Marvel Studios Fails to Pay Another Artist, Sparks Serious Controversy

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Oscar Isaac as Mr. Knight version of Moon Knight

Credit: Marvel Studios

In recent months, Disney-owned Marvel Studios has come under fire for failing to pay certain Marvel Comics artists who inspired Marvel Cinematic Universe artwork and marketing materials.

hawkeye disney plus image
Credit: Marvel Studios

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The most notable situation occurred when artist David Aja went unpaid after his artwork was used for Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld’s Hawkeye series.

Aja’s cover art for “Hawkeye, Vol 2: Little Hits” [below] clearly served as inspiration for a number of the promotional materials [above].

hawkeye little hits cover david aja
Credit: Marvel Comics

Related: ‘Moon Knight’ Actor Tragically Dies In Skiing Accident

After some Marvel fans took to social media to point out the similarities between the two pieces of artwork last month, and noted that Aja was not credited anywhere in the series credits, the artist himself posted the following to Twitter:

Even better: Stop crediting, start paying, haha.

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Now, the same issue has impacted another artist, this time in relation to the upcoming Moon Knight series starring Star Wars alum Oscar Isaac.

Comic artist Declan Shalvey wrote:

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

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Fan Ashu chimed in, saying:

They better pay you for this

Shalvey responded:

That’d be nice!

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Another fan, Dave Robbins, expressed similar sentiments:

Hope there’s some #artcred in the credits and [sic] in a payout for you

Shalvey noted:

Expect the former but not the latter

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The entire situation is reminiscent of the “Disney Must Pay” dispute that occurred throughout 2021.

In May of last year, one article shared details about various creators’ fight to receive royalties for years of book sales. Numerous well-known authors formed a task force to attempt to take legal action against The Walt Disney Company, with the aid of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America organization:

…about a dozen authors know they have been denied royalties going back years–but likely others are affected that aren’t aware of what they’re owed. Now, Alan Dean Foster and other authors, including Neil Gaiman, Tess Gerritsen, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Chuck Wendig, have put together a #DisneyMustPay Task Force to fight to have all these authors get paid for their work.

oscar isaac as moon knight scared
Credit: Marvel Studios

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At this time, neither Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige nor any other executives have shared statements regarding Shalvey’s artwork being used as inspiration for Moon Knight.

Moon Knight debuts on Disney+ on March 30, 2022.

More on Moon Knight

Oscar Isaac as Moon Knight
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: New ‘Moon Knight’ Preview Hints at MCU “Shake Up”

Marvel recently released the first trailer for Moon Knight. The official description of the series reads:

Moon Knight is a new globetrotting action-adventure series featuring a complex vigilante who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. The multiple identities who live inside him find themselves thrust into a deadly war of the gods against the backdrop of modern and ancient Egypt. Moon Knight is directed by Mohamed Diab and is coming to Disney+ in 2022.

What do you think about comic artists not being paid by Disney and Marvel Studios?

You can stream Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and the five series in Marvel’s Phase Four so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Marvel’s What If…?, and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye— on Disney+ anytime.

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