, to me and the filmmakers, nothing had changed."
 


Park would then go on to share a rare insight into Marvel Studios' process when it comes to adapting the costumes we see on the page, using the Scarlet Witch as an example.

Reflecting on her introduction in Avengers: Age of Ultron and how her appearance evolved right through to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the artist talks in detail about the long journey he went on to bring the costume he loves from the comics to the screen. 

"Really, it comes down to two things. The filmmaker and the script. [For] something like Scarlet Witch, I worked on Avengers: Age of Ultron and her designs. Because I’m a fan and read comics in the 1980s, the first thing I did without reading a script was a comic-accurate version. I did it and then I read the script and went, ‘There’s no way they’re going to pick this. It doesn’t make sense. She’s not a superhero or a supervillain; she’s just a Sokovian.’ I did it with the crown and, of course, in that meeting, they said, ‘Nice try, It doesn’t make sense.’ The fan in me was disappointed that she just wears a red jacket, but it’s a nod to the comics through real-world clothing."

"Then, I did an updated design in Civil War and then when we got to WandaVision, that’s when I read the script and talked to the producer Mary Livanos and was like, ‘There’s a plan, right? There’s a reason now we get to see this? She was never called the Scarlet Witch. It was always Wanda Maximoff and now she becomes the Scarlet Witch.’ That’s not comic-accurate," Park continues. "'That’s not how things went. She was called Scarlet Witch from the get-go, but the genius of what Kevin [Feige] and these creators do, and we help contribute to that, is seeing this fuller journey where she becomes Scarlet Witch and it justifies why she has a comic accurate costume."

"It becomes more valuable than if we just saw from the get-go wearing this Scarlet Witch costume we see in WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Nothing has really changed to answer your question. [Laughs]"

These insights are fascinating, and regardless of how these characters evolve, it's clear the Marvel Studios mandate has remained the same. No matter what the heroes and villains we see on screen wear, the first priority is the story, hence why we've had to wait a little longer for certain characters to don costumes more in line with what we've seen on the page. 

Be sure to check back here next week for our full interview with Andy or watch it now in the video above!

Thor: Love and Thunder is now available on Digital and will be available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD September 27.
 


 

 
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