Asgardian power is celebrated at GOMA

 

Inspired by Norse mythology, Asgard is home to a proud intergalactic warrior race, first seen in Thor 2011 and later in Thor: The Dark World 2013. The Asgardians have been responsible for keeping the peace across the interconnected realms scattered throughout the stars, known as the Nine Realms. Ruled by Odin, King of Asgard, the realm of Asgard was home to Queen Frigga and sons Thor and Loki, until dynastic rivalry saw the family torn apart and Loki’s animosity spill across the universe, wreaking havoc on Earth.

The ‘Asgard: Protector of the Nine Realms’ room in Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ celebrates the heart of Asgardian power – the Throne Room of Asgard. It features major set pieces from the forthcoming Thor: Ragnarok 2017, and costumes and weaponry from Thor: The Dark World 2013.

Asgardian throne room

Installation view of the majestic Asgardian throne room from the upcoming Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok 2017, 'Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe', GOMA 2017
Installation view of the majestic Asgardian throne room from the upcoming Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok 2017, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017 featuring Volstagg costume from Thor: The Dark World 2013; Sif costume from Thor: The Dark World 2013; Frigga costume from Thor: The Dark World 2013; Odin costume from Thor 2011; Thor costume from Thor: The Dark World 2013; Loki costume from Thor: The Dark World 2013; Jane Foster Asgardian costume from Thor: The Dark World 2013; Hogun costume from Thor: The Dark World 2013; and Fandral costume from Thor: The Dark World 2013 / © 2017 Marvel / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

Detail of Thor’s costume in the Asgardian throne room ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe, GOMA 2017 © 2017 Marvel / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

Asgardian life

Situated on opposite sides of the throne are two significant elements of Asgardian life – its history as detailed in the Book of Yggdrasil, depicting The Birth of the Nine Realms; and The Observatory, a gateway between Asgard and the rest of the universe. Gatekeeper of Asgard, Heimdall’s costume, sword and dais are also on display.

Installation view of Asgard: Protector of the Nine Realms and costumes from the upcoming Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok 2017, Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe, GOMA 2017
Installation view of the ‘Asgard: Protector of the Nine Realms’, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017 featuring Heimdall costume from Thor 2011; Heimdall’s sword from Thor: Ragnarok 2017; and Heimdall’s Observatory dais from Thor: The Dark World 2013 / © 2017 MARVEL

Installation views of the ‘Asgard: Protector of the Nine Realms’, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017 featuring Thor’s hammer (Mjolnir) on stand from Thor 2011 / © 2017 MARVEL / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

DELVE DEEPER INTO THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE and WATCH OUR BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEOS

Go behind the scenes of ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ to experience more than 500 unique objects from your favourite films, never-before-seen iconic objects which offer a glimpse into the work of production designers, storyboarding and pre‑visualisation artists, costume and prop designers, and visual effects artists alongside the original comic books which introduced the characters and influenced the films.

TICKETS CINEMAEXHIBITION | UP LATE / BUY THE PUBLICATION

Purchase tickets for ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe‘ online or at the ticket desk 10.00am-4.00pm daily, and until 8.00pm Wednesday. ‘Marvel’ film screenings and ‘Marvel’ Up Late are separate ticketed events.

Amanda Slack-Smith is exhibition curator ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ and Associate Curator, Australian Cinémathèque, QAGOMA

Andy Park talks to us about his creative role at Marvel

 

Andy Park is currently Visual Development Supervisor at Marvel Studios. Together with serving as a concept artist (designing the characters and illustrating keyframe story moments), he also leads his department and a team of artists working on several films, including: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 2017, Thor: Ragnarok 2017 and Ant-Man and the Wasp 2018.

He has worked on every Marvel Studios film since Captain America: The First Avenger 2011. Previously, he was a leading concept artist on the God of War video game franchise. Park started his career as a comic book artist, illustrating top-selling comic books, such as Tomb Raider (Top Cow Productions) and Uncanny X-Men.

