Did Marvel Studios Swipe Its Iron Man & Ant-Man MCU Designs?

According to CTV News, a publisher in Montreal, Quebec that’s worked to some extent with Image is suing Marvel for allegedly thieving designs from their illustrations to serve Iron Man, Ant-Man and Avengers costumes:


A Montreal-based comic book company is suing Marvel Entertainment and Disney for allegedly ripping off its designs multiple times in its Iron Man, Ant-man and Avengers series.

Horizon Comics and its founders Ben and Raymond Lai allege that Marvel used their designs without consent or compensation and are suing for damages and an injunction “to put an end to this deliberate and persistent infringement, and to order the defendants to pay compensatory and punitive damages to the plaintiff, in addition to Horizon’s costs, including solicitor-client costs,” the suit reads.

Horizon Comics was founded in Montreal in 1995.


From what’s told here, it sounds like C.B. Cebulski might’ve been involved, based on their Radix work:


The suit says Marvel’s now editor-in-chief, Chester Bror Cebulski, approached the Lai brothers to work as artists for Marvel based on the popular series, but they declined the offer.



And even the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) reportedly caused them distress, but the difference is that the New England-based research center offered a mea culpa:


The suit reads that MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) copied the illustration for a $50-million research grant to create the Institute for Solider Technology in 2002.

MIT issued a public apology for using the images without consent. […]

MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) copied one of the Radix characters in 2002 to get a $50 million grant, we decided not to sue because they publicly apologized and acknowledged their mistake. But with Marvel, it’s repeat infringement. After years of litigation in the U.S. and substantial sums, they continue to copy our characters. It’s causing us significant damage and impacting our ability to make a living as artists. It is clear that we cannot accept this repeated behavior. The only way to make things right was to file these proceedings.”

Reportedly, the live action Iron Man movies was where the uncredited copying took place:


Marvel’s third Iron Man movie was released in 2013 and the brothers noticed similarities between the armoured costume worn by Robert Downey Jr. and their design.

The costume changed in each of the Iron Man films.

Iron Man’s suit in the third installment is, the lawsuit reads, “strikingly similar to the suit worn by a Caliban, one of the characters portrayed in Horizon’s Works Radix 1.”


Obviously, if this is true it doesn’t reflect well on Marvel’s business practices, or moviemaking, and is only bound to further the negative perception anybody could’ve gotten of the publisher in the past 2 decades, ever since they threw away respect for their core audiences for the sake of soulless commercialism. If to take sides here, I will decidedly be supporting the Lai brothers and Horizon. Marvel most definitely shouldn’t be slighting their dignity for the sake of their overrated modern publications.



Originally published here.

Avi Green

Avi Green was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. He enjoyed reading comics when he was young, the first being Fantastic Four. He maintains a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy of facts. He considers himself a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. Follow him on his blog at Four Color Media Monitor or on Twitter at @avigreen1