Francesco Mattina Accused Of Using AI For DC Comics Cover, Marvel Gets A New Logo, Bruce Wayne Dies (Sort Of) | Comic Book Club News For June 18, 2024

comic book club news june 18 2024

Artist Francesco Mattina is being accused of using AI for a variant cover for DC Comics’ Superman #18. Marvel Comics gets a new logo. Bruce Wayne dies — sort of — in the new issue of Batman. All on Comic Book Club News for June 18, 2024.


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Episode Transcript:

Artist Francesco Mattina accused of AI use.

Marvel gets a new logo.

Batman dies! Sort of!

This is Comic Book Club News for June 18, 2024.

Artist Francesco Mattina Accused Of Using AI For Cover To DC Comics’ Superman #18:

Today’s most buzzed-about comics news story: artist Francesco Mattina has been accused of using AI for a variant cover for Superman #18. Specifically, he’s been accused by fellow comic book artists like Adi Granov, and not only that, his history of stealing others’ artwork may go back decades.

The news has been reported by multiple outlets, though as usual The Beat has an extensive rundown of the situation. Specifically, Granov and others noted multiple visible errors on the Superman variant, including two little curls on the bottom of the Superman S symbol, earrings on Lois Lane in the wrong place, and a general lack of cohesion to the cover.

As Granov notes, it’s just not a great cover, regardless of whether or not AI is used. And while we here on the podcast stand firm on the idea that AI is theft, not creation, this could have been a one-off mistake. Except it’s not. As detailed in a lengthy thread on X (formerly Twitter), Mattina has been accused of tracing other artists’ work even pre-AI, including multiple covers for Marvel taken straight from art created for Sideshow Collectibles, and even a cover for Batman that seemingly was taken from a Batman convention sketch by Gabriele Dell’Otto.

A Marvel Talent Coordinator even noted in the comments section on Granov’s post that back in 2010, they were alerted to Mattina’s potential theft, and stopped working with him. Until they started working with him again.

As for DC, we’ve been told that the publisher has a longstanding policy in place that all artwork must be the artist’s original work, and they are currently looking into the situation. More on this as it develops.

Marvel Comics Gets A New Logo:

Marvel Comics has a brand-new logo, and everyone hates it! Stealthily introduced without much fanfare over the weekend, the new logo brings Marvel Comics in line with the same sort of logo as Marvel Studios, Marvel Animation, and Marvel Television. It replaces the previous logo, which has been in place in various forms since 2000.

The old logo, which simply read “Marvel” in white letters on a red background, was first introduced on Marvel’s Ultimate comics, before moving to the main line. The look was tweaked slightly by graphic designer Rian Hughes in 2012, and has remained consistent since then — until now.

The new look is not designed by Hughes, and is currently driving font nerds insane because despite setting the word “comics” with a white bar on the top and bottom, which on the surface seems similar to the Marvel Studios logo; it’s actually a different font, for no particular reason.

Also confusing: reportedly, the logo won’t be used on Marvel’s comics… Just for corporate branding, PR, and social channels. So if accurate, Marvel Comics is getting a new logo; but not for comics. Time to make yet another new logo, I guess!

DC Comics Kills Bruce Wayne In Batman, Sort Of:

In the latest issue of DC Comics’ Batman, Bruce Wayne dies! Sort of! Spoilers past this point.

In today’s Batman #149, Batman is dealing with the aftermath of his fight with Failsafe, an evil robot who did a lot of stuff including cloning him to make itself a new Robin. That clone is initially a younger version of Bruce Wayne without many of his memories. But as we learn in the issue, to age him up to fighting form, Failsafe also sped up his aging process.

So over the course of the issue, this version of Bruce grows to the same age as Batman, a little bit older, and finally becomes an old man before dying. In this way, the Bruce Wayne we’re following gets to literally bury the old version of himself, so he can move on to a more productive, more open status quo with the extended Bat family where they all live in a house together.

It’s a neat metaphor from writer Chip Zdarsky, and a way of killing Batman — or at least Bruce Wayne — while still giving him a new lease on life. Oh, plus the clone chops off his hand so Batman can replace the robot hand he’s had with a real human hand. But forget I said anything about that, it’s pretty messed up.

For Comic Book Club News, I’m Alex Zalben. And I’m no doctor, but that’s not how hands work.

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