Marvel's The Avengers

Designing The Avengers: Black Widow

The deadly Black Widow gets a makeover for 'Marvel's The Avengers'!

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Earth's Mightiest Heroes assemble in your home when "Marvel's The Avengers" hits Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and DVD on September 25! We'll be celebrating the upcoming release with new interviews and features every day right here on Marvel.com, so check back daily for all things Avengers!

By Christina Pham & Marc Strom

Many fans identify Black Widow with her iconic look marked by a black jumpsuit and gauntlets, and with a significant role in “Marvel’s The Avengers” they got to see even more of that design in action.

Black Widow concept art from "Marvel's The Avengers" by Andy Park

Andy Park took on the task of tweaking the Widow’s previous cinematic design and putting together a more combat-friendly design for Widow’s jumpsuit. Having previously contributed designs to “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Thor,” Park continued to dabble in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with “Marvel’s The Avengers,” designing costumes for Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Maria Hill and the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in addition to the Black Widow.

Marvel.com: Black Widow’s costume is one of the more understated of the entire group because it’s really just the jumpsuit, but there are so many details incorporated. Were there any challenges you encountered in that respect?

Andy Park: Since Widow appeared in “Iron Man 2,” we had to start from there. Widow was one they were pretty happy with, so they didn’t want to deviate too far from that. From there, I did versions where she was a little more armored up for heavy combat.  In this film, she’s going into full-on combat, so I did versions with more armor. We also looked at the comics and her gauntlet is the most iconic thing, aside from the cat suit.

Marvel.com: Were you conscious of infusing some element so she could stand alongside the super powered Hulk, Captain America, Thor and Iron Man and look like she belonged since she was one of two human characters in the group?

"Marvel's The Avengers" keyframe art by Andy Park

Andy Park: When we designed all the characters we were always keeping the others in mind. But at the end of the day, we knew the ones that were going to stand out were Hulk, Captain America, Thor and Iron Man because they are the most fantastical, versus the ones I designed, which were more S.H.I.E.L.D.-based--Widow, Hawkeye and the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.

We had to tread that line between [making sure] they fit into the Avengers roster, but at the same time, I knew that their costumes had to look like they were made by S.H.I.E.L.D. Theirs were the most muted, so it couldn’t be too super hero-ish. It was more utilitarian and practical, more military-style combat suits.

Marvel.com: Were there any comic versions of Widow that you gravitated towards and kept around as a key reference when you were designing her?

Andy Park: As far as I know, Widow is one of the characters whose look has been pretty much the same, as far as the readers and public know, [with] the red hair and black cat suit. The only other thing that stands out are her gauntlets.

Marvel.com: You keep referencing her gauntlets. I’m curious to know how much time you spent focusing on those and whether or not they were difficult?

Andy Park: I wanted the gauntlets to be more utilitarian, so I did try to make them look like they had some tech in them. The initial intent was to have the gauntlets more teched out, instead of just a fashion accessory.

Pre-order your copy of "Marvel's The Avengers" now, available September 25 on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and DVD!

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