X-Men First Class looking over railing

Credit: 20th Century Fox Studios

Marvel fans uncover a video from Neal Adams a few years back explaining how Marvel continues to not pay creators barely anything.

Chris Evans as Captain America (left) and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes (right)
Credit: Marvel Studios

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While many fans love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not many fans know that the studio fails to give enough credit to the creators. Marvel always ends up borrowing elements from the stories that are written, basing several super hero costumes on what the artists have drawn. Simply put, the MCU leans on what other creators have already done before they start working on an MCU project.

This isn’t a bad thing as fans love several of the storylines that are told and the looks of certain super heroes. The problem is that the creators may be credited for their work influencing the movie, but won’t receive any royalties for their work. Unlike Marvel, DC does normally pay royalties to creators when they use their work in a new project.

Tony Stark and Pepper Potts looking at Doctor Strange
Credit: Marvel Studios

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In a Tweet posted by Marvel fan, Nicholas, the fan shares how Neal Adams compares the two studios at how they handle royalties. Adams shares how he received a nice check from Warner Bros. for his creation of Ra’s Al Ghul and then nothing for Havoc, a mutant he created that appeared in X-Men: First Class (2011):

So this video was on my YouTube timeline & it was interesting to me Neal Adams said he got $100,000 for every movie of the Dark Knight Trilogy that Ra’s al Ghul was in He then says he got $0 from Marvel for Havok being in the X-Men prequel trilogy films

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While some will point out that Fox owned the X-Men at the time, it still doesn’t change the fact that Adams didn’t get any compensation for the studio using his character. Neal Adams isn’t the first creator to be unjustly treated by Marvel and won’t be the last. The actor sadly passed away a few weeks ago after having a long career in the comic book industry. Now fans have been looking at different ways Marvel has failed to support creators. America Chavez’s creator, Joe Casey recently talked about his lack of royalties for Chavez being in the MCU, but this isn’t anything new for Marvel.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) has their entire movie based on the comic book storyline that c0-creator, Ed Brubaker wrote and he didn’t get any recognition and only a small royalty check for his hard work. One fan pointed out that Jim Starlin got a royalty from DC after using one of the minor characters he created in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and how Marvel gave him nothing after using Thanos, Gamora, or any of the other Marvel characters he created:

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One may wonder how Marvel is able to get away without paying creators anything and that’s because of how the company restructured creators out of getting royalties to be more appealing to investors:

People tend to forget that Marvel was in Chapter 11 during the late 90s and was restructured and while it is no shock it is sad that during that restructure they “acquired” all the characters and stripped creators out. It made them more attractive to investors.

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While Marvel may have been struggling back then, the company could have made amendments and got creators royalties for their work, but it seems that Marvel would rather take the money for themselves. This isn’t surprising, but it’s frustrating when DC does the right thing and pays their creators.

Hopefully, things will change as Marvel fans just assume that the studios treat every creator like Stan Lee and gives them the recognition and credit they deserve which is entirely false. With Marvel continuing to add more obscure super heroes into the MCU, fans will see several more occasions where creators are left without recognition for their hard work as Marvel takes all the money for themselves.

Liam Neeson as Ra's Al Ghul
Credit: DC/Warner Bros.

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The MCU is just beginning to add more super hero teams into the Marvel universe because now, the avengers need all the help they can get. It is only a matter of time before we see the Young Avengersilluminati defenders, Midnight Sons, X Men, Fantastic Fourand the Thunderbolts enter the MCU.

Phase Four has started off with a lot of content for Marvel fans to look forward to in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On Disney+ you can watch Moon Knight, Ms Marvel on June 8, and she hulk to debut this year. For movies, Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness is out in theaters right now, followed by Thor: Love and Thunder on July 8, and of course, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on November 11.

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