Before the premiere of Hawkeye on Disney+, advertising for the show was going into overdrive, but much of it looked strikingly familiar to artwork directly from the comics. It was then discovered that the original artist, David Aja, was not being paid for the marketing using his designs to promote the series. Similarly, Moon Knight could be facing another, albeit smaller, backlash from fans.
Aja speaking out so bluntly about not being paid caused some fans to push for a boycott of Hawkeye until Marvel Studios and Disney appropriately compensated him. Now, the artist responsible for what will no doubt become one of the most popular costumes to grace the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marc Spector's Mr. Knight outfit, hasn't been paid either.
Another Marvel Artist Comments on Not Getting Paid
Fans were excited to see that Oscar Isaac's Marc Spector would be donning the fan-favorite Mr. Knight outfit from the comics, another persona of the former mercenary in Moon Knight.
However, it wasn't only fans excited by the appearance of Mr. Knight, but the artist primarily responsible for helping bring the design to life in the comics, Declan Shalvey. The artist described his excitement at seeing something he drew "out of [his] brain" and seeing it in live-action:
Hello Mr. Knight… Seriously, this is NUTS. I drew something out of my brain, and now it’s a real thing in a TV show…? Such a surreal feeling… I can’t quite describe it.#MoonKnight #MrKnight pic.twitter.com/8KQTCsuZDs
However, when one fan stated that Shalvey should be paid for the outfit's use in the series, Shalvey could only say, "That'd be nice!":
That’d be nice!
One fan expressed hope that Shalvey would at least appear in the series' credits and get a payout, but Shalvey would only "expect the former":
Expect the former but not the latter 🤷🏻♂️
Origin of Mr. Knight's Design Not So Simple
So, this case isn't nearly as straightforward as the one with David Aja, since the original appearance of Moon Knight's Mr. Knight did not wholly originate from Declan Shalvey in "Moon Knight" issue #1 in 2014, but in "Secret Avengers" issue #19 in 2011, penciled by Michael Lark. However, looking at both outfit designs side-by-side, they appear remarkably similar.
After this single issue of "Secret Avengers," the costume didn't appear again for over two years until the first issue of Moon Knight's relaunch in 2014. It's a truly bizarre coincidence, only explained by both comic issues being written by Warren Ellis.
Shalvey actually acknowledged in an interview at the end of 2013, before Warren Ellis' "Moon Knight," that "Michael Lark did get to draw the suit-and-tie version first in one of Warren's 'Secret Avengers' issues." But, it should be acknowledged that there are differences between both artists' designs, however minor they might be.
Instead of wearing a three-piece suit like Declan Shalvey's design, Michael Lark drew Moon Knight wearing a simpler two-piece suit. Another, more blatant difference between both designs is Lark's being colored with black dress shoes, while Shalvey's outfit has white shoes to match the rest of the suit.
Other minor details are Lark's outfit seemingly having spikes on the knuckles of Moon Knights' gloves, along with the eyes not being as emphasized in Shalvey's rendition. Now, this isn't to discount Shalvey's work in designing the costume for Mr. Knight's proper debut in Warren Ellis' "Moon Knight" run.
After all, Shalvey was given a chance to fully showcase this design in all its glory, unlike Lark, who was limited to a single issue and only so many comic panels. If anything, both of these artists should be compensated for a design that will undoubtedly be put onto posters, clothing, made into expensive replica action figures, and so much more.
Fans will get to see more of this costume and whether these two artists will appear in the series credits when Moon Knight debuts on Disney+ on March 30, 2022.