In Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America sported a pretty sweet new shield, courtesy of his friends in Wakanda but, if recently revealed concept art is any indication, those shields could have been much deadlier than what we saw on screen.
Steve Rogers didn’t just (temporarily) lose some of his biggest allies in Captain America: Civil War. He also lost track of his signature shield, which wound up in the hands of Tony Stark. Once it became clear that Thanos was aiming to cause some serious damage, Captain America knew he needed some new protective gear, and ye got it by way of T’Challa and his friends, who hooked the superhero up with some vibranium arm shields.
The new shields Steve Rogers sported in Infinity War were awesome in their own right. However, Marvel’s Head of Visual Development recently revealed some concept art that showed off a different iteration on the arm shields, seemingly inspired by Black Panther himself. In two posts on his Instagram, Ryan Meinerding offered up glimpses of what Captain America’s armor could have looked like.
In the first post, we see that the shields are somewhat similar to what we see in Infinity War. However, there’s one crucial change from page to screen -- the original concept featured retractable talons that are a bit reminiscent of T’Challa’s own powerful weaponry. Take a look below:
The second post shows concept art from the Infinity War battle in which Captain America is putting those talons to good use fighting off one of Thanos’ alien allies: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-AaiySp9Z-/
Though the original vision for the arm shields share a similar size and color scheme to what ended up in Infinity War, it’s hard to argue that the addition of those talons wouldn’t have been pretty cool. Still, the shields that end up on Captain America’s arms are nothing to shake your head at -- and they certainly helped him get the job done when the big battle came.
Ryan Meinerding didn’t expand on why they were left out of the final design, though. But to be fair, he’s been pretty busy sharing all kinds of concept art with fans over the past few days, including a glimpse at the potential damage Thanos could have done to Cap’s original shield in Endgame. He also revealed a pretty heartbreaking rendering of Vision’s final moments in Infinity War. If he keeps this up, we could have enough concept art to piece together a whole different version of the movie.
At the moment, new concept art is the closest thing we’re going to get to fresh MCU content. Black Widow’s release date has been pushed back, and there’s no telling when coronavirus-related production delays will be over -- so it could be quite some time before more new Marvel content is coming our way.