Benicio Del Toro’s “Liberace in space” performance as The Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy makes for one of the more peculiar characters yet introduced into Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. He’s more than just a kooky collection of crazy hair and weird ticks, however. Beginning with his cameo at the end of Thor: The Dark World, it’s been clear that The Collector is a major player in Marvel’s big-screen mythology. And when your name is actually “The Collector,” it stands to reason you’re going to spend a lot of time getting your collection to look juuuuuuuust right. Thanks to this Guardians concept art, we can see some of the other ideas that were floated for The Collector’s unique menagerie.
The illustrations are the work of Framestore conceptual artist Richard Anderson. In addition to Guardians and The Dark World, Anderson also worked on Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. Most of his ideas for The Collector’s collection feature the same rectangular glass cages featured in the final design. I love the sheer sense of scale in this one.
This is probably my favorite. Having the cages curving upwards like spiral staircases makes for a striking visual, even if it would make it harder to admire all the highlights from ground level.
Aside from providing expository infodump in Guardians, The Collector’s collection hides all manner of Easter eggs and references, and we’re not just talking about Howard the Duck. Eagle-eyed fans spotted what appears to be hero Adam Warlock’s cocoon in the Dark World end-credits sequence, and you could see it again in Guardians, suggesting it’s just a matter of time before Warlock makes his appearance in the MCU.
Anderson wasn’t only sketching out The Collector’s toys, however. You can see more of his Guardians work below. It’s pretty damn gorgeous.