Marvel Studios Head of Visual Development Explains the Evolution of Captain America's Costume

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and as part of that milestone, both fans and those involved in bringing Marvel's heroes to life on the big screen have been looking back at just how far things have come -- including the evolution of fan-favorite characters such as Captain America.

Speaking with at San Diego Comic-Con last week, head of visual development for Marvel Studios Ryan Mienerding discussed the various costumes he's worked for the MCU and in talking about the ones he's most proud of, he explained a bit about how Captain America's costume evolution has been a major part of the character's story.

"All of the Cap costumes, being a part of them, has been such an amazing thing because his journey through the MCU is really told through his costumes as well, there's a great narrative that happens with stories that they've been able to tell in the movies and how they've been visually represented in the costumes, so just being part of those costumes," Mienerding explained.

Over the course of MCU, Captain Americahas had several takes on his iconic red white and blue costume. His first appearance all suited up in Captain America: The First Avenger is markedly different than his most recent one in Avengers: Infinity War and rightly so. The first time Steve Rogers suits up, it's not to do actual battle as a hero but to take the stage to encourage Americans to buy War Bonds to support the fighting efforts in World War 2. In that appearance, he's very much a "good soldier", working with the government.

That clearly changes by Infinity War, where he's a fugitive from justice but no less a hero, something that's reflected in his darker, more well-worn costume. It contains echoes of that original -- the fundamental placement of colors and design on the uniform are the same -- but the missing star on the chest and the fact that he's no longer wearing his mask are clear indicators that he's come a very long way from the eager, patriotic young man wanting to do whatever he can to help. Interestingly, it's his Infinity War look that, while very different from all those that came before it is also the most "back to basics". The shape of his new, Wakandan shield is similar to that of his original while the lack of star on his chest gives the uniform something of a do-it-yourself feel -- much like when he first threw a leather jacket over his stage costume and took off to rescue Bucky Barnes and other prisoners from Hydra.

With Cap's journey not yet over, it will be interesting to see how his costume changes for the upcoming Avengers 4. As most of the Earth's heroes were wiped out when Thanos snapped his fingers, Steve Rogers' status with whatever remains of the government may change. It's something that concept art for the fourth Avengers installment might hint at as it shows Captain America restored to his bright red white and blue look in a costume very similar to the one he wore in Captain America: Civil War.

What do you think about the evolution of Captain America's costume in the MCU? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Avengers: Infinity War releases on Digital HD on July 31, followed by its Blu-ray and DVD release on August 14. Ant-Man and the Wasp is now playing in theaters. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.