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Exclusive: Go behind the MCU's movie magic with Marvel Studios' 'Heroes + Villains' book

By Josh Weiss
Chris Evans Captain America Civil War

After 10 years and over 20 films, Marvel Studios has enough material to create an entire library of books based on its films, and it's doing just that. One of those publications is The Moviemaking Magic of Marvel Studios: Heroes + Villains, which arrives this summer from Abrams Books and goes behind some of the most iconic scenes and characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

SYFY WIRE has an exclusive reveal the cover of the book (written by Eleni Roussos) as well as two interior pages that deal with Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and King T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman).

As you'll see below, the cover showcases Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain America (Chris Evans), Hela (Cate Blanchett), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), and, of course, the Mad Titan himself, Thanos (Josh Brolin). Because no front cover is complete without the inclusion of a genocidal alien warlord responsible for wiping out half of all life in the universe.

“We’re thrilled to be developing unique, collectible books that celebrate the magic of Marvel Studios," Andrew Smith, senior vice president and publisher of Abrams Children’s Books, exclusively tells SYFY WIRE. "Heroes & Villains invites fans to literally go 'behind-the-scenes' of all of the Marvel films. With interactive flaps, booklets, and hundreds of photos, it does an amazing job of revealing the cinematic secrets that brought everyone’s favorite heroes and villains to life. We’re really excited about where the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going, and it was great to go back to the beginning and show how things evolved behind-the-scenes in a fun, interactive way for the fans.”

The Moviemaking Magic of Marvel Studios: Heroes & Villains front cover

On the spread dedicated to the first Iron Man film (you know, just the one that kicked off the entire MCU), you can check out a bunch of storyboards that were created for the scene in which Tony takes flight for the first time in his Mark II suit. There's also an explanation of how the production crew devised a way to give us a view of Tony's face within the suit (now a trademark of the onscreen character) without actually placing a camera inside an Iron Man suit/costume.


On to the wonderful and mysterious land of Wakanda now. While known for his Vibranium-based super-suit, T'Challa isn't always dressed like a cat. During diplomatic and tribal meetings, he goes for more traditional garb like robes. As it turns out, this proved to be a major challenge for costume designer Ruth Carter, who nabbed an Oscar nomination for her work on Black Panther.

"I wanted him to be relatable, as well as royal, but not over-the-top," says Carter in the book. "You could go so far with it, and it could be too much, and you can dial it back so that it’s so simple that it’s not memorable. I felt like it needed to lie somewhere in the middle."


The Moviemaking Magic of Marvel Studios: Heroes & Villains goes on sale everywhere June 4. In case you forgot, that's a month and a day before Spider-Man: Far From Home hits theaters.

Abrams is also releasing a book on the literal A-to-Z aspects of the MCU, from Ant-Man, to Zuri. The more children-oriented Marvel Alphablock by Peskimo goes on sale April 16.

"[It's] a colorful A-to-Z collection of characters every fan should know — perhaps the mightiest entry in our bestselling 'Block Book' format to date!" Smith adds. "It’s the perfect introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for young fans. The illustrators spent hours combing through film stills to ensure that every detail of the characters’ costumes and the scenes depicted were exactly accurate. It’s also a great collectible for fans of all ages. We hope fans enjoy these books as much as we’ve enjoyed working on them!”

In the media gallery below, we exclusively reveal the cover and first three letters covered in the book. Learning the alphabet never felt so heroically epic.