Amanda Slack-Smith, exhibition curator ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ speaks with Park about the reality of achieving his adolescent dream of being a comic book artist and expanding his career into Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. You can view his work in the GOMA exhibition until Sunday 3 September 2017.

Andy Park / Guardians of the Galaxy team / Keyframe for Guardians of the Galaxy 2014
Andy Park / Guardians of the Galaxy team / Keyframe for Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 / Above image and banner detail / © 2017 MARVEL

You originally began your career as a comic book artist, what inspired you to move into computer games, television and film?

I achieved my adolescent dream of being a comic book artist back in the 90’s working for Rob Liefeld’s Extreme Studios (Image Comics) and also did some Uncanny X-Men issues for Marvel Comics. I soon found that the artist inside of me yearned to get a formal art education. Up to that point I was a self-taught artist who knew how to draw with a pencil. But I wanted to learn how to paint, how to use other mediums, to explore the artistic possibilities. I didn’t want to “have” to draw comic books b/c that was all I knew how to do. I knew there were more options out there and I wanted to find out what they were. And a big part of that was growing myself as an artist. So I went to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California as an Illustration major. I did return to comics to work on a new Tomb Raider series for Top Cow Productions (Image Comics), but I soon decided that I wanted to expand my career outside of comic books. I loved what I was seeing in the concept art field. It was relatively a new field mainly due to the growth of the digital mediums such as Photoshop and Painter. I loved to paint and that was a career I could do that as well as design really cool character, creature, and environments. So I made the move to become a concept artist. I landed my first job at Sony Santa Monica to work on the God of War video game franchise. And after 5 years there I got hired by Marvel Studios, specifically by Ryan Meinerding and Charlie Wen, to work on their films. The rest is, as they say, history.

Can you tell us about your role as Visual Development Supervisor at Marvel Studios? What does this entail?

I became Marvel Studios’ Visual Development Supervisor about 2 ½ years ago. Between myself and Ryan Meinerding, Head of Visual Development, we split the responsibilities of leading our films. I lead the team on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and am currently leading the team on Thor: Ragnarok, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Captain Marvel. As Supervisor I interact directly with the director, executives, and the other heads of departments such as the Costume Designer, Production Designer, and Visual Effects Supervisor. I then art direct a team of concept artists who design the characters that you see in these films. We also illustrate keyframes, which are key story moments that help inform the look and feel for our films.

Andy Park / Giant-Man / Keyframe for Captain America: Civil War 2016
Andy Park / Giant-Man / Keyframe for Captain America: Civil War 2016 / © 2017 MARVEL
Andy Park / Giant-Man falling / Keyframes for Captain America: Civil War 2016 / © 2017 MARVEL
Andy Park / Giant-Man falling / Keyframes for Captain America: Civil War 2016 / © 2017 MARVEL

Can you give a brief overview of the research and development process you undertake from initial drawings to final design?

Our department starts developing ideas both conceptually and visually at the very beginning of each of our films. Depending on the film, we might have a brief conversation with the executives or the director. But more often than not we begin designing characters that are known to be in the film even if the story is not fully fleshed out yet. This makes sense b/c very often characters we work on already exist in the comic books. So at least we have that as a starting point. From there we will conceptualize how to make that translation from the page to live action, and of course, considering what they’re doing in our story. We do a lot of research to fully wrap our heads around who this character could be, how he/she could look like, why he/she exists, and what their purpose in the story is. All of this will dictate how we design any given character.

From there we will have a lot of back and forth (meetings) between myself, the director/s, the executives, and the other heads of departments showing our ideas and concepts. These visual ideas we create will spur on conversations, thoughts, and further ideas until we ultimately get a consensus on a visual direction. It’s very collaborative and it’s a lot of work to get any given design you ultimately see on film.

Is there a process for designing props, prosthetics and other designed elements?

The process is somewhat similar to designing our characters, in that it is included during the visual effects stage of the film making process. Very often we will do “paint-overs” to help guide the direction of any given look of a character or scene. But mostly, it’s helping guide the look of our characters. It’s a team process.

