Here’s How Marvel is Screwing The Creators Who Have Made Them Billions


Lots of nerds grew up wanting to either write or draw comic books. This is a bad idea and should be avoided at all costs unless you want to spend your entire life getting fucked by huge corporations that are making billions off of your work while you die poor and without healthcare.

A few Marvel creators have spoken out recently about just how little Marvel pays the creators who created the characters and stories that they’ve adapted into one of the ten highest-grossing media franchises in the history of the world.

Most notable was Ed Brubaker, who created The Winter Solider. Kind of. It’s complicated because Bucky Barnes was created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon in 1941, but his updated persona of The Winter Soldier and the story of him surviving WWII was created by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. You might think that their work being the basis of two successful movies and now a TV series that’s good but not as good as WandaVision means they’re sitting pretty on residuals and royalties, right?

They definitely are not.

Brubaker was on Kevin Smith’s comic book-themed podcast Fatman on Batman and he told Kevin just how poorly he feels he’s been treated by Marvel. He didn’t even get to go to the premier of Captain America: Civil War, which was mostly based on his comics, in the main theater with the stars, he had to watch in an overflow theater.

“I remember sitting in that movie and just remembering this Jack Kirby ulcer growing in my stomach going, ‘This is what it felt like, kid.’”

“When I see ads for the show, it actually makes me feel sick to my stomach.”

Kevin Feige’s assistant wouldn’t even let him into the after-party, he had to call Sebastian Stan to come and vouch for him.

Brubaker even mentioned that he made more from SAG residuals for a cameo in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that I never noticed and I’ve seen that film four times.

“It’s just weird that they’re so ungenerous to me. It’s especially weird because a lot of them are friends of mine. Or people that I thought were friends of mine.”

“There is a corporate mentality. Right now someone inside marvel publishing somewhere is watching this and laughing that I think I got ripped off. There are people that think it’s funny that I’m unhappy about it. I know for a fact because I’ve watched them be that way about other people in person.”

“I look at those credits and there’s all these other executive producers [of] people who were just at the publishing level who had nothing to do with it. I know how much that EP credit actually makes you in a TV show at Disney. These people have made so much money on stuff that Steve and I did.”

In 2017, Jim Starlin, the grandfather of Cosmic Marvel who created Thanos, Gamora, Drax and the Infinity Gauntlet, has similarly said Marvel has absolutely not done right by him. In fact, he got a larger check from DC in 2017 for their used of KGBeast in Batman v Superman than he received from Marvel for all their movies combined at that point.

In fact, literally the only person I’ve ever heard defend the way Marvel treats their creators was Mike Mantlo, the brother of Rocket Raccoon creator Bill Mantlo, who had to beg for money on GoFundMe like a panhandler to pay his brother’s medical bills. Funny story, Mike actually threatened to sue us for libel for saying Marvel should have given Bill Mantlo more royalties for Rocket Raccoon considering they’ve made billions on the character. But Mike is dead now and you can’t defame the dead, as you know. So I could say something like Mike Mantlo used to piss into his own mouth in the shower while saying “please let me kiss your ass more, Marvel, I love to carry water for giant corporations who are actively fucking me,” and no one could do anything about it.

Marvel is making billions of dollars on the work of people they aren’t compensating well enough to make them happy. They may want to rethink if only so the next generation of writers who write the books they’ll adapt into billion films will actually show up to work.

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