Marvel Studios used its own real-life version of Ultron to animate Secret Invasion's opening, and fans are not happy.
In a world where artificial intelligence (AI) challenges the idea of art and creative writing, this is a bold choice by the creative team of Secret Invasion.
After a cold opening, a lengthy credits sequence showed abstract images of Nick Fury, Skrulls, and more.
Marvel Uses AI-Generated Images for Disney+ Opening
Secret Invasion director Ali Selim confirmed with Polygon that the opening credits sequence was designed by Method Studios using artificial intelligence.
Instead of seeing this as laziness or an over-reliance on technology, Selim believed this plays into the uncertainty surrounding the "Skrull world" in the series:
“When we reached out to the AI vendors, that was part of it — it just came right out of the shape-shifting, Skrull world identity, you know? Who did this? Who is this?”
Selim added that he doesn't “really understand” how the AI works but explained the process they used to create the opening art:
“We would talk to them about ideas and themes and words, and then the computer would go off and do something. And then we could change it a little bit by using words, and it would change.”
Fans Livid Over Secret Invasion AI-Generated Images
Viewers of Secret Invasion Episode 1, "Ressurection," were quick to chime in on the AI-generated opening.
Brian Long wrote "it's actually over" after Marvel Studios used AI-created images:
"So Marvel really used AI to make the intro for #SecretInvasion… it’s actually over."
Jeff Simpson, a previous concept artist for Marvel Studios, wrote that he's "devastated," calling AI "unethical, dangerous and designed solely to eliminate artists careers:"
"Secret Invasion intro is AI generated. I’m devastated, I believe AI to be unethical, dangerous and designed solely to eliminate artists careers. Spent almost half a year working on this show and had a fantastic experience working with the most amazing people I ever met…"
@TheFirstOkiro wrote that he "loved the first episode" but felt the opening credits were "wack:"
"I really loved the first episode of secret invasion but them using AI “art” for their intro is just wack
Do better Marvel"
"going from the beautiful end credits of She-Hulk to the AI mush opening credits of Secret Invasion sucks so much a--"
Taking away from their experience, Bozzman praised Secret Invasion, except for the credits sequence:
"#SecretInvasion Episode 1 was incredible. It definitely feels like it was meant for more mature audiences.
The set design was great as well as the visuals.
I feel like some of the editing was a bit off, but otherwise the ENDING was CRAZY
Also AI is dogshit so -1 point
Matt "Supes" Ramos called Marvel using AI to create content "horrifying:"
"Secret Invasion being the first Marvel project to use A.I. to create it’s content is horrifying.
This feels like just the beginning of A.I. overtaking the jobs of passionate artists. It’s disgusting & the ultimate turnoff."
Ramos also used two recent comic book movies, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, calling them "2 of the most soulful superhero projects that are beloved by EVERYONE:"
"How did we go from 2 of the most soulful superhero projects that are beloved by EVERYONE, where every single frame was infused with so much love by it’s creators to getting Secret Invasion that uses A.I. art?"
@EPM106 called Marvel Studios and Disney+'s use of AI "One of the more embarrassing moments of the streaming era:"
"Even ignoring the concerns over the MCU proudly dipping its toe into AI this early, the Secret Invasion MidJourney intro is repulsive. Genuinely embarrassing it was allowed to remain in the finished product. One of the more embarrassing moments of the streaming era"
John Cullen took to Twitter to express his disdain for the AI opening sequence and added that he "binned the show after that:"
"I started watching Secret Invasion. And then the intro happened.
I immediately thought "wait a minute, is this AI generated?!"
Turns out, yep, it is. I immediately binned the show after that."
@VegasBabyKJ posted a meme of sports talk show personality Shannon Sharpe, joking that this opening was worse than Ant-Man and The Wasp Quantumania:
"Nothing in the MCU can get worse than Ant Man I promise you”
Secret Invasion intro made by AI:"
Marvel Navigating the Use of AI Moving Foward
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is already feeling the backlash of testing uncharted waters.
The use of AI so blatantly in Secret Invasion is surprising as it was embraced as an artistic choice, but many fans aren't interested in computer-created art.
Moving forward, Marvel may err on the side of caution when it comes to using AI, especially when an artist or writer could be performing the same job.
Secret Invasion Episode 1 is now streaming on Disney+.