Andy Park, Chitauri invasion, Keyframes for Marvel’s The Avengers
Andy Park / Chitauri invasion / Keyframes for Marvel’s The Avengers 2012 / © 2017 MARVEL

You’re the lead artist for the upcoming film ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, can you tell us a little about how you approached this particular film?

I loved leading our team on Thor: Ragnarok. It was Marvel Studios’ 3rd take on the mighty Avenger. And this is definitely not more of the same. It’s a fresh new take on the hero we’ve gotten to know through the years. Bringing in Taika Waititi was the best decision they could have made. His sensibilities have definitely infused a reinvigorated creativity to this franchise. It’s a querky new direction that owes so much to the visuals of Jack Kirby. In the past Thor films we were very concerned with grounding Thor and making him “believable.” After 15 films the Marvel Cinematic Universe has explored so many ideas and it seemed like the perfect time to embrace the cosmic visuals Jack Kirby brought into his comics decades ago.

For me personally, I loved concept designing Hela. I love her look from the comic book and I wanted to bring as much of that as possible. Of course her headdress is the most prominent aspect to her look and I love that Taika and Marvel Studios embraced that look. It’s easy to make things “realistic,” but to make something that looks great in the comic book but not practical (or seemingly impossible) in real life is no easy task. But we accepted the challenge. It was known pretty early on that to accomplish this would be a mix between a practically made costume and visual effects. Mayes Rubeo (Costume Designer) and her team made an amazing costume and Jake Morrison (Visual Effects Supervisor) and his team made this character come alive.  And to have Cate Blanchett play this pivotal character was definitely a dream. Who could ask for anything more?

When working with such strong archetypes are there particular ideas or approaches you take to create the range of characters and dynamic story sequences?

Everything starts with the source material. So we always do research on the various looks each of the characters have had throughout their comic book history. From there we will do designs that range from really faithful to really pushed ideas. You need to see the range to get a sense of where to land. As you can see throughout our films, some designs look more like the comic book than others. They all have a look and feel from the comic but how much you deviate is dependent on so many factors, from the story to the people making the decision.

What is the different between concept art, production concept art and keyframe artworks? What sorts of timelines are involved in creating each form?

Our job is mainly to: 1) create concept art for the characters, and 2) to illustrate keyframes, which are key story moments. Concept art and production concept art are the same thing. It’s designing characters whether it be an actor in a costume, an actor w/prosthetics on his face and/or body, or a visual effects character or creature. We illustrate keyframes to help everyone visualize what a specific scene could look like. It’s very much like what storyboards do except in this case, our illustrations also spell out the mood, colors, texture, and the overall feel of any given moment. These take about a week to illustrate. Character designs usually take a day or two.

In addition to your artwork being featured throughout the exhibition, you’ve also created new work showcasing the characters of ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ for the hardcover exhibition publication and limited edition collected. Can you tell us a bit more about this drawing?

I was honoured to do the illustration for the hardcover exhibition publication. I wanted to come up with a poster type of image with a lot of mood. This movie is called Thor: Ragnarok and it’s that end of days type of feeling I wanted to evoke with this painting with Hela’s shadow looming over our characters. She’s coming and it will change the MCU forever.

This painting took me about a week and a half to illustrate. I wanted to show Thor as we’ve never seen him before, with a new helmet, 2 swords, and more importantly without his hammer. This is a Thor you haven’t seen before. And just like in any good horror film it’s the unknown or unseen things that is most scary. So I wanted to evoke that feeling of pending doom in the form of Hela. I had a blast doing this illustration!

‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ hardcover catalogue and special edition box set / Cover artwork by Andy Park

Looking back on your work at Marvel Studios, which has included every film since ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ in 2011, do you have any thought about how your work may have developed or changed over this time?

