MCU Designer Explains All That Unrealistic In-Universe Tech

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Vision, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Taskmaster

A Marvel Studios concept sculptor addressed the "exponential" advancement of in-universe.

From Tony Stark's technological brilliance to Shuri's great intellect, the MCU has no shortage of crazily advanced technology. Since Stark introduced Iron Man into the world, it served as a beacon for the others to showcase their respective machinery. 

The MCU's expansion led to the debut of more sophisticated technology, ranging between Wakanda's vibranium, Pym Particles, and Stark's own nanotech. 

Still, these kinds of technology are so advanced that some have yet to exist in the real world. Now, this subject is being explained in a new interview. 

Why Does the MCU Have Advanced In-Universe Tech?

Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr

In Marvel Studios' Art of Black Widow, Marvel Studios concept sculptor Adam Ross talked about Taskmaster's design and the MCU's advanced technology. 

Ross first explained how he built Taskmaster's design over an actual 3D body scan to produce a working costume: 

“Often, we don’t know what talent has been chosen to portray the character, so I start with a generic body scan of average height and build and start sculpting and modeling the costume from there. The goal is always to be true to the concept design, but sometimes you find that an element or piece needs to be moved, scaled, or otherwise modified to fit comfortably on the body. The task (pun intended) becomes spreading those modifications out over multiple pieces or elements, so it still visually looks like the concept but fits the talent correctly."

Ross continued by sharing the inspiration behind Taskmaster's helmet, incorporating "some functional elements" from pre-nanotech Iron Man as well as Iron Patriot suits and military aviation helmets: 

"With Taskmaster, the main element that drew our focus was the helmet, which brings some functional elements in from the pre-nanotech Iron Man and Iron Patriot suits namely, smaller panels that engage/disengage as locking mechanisms that allow for the visor and/or the muzzle area to open up to reveal the face. I also drew from military aviation helmets and how their visors and oxygen masks can be raised and lowered. I always try to incorporate some element of functionality from things in the real world, things that are recognizable, to lend credence and legitimacy to the design.”

As the MCU embraces advanced technology, Ross admitted that he was careful about creating Taskmaster's weapons for them to be believably concealed: 

“I played on the pre-existing notion in the MCU of magnetically mounted/deployed/retracted weaponry. We’ve seen how functionality is hidden and components can be impossibly small or thin and retain an immense amount of strength."

Ross then addressed why the MCU's technology has already "expanded in complexity exponentially," sharing that the crew now has a "suspension-of-disbelief factor baked in," so they accept that's how tech works in-universe:

"I think that through other films earlier in the MCU, it’s been established that its tech started off very close to what we know, but then expanded in complexity exponentially over two dozen films. We now have a suspension-of-disbelief factor baked in, so we just accept ‘that’s how advanced tech works in the MCU.’"

But the concept sculptor still said that they "harken back to science and tech elements" from past movies to "maintain consistency:"

"We still harken back to science and tech elements from previous films or characters to maintain that consistency, so the believability is maintained. This is why Taskmaster’s shield is incredibly thin, translucent, unfolds from something the size of a letter envelope, fits in the backpack, and yet is incredibly strong.”

Will the MCU's Phase 5 Introduce More Advanced Tech?

Despite the MCU's many advanced technologies, Adam Ross' latest comments indicate that consistently presenting these sophisticated elements is still the top priority for the ever-expanding superhero franchise. 

This is important because the MCU is still set to debut more tech-heavy projects in Phases 5 and 6. With Ironheart and Armor Wars set to take center stage in the coming years, it is widely expected that more technological advancements will be pushed to the forefront. 

Ironheart is also set to break ground by introducing the MCU's first magic vs. tech showdown, indicating how the franchise's advanced technology will be tested like never before. 

Moreover, digging deep into characters' designs like Taskmaster further cement why the MCU is successful in the shared universe realm. 

Although the MCU has advanced technology, it is still believable since just a few individuals or groups hold them. In the real world, there's no telling if techs like repulsors and advanced artificial intelligence on the level of JARVIS exist and are just waiting to be unleashed. 

Black Widow is streaming on Disney+.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.