While Marvel Studios often receives praise for its box office numbers, loyal fan base, and willingness to take risks, the juggernaut studio's record hasn't been without its share of controversy.
In addition to Black Widow's Scarlett Johansson's lawsuit against Disney for due compensation, for years, Marvel creators have also spoken out about the film studio using their work without credit or proper compensation, such as Thanos creator Jim Starlin and Captain America writer and Winter Soldier co-creator Ed Brubaker.
As the studio ramps up promotion for its upcoming Disney+ series Hawkeye, a well-known Marvel artist has spoken out about the franchise using a poster based on his work without being paid.
Marvel Artist Reacts to Disney+ Hawkeye Poster
Soon after Marvel released an official poster for Disney+'s Hawkeye, some on social media noted that the poster's design was similar to that of the Hawkeye comics from 2012-2015 written by Matt Fraction.
In response to a post from another comic artist encouraging equal credit to be given to the artist, David Aja, since the show's poster is inspired by his work, posted the following on Twitter:
"Even better: Stop crediting, start paying, haha."
From what fans have seen of the trailers, the title font, and other promotional material, it's apparent that Fraction and Aja's Hawkeye series served as the show's original inspiration.
The Disney+ poster is similar to Aja's distinctive design in that it shows Clint Barton posed in a purple arrow against a white background. However, the new poster is different in that it also features Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop and Lucky the dog.
Marvel's Record of Plagiarism Continues?
While complaints like these from Marvel Comics creators are, sadly, nothing new, Aja's post confirms an unfortunate truth - nothing has changed.
Any hopes that Jim Starlin and Brubaker's efforts would lead to a change appear to be unfounded since Marvel has been aware of these issues for some time and still chose more of the same.
The fact Hawkeye on Disney+ is so obviously inspired by Fraction and Aja's run makes this all the worse, not to mention the fact that Marvel likely leaned into Aja's unmistakable design due to the comic book run's popularity and to gain fan support for the upcoming series.
Since both Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios are under the Disney umbrella, there's likely little stopping this trend from continuing. Still, for a franchise that's all about heroism and morality, should it be too much for a studio to also practice what they preach and pay proper tribute to those who created their source material?
Hawkeye will premiere its first two episodes on November 24, 2021, exclusively on Disney+.