I’ve worked full-time for Marvel Studios for the past 7 ½ years now. It’s definitely been a dream job, especially given my comic book roots. I’ve grown so much working alongside artists that I respect and admire such as Ryan Meinerding, Charlie Wen, Rodney Fuentebella, Jackson Sze, Anthony Francisco, and the many freelance artists we’ve employed through the years. Just by working alongside these amazing artists I feel like I’ve grown more than at any other point in my artistic career. Everyone here has their own strengths and it’s that teamwork that, I think, makes this department work. It’s a model that Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, and Victoria Alonso decided to create 7 ½ years ago and I have so much respect for them to have this type of vision. It’s not a typical Hollywood model but I think they’ve proven that it can definitely work. I look forward to the next 7 ½ years!

DELVE DEEPER INTO THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE and WATCH OUR BEHIND-THE-SCENES VIDEOS

Go behind the scenes of ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ to experience more than 500 unique objects from your favourite films, never-before-seen iconic objects which offer a glimpse into the work of production designers, storyboarding and pre‑visualisation artists, costume and prop designers, and visual effects artists alongside the original comic books which introduced the characters and influenced the films.

TICKETS CINEMAEXHIBITION | UP LATE / BUY THE PUBLICATION

Purchase tickets for ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe‘ in advance or at the ticket desk 10.00am-4.00pm daily. ‘Marvel’ film screenings and ‘Marvel’ Up Late are separate ticketed events.

Amanda Slack-Smith is exhibition curator ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ and Associate Curator, Australian Cinémathèque, QAGOMA
Feature banner (detail): Andy Park / Guardians of the Galaxy team / Keyframe for Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 / © 2017 MARVEL

Bringing computer-generated imagery to the real world

 

One of the most dynamic action sequences in Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015 involves Iron Man and the Hulk. Spellbound by Scarlet Witch’s powers of telekinesis, the Hulk rampages through city streets before being stopped by Tony Stark in his Hulkbuster armour.

Amanda Slack-Smith, exhibition curator ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ speaks with Marc Klinnert, Studio Oxmox Pty Ltd about the process of making Marvel’s Hulkbuster, Hulk, Rocket and Groot statues, based on the characters seen in the films, currently installed in ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ until Sunday 3 September 2017.


Can you tell us a little about your background? What drew you to sculpting figures as depicted in film and video games?

I started as an illustrator, mainly cover illustrations for magazines, merchandise and cover art work for music bands. Always interested in movies and such I started sculpting; my first model was a one-off scale size Rancor with his keeper [character featured in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi 1983]. Videogames grew more popular and I spent some time playing Tomb Raider. The main character, Lara Croft, seemed to be the right one for a life size statue so we decided to approach the publisher Eidos with some ideas, they were interested and that is how it started. Our first prototype of a Marvel figure was a full size Iron Man in 2008.

When did you know you could do this as a living?

I was always self-employed with my own business so to be honest everything that takes time of my work day is kind of work related. For example we used some self made props for some of the illustrations, so the sculpting process was already part of the business. When we started with the prototypes of videogame characters we invested a lot of time and money into developing a system to create the prototypes in that way that they are ready for serial production.

Can you talk a little about the process you go through from commissioning to creating the final sculpture?  Are there a series of approval processes you need to go through?

It depends if the character is a videogame character or a movie character. With a videogame character you mainly get some images to start with and you can suggest a position or they like you to follow the cover artwork, for a movie character you start with a style guide provided by the license holder and there are some positions already in the style guide they like to go forward with but most of the time we provide some ideas how the character can be displayed. There are some rules when it comes to creating a prototype for serial production and there are some restrictions but it always depends on the particular character, the details, the reference material and special requests from the client. The approval process also depends on the particular character, for movie characters the approval is done in several stages via images, first the concept layout, images during the creation and turnaround images of the finished fully painted prototype.

Hulkbuster prototype

3D printed parts for the Hulkbuster prototype sculpted by Studio Oxmox / Image courtesy: Studio Oxmox
Hulkbuster prototype sculpted by Studio Oxmox / Image courtesy: Studio Oxmox

Hulkbuster installed at GOMA

Marc Klinnert, Studio Oxmox Pty Ltd with the installed Hulkbuster / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

The show features four of your sculptures, Hulk, Hulkbuster, Rocket and Groot. Can you tell up a more about their creation?

