There’s no other way around it – Captain America: Civil War is a triumph of comic book filmmaking. The dynamic between our heroes was incredible, and the rift between both Steve Rogers and Tony Stark served as a great reflection on the divisive times America is going through right now. As great as those elements were, two of the standout pieces to Civil War’s puzzle were the additions of Black Panther and Spider-Man.
Both Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland nailed these iconic superheroes. The former had a significant challenge to introduce audiences to T’challa, and the moment we first see him in his vibranium suit appear onscreen for the first time, we were blown away.
As for Holland, he had to follow in the footsteps of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Becoming the new web head now present in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is no easy feat, but Holland surely blew us all away. I can still remember when the final trailer for Civil War broke the internet and we see Spider-Man grab Cap’s shield, and we see his new suit, with the perfect animated eyes.
On an aesthetic level, the costume designers hit it out of the park with these two suits, staying true to the spirit of the comics as well as looking great onscreen without being too goofy. In an interview with IGN, costume designer Judiana Makovsky discussed the approach to designing both Black Panther and Spider-Man’s suits.
(On Black Panther): When you work with Marvel and there are all these other movies, you kind of have to collaborate with all these other films, or you know if it’s coming up and you don’t want to make too much of a statement for the next film so that they can do their own thing — particularly, Black Panther. So those kinds of costumes I work very closely with Marvel’s visual development team.
Makovsky expresses throughout this interview that her collaboration with Marvel did not just stop with Kevin Feige and the Russo Brothers. She also had to work closely with the designers for both Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming and Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther.
The directors for each different film, they have a true vision of how to translate that to their film, and also what kind of costumes they want. What is the palette? What is the tone? These characters go from my movie to somebody else’s movie, or their character comes in my movie. Absolutely you collaborate with these other designers and the other films. It’s a very unusual concept. Other films — when you’re not working for Marvel, it doesn’t work that way.
It seems that the collaboration really paid off. I cannot wait to see what these costume designers are going to bring to both Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Panther. In regards to the latter, I am especially curious to see how the designs of other Wakandians will translate onscreen.