Killmonger’s scars reflect an ancient African tradition known as Scarification, and many artists tried their hands at portraying the body morphing progress of the character, leaning into different designs. Each of them was carefully looked over and featured ideas ranging from deliberately patterned scars to chaotic misalignment. One artist went so far as to plot out the Killmonger’s scars in a mirror, making sure he knew just where the character’s hands could reach.
Marvel played with the design of Killmonger’s “Golden Jaguar” costume for a while, making sure that his Scarification played a role in the final product. Artist Ryan Meinerding eventually came up with the look that the movie needed. Concept sculptor Adam Ross helped Marvel filter through the different achievable colors to perfectly match the design of Killmonger’s suit, using a 3-D sculpt program.
He explained, “Toward the end of the design process, it was decided to push the gold accents quite a bit further than we had previously. To that end, the bulk of the new gold color was going to be on the helmet. I quickly submitted about half a dozen variations on new gold patterns specifically for the helmet that I felt were in line with codified Wakandan design language, while dialing up the saturation on the suit’s leopard print. At that point, everything fell into place, and the final design was approved.”
These designs only scratch the surface of how much of an effort was put into the entirety of Black Panther. The film is now in theaters and slowly but surely coming close to the $1 billion mark in global ticket sales.