We use different materials like for example clay, resin, polystyrene, fibreglass and of course 3D printing, it always comes down to the particular character, each one has different requirements and everything needs to be ready for serial production.

The Hulkbuster was the most complicated, all the details and mechanical parts and of course the all over height. The Hukbuster was 3D printed. We used a special powder print to catch most of the details. For the upper body we had about  260 different parts that we had to clean, sand and put in place, then we had to glue them all together, like a puzzle and then sand it all again and again, some parts we had to resculpt by hand. After that we had to remove all the undercuts to prepare the prototype for serial production. We prepared the upper body with head and arms and production prepared the lower body.

I always enjoy sculpting Hulk, because of his size and all the muscles, which are a challenge. Hulk was first carved in polystyrene, later we used clay to add all the muscles and details, same for the head. Clay is a very good medium if you have to change details during sculpting because you can change it by adding or subtracting material until you are happy with the result. We often take in-between pictures to get a better imagination of the overall look and if necessary we change again until it fits the reference material and to pass the approval.

Rocket was a lot of work because of the all over fur. The prototype for Rocket was created with a combination of sculpting and 3D printed parts, some parts had to be sculpted in clay first and then casted in resin. The fur was completely sculpted by hand in clay and then we made silicone mould to get a hard copy to use as the prototype.  Hair or fur looks much better if sculpted by hand, you can decide the detail, flow and direction, and the strands have different looks and thickness, so it looks kind of natural and not uniform. Groot was also mostly sculpted by hand, which is more suitable when you have a more natural form, like a tree.

Hulk, Rocket and Groot statues installed at GOMA

Hulk statue, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ GOMA 2017 / Fibreglass replica 285 x 165 x 175cm / Collection: Studio Oxmox Pty Ltd / Based on the character in Marvel’s The Avengers 2012 / © 2017 MARVEL / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

Rocket and Groot statues ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ GOMA 2017 / Fibreglass replicas / Collection: Studio Oxmox Pty Ltd / Based on the characters from Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 / © 2017 MARVEL / Photographs: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

What was the most challenging aspect of your work?

Time is always a challenging aspect. The time some materials need to dry or harden so you can move on, the time the client requires providing the right reference material, the time to finish the prototype, the time for approval and so on.

There is one situation I remember well, we were working on a mould for an upper body of Hulk (which was huge), time was very short and we had a lot of pressure, so after we poured in the liquid silicone into the mould it started to leak; we tried frantically to stop the silicone from running out of the mould, but had no luck and it was everywhere in the workshop, it was a total mess. But what will you do? The next day we cleaned up and started all over again.

Installation of the Hulkbuster statue at goma

Installation of the Hulkbuster statue, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ GOMA 2017 / Fibreglass replica / Collection: Studio Oxmox Pty Ltd / Based on the character from Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015 / © 2017 MARVEL / Photographs: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA
Hulkbuster statue, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ GOMA 2017 / Fibreglass replica / Collection: Studio Oxmox Pty Ltd / Based on the character from Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015 / © 2017 MARVEL / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

DELVE DEEPER INTO THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE and WATCH OUR BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEOS

Go behind the scenes of ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ to experience more than 500 unique objects from your favourite films, never-before-seen iconic objects which offer a glimpse into the work of production designers, storyboarding and pre‑visualisation artists, costume and prop designers, and visual effects artists alongside the original comic books which introduced the characters and influenced the films.

TICKETS CINEMAEXHIBITION | UP LATE / BUY THE PUBLICATION

Purchase tickets for ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe‘ in advance or at the ticket desk 10.00am-4.00pm daily, and until 8.00pm Wednesday. ‘Marvel’ film screenings and ‘Marvel’ Up Late are separate ticketed events.

