Marvel’s special presentation “Werewolf by Night” has been praised by both critics and fans since its release on October 7 on Disney+. The horror-themed special has received a stellar 90 percent Tomatometer score and a 92 percent Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. Mashable calls it “the perfect Halloween watch,” while reviews on the IMDb say things like, “I had no idea Marvel was capable of something like this,” and note it’s the “best thing Marvel has done in a long time.”
However, not everyone is enamored with the black-and-white creature feature that focuses on monsters from the comic book universe — at least regarding the art used to promote the project. There’s one particular poster at issue — it includes a stylized image of a werewolf with red eyes and was released about a month ago as part of the promotion for the show. An Estonia-based graphic designer named Midiankai has accused Marvel of stealing his design.
Graphic designer Midiankai says his design was created first
In a Twitter post that went up on Friday, Midiankai posted an image of his design, which he said was done six years ago as a T-shirt image for hardcore Dutch band Born from Pain, alongside Marvel’s poster. The two indeed have major similarities and shapes; they’re both constructed of lighter lines on a black background, although Marvel’s version shows the wolf with its mouth open and a background of tree branches.
Midiankai’s version has teeth bared, but the wolf’s face lies over a crossed knife and rose. “I might be crazy but did marvel just rip me off?” the designer asked. In another post, he presented additional evidence, saying, “As a vector artist I can tell that these rounded ends mean the art was auto traced and then edited.”
Those who responded to Midiankai’s post seem convinced, noting additional details that appear to prove the point. One user, @SethKlokk, drew attention to the bottom teeth, saying, “In Midi’s original there’s an indentation in the line work because the top set of fangs are covering the bottom. In Marvel’s version they opened the mouth but the indentation is still there, for absolutely no reason.”
Midiankai spoke with The Direct and claimed he’s had his art stolen before, but usually by beginner artists — not big names like Marvel. He says the incident should be addressed, and he may ask for credit and royalties from Disney since the poster has been widely circulated. As of Saturday, he indicated he is taking “some legal steps toward this case.” Marvel has not yet responded to these developments.