Black Panther: Wananda Forever Concept Artist Gives Princess Shuri Wings

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New Black Panther: Wakanda Forever concept art depicting Shuri (Letitia Wright) with wings went viral online. The concept artist Phil Saunders shared a previous design for Shuri and Ironheart in Wakanda Forever.

Phil Saunders posted the artwork on his Instagram, which features Shuri with golden comic wings on her back and her Vibranium gauntlets around her arms. In the artwork, you can also see Ironheart (Riri Williams) and Shuri mid-air. The outfits we all saw in the movie significantly differ from those in this feature; these costumes were designed before it was decided that princess Shuri would be the new Black Panther. Saunders said that the nanotech wings inspired Shuri’s look she donned in the Ironheart comic series.

Saunders mentioned that this design stood offered before the passing of Chadwick Boseman. He said it was one of his unused designs for Shuri in Wakanda Forever before finalizing that she was taking on the Black Panther mantle. Saunders’ colleague, Adi Granov’s concept painting, is a full-body image of Shuri’s Black Panther armor, which differs from the version she displayed in the concluded film in several ways. According to Granov, the gauntlets he designed fit into the armor’s forearms more seamlessly than the ones in the movie.



In his Instagram post, Saunders captioned, “This is a tough one to post.”

He wrote, “This was my earliest image for #blackpanther #wakandaforever, painted months before # chadwickboseman’s tragic passing. At the time, we knew very little of the story for BP2 (which was destined to change in any case), so I was going off of the Wakandan run of the #ironheart comic book for tone and context. However, as you can see, the seeds of the final Mk2 suit were already there in the copper coloring, overall heart theme, the profile of the mask, and even the introduction of braid-like vanes on the helmet. Here I was going for a much cleaner, skintight suit; however, with an intersecting curve theme, I imagined was Riri mathematically optimizing panel breakups for maximum flexibility.”

“During that period, I did another image pairing Riri and Shuri that everyone loved at the time but feels jarringly off-tone now,” he added. “It features the pair standing on a balcony in Wakanda, Riri (in prototype mk1 armor) obliviously taking a selfie with the princess like a wide-eyed tourist while Shuri gives her the grumpy side-eye, a reflection of their rocky start in the comics. Maybe by the time the art book comes out, the loss won’t be so raw, and we’ll be able to look back at it as a vision of what might have been in a more innocent time.”

Wakanda Forever Concept Artists Share Their Work

Wesley Burt, a Black Panther: Wakanda Forever pre-production team member, recently shared a series of Princess Shuri designs. The artwork Burt shared represented different iterations of the same underlying illustration of Shuri in her Black Panther armor. You can see the changing colors and different accessories in both images. One of the most striking iterations is a version of the Wakandan princess’ look, including a sheer red shawl. In another, she wears the horn earrings that appear in the sequel’s funeral scene.

Neither of Burt’s designs included wings for Shuri, but the concept artist was instrumental in visualizing the feather-like appendages protruding from Namor’s feet. During a recent Twitter thread, Burt shared his renderings of Namor’s ankle wings and commentary on the process. The comics-based wings resulted from a lot of footwing exploration and experimentation. It was my job to flesh out the finalized version as much as possible to send down the pipeline. Hopefully, a rough anatomical breakdown helped!”

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