Amanda Slack-Smith is exhibition curator ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ and Associate Curator, Australian Cinémathèque, QAGOMA
Feature image: Hulkbuster statue, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ GOMA 2017 / Fibreglass replica / Collection: Studio Oxmox Pty Ltd / Based on the character from Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015 / © 2017 MARVEL

Find the Infinity Stones in Marvel’s alternate dimensions

 

The ‘Alternate dimensions’ room in ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ looks at the realms beyond Earth traversed by Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Through artwork, costumes, props and film sequences, their adventures into the Quantum Realm (Ant-Man 2015), Astral and Mirror Dimensions (Doctor Strange 2016), and other galaxies (Guardians of the Galaxy 2014) are explored.

Installation view of Ant-Man in the 'Alternate dimensions' room, 'Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe', GOMA 2017
Installation view of Ant-Man in the ‘Alternate dimensions’ room, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017 / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA
Installation view of Doctor Strange in the ‘Alternate dimensions’ room, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017 / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

This room also highlights the role of the Infinity Stones, found throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Holding immense power, the six gems are sought after by the super-villain Thanos in his quest for galactic domination.

Five of the stones have been depicted to date: the Space Stone is located within the Tesseract (Captain America: The First Avenger 2011, Marvel’s The Avengers 2012); the Power Stone is within the Orb (Guardians of the Galaxy 2014); the Reality Stone is suspended in the Aether (Thor: The Dark World 2013); the Mind Stone is in the forehead of Vision (removed from Loki’s sceptre in Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015); and the Time Stone is found in the Eye of Agamotto (Doctor Strange 2016). The location of the sixth gem, the Soul Stone, has yet to be revealed.

Alternate dimensions room highlights

Orb

Collector costume

Loki’s sceptre with stand

Tesseract

Aether

Orb / From Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 / © 2017 MARVEL
Installation view of the 'Alternate dimensions’ room with Guardians of the Galaxy props, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017
Installation view of the ‘Alternate dimensions’ room with Guardians of the Galaxy costumes, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017 featuring Korath costume, Ronan the Accuser costume, Nebula costume, Gamora costume, and Star-Lord costume from Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

The guardians

thanos

Thanos bust / Clay, plaster / From Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 / © 2017 Marvel

The infinity stones

The Infinity Stones are ancient cosmic artefacts, each commanding a facet of existence. These stones are sought out by ambitious individuals, including the Collector Taneleer Tivan, who hoards a vast trove of interstellar oddities in his museum on the mining colony of Knowhere.

The blue Space Stone

The purple Power Stone

The red Reality Stone

The yellow Mind Stone

the green time stone

DELVE DEEPER INTO THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE and WATCH OUR BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEOS

Go behind the scenes of ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ to experience more than 500 unique objects from your favourite films, never-before-seen iconic objects which offer a glimpse into the work of production designers, storyboarding and pre‑visualisation artists, costume and prop designers, and visual effects artists alongside the original comic books which introduced the characters and influenced the films.

TICKETS CINEMAEXHIBITION | UP LATE / BUY THE PUBLICATION

Purchase tickets for ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe‘ online or the ticket desk 10.00am-4.00pm daily, and until 8.00pm Wednesday. ‘Marvel’ film screenings and ‘Marvel’ Up Late are separate ticketed events.

Amanda Slack-Smith is exhibition curator ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ and Associate Curator, Australian Cinémathèque, QAGOMA
Feature image: Installation view of Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 in the ‘Alternate dimensions’ room, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017 / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

Captain America is a living legend

 

Steve Rogers, also known as Captain America, is the moral epicentre of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Known as the First Avenger, Captain America’s timeline incorporates World War Two and the present day. A symbol of courage, strength and patriotism, Captain America is as important now as when his character was first conceived by artists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in Captain America 1941 #1.

Taking cues from the display at Washington DC’s Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum depicted in Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014, and drawing on the backstories featured in Captain America: The First Avenger 2011, the ‘Captain America: Living legend’ room traces the character’s development from his prewar years as ‘Skinny’ Steve from Brooklyn, a young man in poor health, through his transformation to peak physical condition as Captain America, following his involvement in the US Government’s Super Soldier program.

