In the land of artistic creation, there is something known as ‘collective consciousness’. Seen a lot in stand up comedy, it is where people have similar ideas in the same medium that can look almost identical, but without being blatant rips off of one another. This happens in comic books and movies as well. Now, an actual case is being brought against Marvel Studios for plagiarism rather than ‘collective consciousness’ from a Canadian based comic company, Horizon Comics.
Horizon Comics is claiming that Marvel Studios stole the look of some of their characters for their Marvel Cinematic Universe versions of Iron Man and Ant-Man. The creators, who have worked for Marvel before, claim in their suit that the nanotech Iron Man suit is a straight copy of their character, Caliban. The also believe that the MCU version of Ant-Man’s suit is a rip off of their military uniforms in their comics. This is not the first case they have levied against the studio, either. In 2013, the comics company attempted to sue Marvel over the look of the Iron Man 3 poster, stating that is replicated a distinct panel from one of their books. However, that was partially thrown out of court, and the final case was dismissed completely as the judge felt there was no real evidence of a copy.
There are some minor similarities between Iron Man in the MCU and Caliban, but honestly, Caliban looks like a rip off of the comic book version of Iron Man to begin with here. These Horizon Comics came out in 2002, long after the creation of Iron Man and his Extremis style armor. And, as far as Ant-Man goes, the MCU costume is just a real world interpretation of his original suit from the 60’s. So, Marvel could possibly countersue here, but will most likely just use Disney lawyers to bury the case and have it dismissed. The connection here in thin at best, and all of comics have a similar through line to start with, ever since Superman first appeared in 1938.
Sometimes characters are ‘inspired’ by other characters, like Thanos and Darkseid or Deadpool and Deathstroke. Other times, the same idea happens to pop up around the same time (its like when the movies Armageddon and Deep Impact came out the same year). Hopefully this issue is resolved quickly and amicably.
Do you think Marvel Studios ripped off Horizon Comics? Let us know in the comments below!