It’s been more or less a month since the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in theaters and concept art for the film has started to come out. Knowing me, I’m particularly interested in those of Ironheart and the ones we have reveal some concepts that unfortunately didn’t make it to the film.
First is what’s technically Ironheart Mark 2, courtesy of concept artist Phil Saunders (IG/philjdsaunders).
Now, I say “technically” because we didn’t see this version of the armor in the film and instead saw the bulkier version that eventually got a Marvel Legends figure (#2010 / Marvel Legends Series / Ironheart Mark 2). The original concept is that during the climactic battle, Riri Williams goes out and adds extra armor components to the Mark 2 and it becomes what we saw in the film. During the battle, Riri would have an underwater battle with Namora which damages the suit and forces her to purge all the upgraded parts to reveal the base armor you see here.
The concept art still has the armor in orange which will eventually become the red that pays closer homage to the legacy of Tony Stark and Iron Man.
Phil Saunders also reveals how the base armor fits within the “Mark 2.5” upgrades which reveal that the back thruster pods, the forearm gauntlets, and the much longer leg units are all added armor parts. With these revealed, the initially weird proportion of the armor now makes much more sense. And it is quite unfortunate that the aforementioned scene was left on the cutting room floor.
Since this configuration didn’t appear on-screen and isn’t canon to the events of the film, I doubt any action figures of the base armor would be released. But now that these concept illustrations have been released, third parts companies can do their thing, I guess?
Josh Nizzi (IG/joshnizzi.art) also revealed production art for the film, these include the Mark 1 exosuit, which I’m still hoping some company release a figure of, as well as the Midnight Angel suits that Okoye used.
You can check out the Instagram accounts of both artists I linked above for more illustrations, which include the really cool 3D turnarounds of the “Mark 2.5” concept in x-ray view.