Installation view of the Captain America: Living legend room, Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe, GOMA 2017
Installation view of the ‘Captain America: Living legend’ room, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017 / Captain America costume with shield; Shirt (wool); leggings (wool); shorts (wool); hood (wool); belt (nylon, metal); gloves (leather); boots (leather) shield (metal, fibreglass); From Captain America: The First Avenger 2011 / Agent Carter United States Army dress uniform; Two-piece suit (wool); blouse (silk); necktie (wool); slip (polyester); belt (wool); stockings (nylon); lapel pins (metal); shoes (leather); From Captain America: The First Avenger 2011 / © 2017 MARVEL / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

The artwork, costumes, props and film sequences on display in the ‘Captain America: Living legend’ room highlight the rich visual history of this fictional character. Featured is the original Captain America costume, based on drawings by Simon and Kirby, while his relationships with lifelong friend Bucky Barnes and love interest Agent Peggy Carter are revealed through artwork, photographs and film sequences. The room’s central diorama portrays the elite army unit, the Howling Commandos, a crack team led by Rogers to face his nemesis, the fascist organisation known as Hydra. Artwork, costumes and props illustrate his battles with Hydra’s leader, Red Skull.

Hydra costumes from Captain America: The First Avenger 2011

Hydra costumes from Captain America: The First Avenger 2011

Harley Davidson from Captain America: The First Avenger 2011

Hydra Bike from Captain America: The First Avenger 2011

DELVE DEEPER INTO THE EXHIBITION AND MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE

Go behind the scenes of ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ to experience more than 500 unique objects from your favourite films, never-before-seen iconic objects which offer a glimpse into the work of production designers, storyboarding and pre‑visualisation artists, costume and prop designers, and visual effects artists alongside the original comic books which introduced the characters and influenced the films.

TICKETS CINEMAEXHIBITION | UP LATE / BUY THE PUBLICATION

Purchase tickets for ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe‘ online or at the ticket desk 10.00am – 4.00pm daily, and until 8.00pm Wednesday. ‘Marvel’ film screenings and ‘Marvel’ Up Late are separate ticketed events.

Installation view of the Captain America Smithsonian Diorama (The Howling Commandos) Captain America: Living legend room, Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe, GOMA 2017 / © 2017 MARVEL
Feature image: Installation view of the Captain America Smithsonian Diorama (The Howling Commandos) ‘Captain America: Living legend’ room, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017 / The Howling Commandos were an elite combat unit of international allies led by Captain America in World War Two. The group formed after they were rescued by Rogers from a Hydra prison / L to R: Jacques Dernier costume with weapon; Private Gabriel ‘Gabe’ Jones costume and weapon; Sergeant Timothy ‘Dum Dum’ Dugan costume with weapon; Captain America costume with USO shield and weapon; Sergeant James ‘Bucky’ Buchannan Barnes costume with weapon; James Montgomery Falsworth costume and weapon; Private Morita costume with weapon / © 2017 MARVEL / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA.

Amanda Slack-Smith is exhibition curator ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ and Associate Curator, Australian Cinémathèque, QAGOMA.

The Avengers are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

 

Known as ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’, the Avengers are an ensemble cast of Super Heroes. Featuring a roster of characters, the Avengers defend the world in spectacular battles and clash with wily villains.

Central to the ‘The Avengers’ room in ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ are the costumes of the members of the team: charismatic genius–billionaire–playboy philanthropist Tony Stark (Iron Man); failed army recruit turned government Super Soldier Steve Rogers (Captain America); brilliant scientist Dr Bruce Banner and his dual personality, the Hulk; heir to the Asgardian throne, Thor; former Russian spy Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow); marksman Clint ‘Hawkeye’ Barton; telekinetic Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch); and the enhanced synthetic being, Vision.

Installation view of ‘The Avengers’ room, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017 / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

Also on display are the costumes of Nick Fury, Director of the counter-intelligence organisation S.H.I.E.L.D., which recruits the Avengers; his Deputy Director, Maria Hill; and rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Crossbones; Thor’s duplicitous brother, Loki; and Captain America’s best friend, Bucky Barnes, known as the Winter Soldier. This room also highlights important battles faced by the Avengers through keyframe artwork, costumes and props.

Loki walkabout costume / Tunic (linen, leather, metal); over-tunic (leather, metal, wool); dickey (apron); (cotton, polyester, linen); trousers (leather, cotton, polyester, metal); bandolier (leather, urethane, metal); cuffs (urethane, linen, polyester); boots (leather, rubber) / From Marvel’s The Avengers 2012; Winter Soldier costume / Trousers (cotton, polyester, nylon); vest (leather, metal); harness (urethane, plastic); belt (urethane, plastic); holster (nylon, plastic); hand (leather, urethane); arm (urethane, elastane, polyester); boots (leather, rubber); mask (urethane, plastic); weapon (resin, rubber, plastic) / From Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014 / © 2017 MARVEL / Photographs: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

Loki

Intent on conquering Earth, Loki, wayward brother of the Avenger Thor, makes a deal with the powerful intergalactic warlord Thanos. Commanding Thanos’s alien army, Loki unknowingly brings the fractious Avengers together to face the extraterrestrial Chitauri in a fight known as the Battle of New York. The combined might of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye defeats Loki’s alien allies, but not without widespread destruction to parts of the city.

James ‘Bucky’ Barnes

James ‘Bucky’ Barnes, a childhood friend of Steve Rogers before he became Captain America, was also a member of the US Army’s elite unit the Howling Commandos, led by Rogers in World War Two. Thought dead by his allies after a daring raid, Barnes was instead captured by the villainous organisation Hydra. Intent on creating their own super-powered combatant to counter the formidable Captain America, Hydra turned Bucky into the Winter Soldier, a cyber-enhanced assassin programmed to obey through a series code words found in a tattered red notebook from the Soviet Union. Once discovered, Barnes is captured and held in a containment chamber where he struggles with his dual personality.

Nick Fury costume / Jacket (wool); sweater (cotton); trousers (wool); eye-patch (leather); shoes (leather) / From Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014; Maria Hill costume / Jacket (cotton, polyester); trousers (cotton, polyester); camisole (cotton); boots (leather) / From Marvel’s The Avengers 2012 / © 2017 MARVEL / Photographs: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury and Deputy Director Maria Hill

Behind the superhuman might of the Avengers are the dedicated agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division). The US-based global intelligence agency was created as the last line of defence against the worst Earthly and extraterrestrial threats. Founded by Tony Stark’s father Howard, alongside Colonel Chester Phillips and Agent Peggy Carter in the wake of battles against Hydra during World War Two, the group was active until recently under the leadership of Director Nick Fury and Deputy Director Maria Hill.

Although Hydra was suppressed during the war, it remained active and slowly infiltrated the senior ranks of S.H.I.E.LD. When Hydra realises Captain America is close to discovering the conspiracy within S.H.I.E.LD., turncoat agent Brock Rumlow attempts to assassinate Rogers. After he is revealed as a traitor, a scarred Rumlow returns as the masked Crossbones and faces off against Rogers and his allies again.

DELVE DEEPER INTO THE EXHIBITION AND THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE

Go behind the scenes of ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ to experience more than 500 unique objects from your favourite films, never-before-seen iconic objects which offer a glimpse into the work of production designers, storyboarding and pre‑visualisation artists, costume and prop designers, and visual effects artists alongside the original comic books which introduced the characters and influenced the films.

TICKETS CINEMAEXHIBITION | UP LATE / BUY THE PUBLICATION

Purchase tickets for ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe‘ online or at ticket desk 10.00am-4.00pm daily, and until 8.00pm Wednesday. ‘Marvel’ film screenings and ‘Marvel’ Up Late are separate ticketed events.

Amanda Slack-Smith is exhibition curator ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ and Associate Curator, Australian Cinémathèque, QAGOMA
Feature image: Installation view of ‘The Avengers’ room, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017 featuring the Winter Soldier containment chamber / Metal, steel, electronics, plastic, resin / From Captain America: Civil War 2016 / © 2017 MARVEL / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA