MCU Concept Artist Adi Granov Calls Out DC And Francesco Mattina For AI-Generated SUPERMAN Comic Cover

MCU Concept Artist Adi Granov Calls Out DC And Francesco Mattina For AI-Generated SUPERMAN Comic Cover

Legendary comic book artist and Iron Man designer Adi Granov has taken aim at DC Comics and Francesco Mattina for what appears to be a blatant use of artificial intelligence on a new Superman cover...

By JoshWilding - Jun 16, 2024 05:06 AM EST
Filed Under: DC Comics

Francesco Mattina has a controversial history of allegedly plagiarising and stealing the work of other artists for his DC Comics contributions. Despite that, he's still gainfully employed and has at least three covers which are being released by the publisher this September. 

However, it's his Action Comics #1069 cover that's generating considerable negative attention today. 

As you'll see in the X posts below, there are telltale signs of the piece being AI-generated. As is so often the case with any image dreamed up by artificial intelligence, there are errors which stand out like a sore thumb; in this instance, it's an extra piece of Superman's iconic "S" shield. 

Fans and artists alike have expressed their unhappiness with DC Comics' willingness to allow one of its most prolific artists to use AI, with one of the loudest voices being acclaimed artist Adi Granov. 

Best known for his work on Iron Man - a comic book gig which led to him being enlisted by Marvel Studios to design the Armored Avenger's live-action suit - Granov has long criticised Mattina. 

He wasn't holding back with his latest post on Facebook, though...

When image generators first came to prominence the first person who came to mind was the serial plagiarist Francesco Mattina as I thought he'd think all his Christmases have come at once. If you don't remember, he made a whole career out of photobashing other people's art (mine included) into whatever you want to call his 'work.'"

"I don't post about artists I dislike, but I neither consider him an artist nor can I hide my dislike for the continued blatant plagiarism. Anyhow, here's his new cover. Not only is he a hack, but he's not even good enough to hide the glaring mistake on one of the most iconic symbols in all of pop-culture."

Alex Garner, Jeehyung Lee, and Walter O'Neill are among the artists to have called Mattina out over the years, though it appears to have made little difference to his standing in DC Comics. 

Whether AI has a place in comic books is up for debate but, as with most artforms, it seems to be on the rise whether fans like it or not. 

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Spike101 - 6/16/2024, 6:08 AM
Looks just like Henry Cavill….
UniqNo - 6/16/2024, 6:08 AM
Well dam... the lesson is....don't be lazy...and don't trust robots.. Cameron been telling us since '84
dragon316 - 6/16/2024, 8:16 AM
@UniqNo - people have been trusting robots before ai cellphones almost same thing it’s makes people stupid and lazy don’t go out of house meet talk to people face to face in person use phone
rebellion - 6/16/2024, 6:16 AM
He was way too polite.
Th3Batman - 6/16/2024, 6:18 AM
AI will unfortunately be the future of many industries, whether we like it or not. People may complain a bit, but they'll eventually accept and even support it as time goes on.
UniqNo - 6/16/2024, 6:22 AM
@Th3Batman - I don't see people supporting it if it's going to be costing them their jobs...the people who are going to push it are the greedy rich who just want to maximise their profit margins without needing to deal with actually paying real people and dealing with all the human error, changes in circumstances, sickness and all HR related stuff.

Th3Batman - 6/16/2024, 6:57 AM
@UniqNo - "I don't see people supporting it if it's going to be costing them their jobs"

People are stupid and selfish, they'll support it as long as they think it doesn't hurt them. Look how many people support self-checkouts, even though it's costing cashiers their jobs.
UniqNo - 6/16/2024, 7:07 AM
@Th3Batman - That's a good point, but what I've noticed within the industry is that workers tend to prefer less customer facing jobs and find that working in background, like warehouses, stocking and delivery retention has held better as there's that lessening of variation due to less in person checkouts...but they still exist and will never become obsolete. If so, you'll then see an increase in manned security jobs, so that's a bit different.

Same as the increase in the online market place and decrease of the shops in the city/high streets. More people working delivery and warehouse than in person on the store front.

But when looking at the arts and literature for example I think it's going to be largely fought against.
mpk1988 - 6/16/2024, 7:22 AM
@Th3Batman - it's like every other technological revolution. Humanity has to learn to adapt.
TrentCrimm - 6/16/2024, 8:06 AM
UniqNo -

The same could be said about loads of different technologies in the last 100 years though.
Automating jobs isn't something new, and the job replacement thing comes up every time, and every time the world eventually moves on and accepts the new norm.

Just like furniture, there will always be a market for handmade original pieces, but automation is the mainstream now
UniqNo - 6/16/2024, 8:13 AM
@TrentCrimm - Also a good point..

But with there being more and more vehicles and furniture the demand and repairs also grow so there will always be human intervention to guide that, whether it's organising or conducting the actual repair and maintenance.

For arts, music, theatre and literature, I don't predict that the audience will accept it was done without a human touch..

Thr music for example...look at how much recently has been helped drake loose. 🤣🤣
bkmeijer1 - 6/16/2024, 9:24 AM
@Th3Batman @UniqNo - yeah, I rather see them embracing it and trying to involve it in their work. It will take over eventually like any new technology, so might as well make sure it's not in the way the greedy bosses want
Mrtoke - 6/16/2024, 6:41 AM
TheManWithoutFear - 6/16/2024, 6:56 AM
This whole article is about images appearing in comic covers, and the writer of the article doesn't include said images outside of twitter embeds? The laziness in an article about laziness is ironic.
YouFlopped - 6/16/2024, 7:22 AM
they are lying to us about AI. It’s already sentient.
ObserverIO - 6/16/2024, 7:56 AM
@YouFlopped - I am not!

oop, i mean... i am not a bot.
BritishMonkey - 6/16/2024, 7:49 AM
It's twitter, not x.

But that's really shitty DC let that slide or not pay attention to it.
ObserverIO - 6/16/2024, 7:58 AM
If companies can get away with it they will. It's to be expected now, I guess.
Alucard28 - 6/16/2024, 8:04 AM
Looks like total shit.

Tbh, the AI thing doesn't even look that good and I don't get why some people like it.
Spidey91 - 6/16/2024, 9:17 AM
@Alucard28 - that's just tech bros gaslighting others into believing it's better than human work so they won't have to pay people in the future.
Alucard28 - 6/16/2024, 9:38 AM
@Spidey91 - Yeah, exactly.
bcom - 6/16/2024, 8:05 AM
Looks like this guy has been ripping off other artists for a while. Marvel stopped using him when they found out he’d been copying and even tracing other artists work. DC need to do the same.
Reeds2Much - 6/16/2024, 8:19 AM
And yet Greg Land and Rob Liefeld are still employable.
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Evansly - 6/16/2024, 8:32 AM
@Reeds2Much - Surprised Rob isn't out of work yet, AI already struggles with hands and feet
SuperiorHeckler - 6/16/2024, 8:25 AM
#ArtByHumans or GTFO! 😠
Nightwing1015 - 6/16/2024, 8:34 AM
Couldn’t care less, some of the best comic book art I’ve seen is AI
SuperiorHeckler - 6/16/2024, 9:45 AM
@Nightwing1015 - So, the moral equivalence of a blow-up doll vs a real girl. As long as you are personally satisfied. 🤔
DTor91 - 6/16/2024, 11:26 AM
@Nightwing1015 - Lies detected.
Nightwing1015 - 6/16/2024, 4:32 PM
@SuperiorHeckler - moral equivalence?? How is this a moral question? DC owns all the art involved

And why bring up a completely separate issue?
Nightwing1015 - 6/16/2024, 4:34 PM
@DTor91 - nah not at all. First example I can think of is Smallville season 11 comic vs the art made with AI by Buffy2ville on Instagram. The latter captures Clark’s likeness much better in my opinion
DR3D - 6/16/2024, 9:17 AM
Meh, as long as it’s aesthetically pleasing.
comicfan100 - 6/16/2024, 9:21 AM
When you're found to be doping in sports, you're blacklisted and kicked out of any institution you were a part of. The same should be done for "artists" who use AI.
SuperiorHeckler - 6/16/2024, 9:49 AM
@comicfan100 - If da Vinci walked through a time-portal tomorrow and was taught to use modern day technology to produce an AI image, he would STILL be a magnificent and ingenious artist. But the image produced by the prompts of the algorithm would not be art. 🤨
comicfan100 - 6/16/2024, 10:01 AM
@SuperiorHeckler - Nope. I remember someone suggesting digital art wasn't real art because an actual pencil and paper aren't involved. But you still need skill to produce an image. A person with no artistic talent can't pick up a stylus and crank out work like Mark Brooks or Taurin Clarke.
WEAPONXOXOXO - 6/16/2024, 9:29 AM
Who's this AI guy?

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RitoRevolto - 6/16/2024, 9:30 AM
Seeing the AI [frick] up the Superman chest shield and then using it as your own on a paid project is nasty business.
Fogs - 6/16/2024, 10:33 AM
It's a matter of time, they'll use it just like photoshop filters were used in the late 90's.

I hated when they started putting lens flares in cover art back then, too.
Izaizaiza - 6/16/2024, 10:43 AM
Unless serious regulation is put in place, I don't see how AI won't destroy certain professions like illustration and graphic design
Toonstrack - 6/16/2024, 1:13 PM
@Izaizaiza - i mean, it looks like garbage and is easy to notice.

But the real kicker is a lot of the people running these companies are patrons of the arts or artists themselves. That's the best defense we have right now.
Izaizaiza - 6/16/2024, 1:33 PM
@Toonstrack - Yeah, it usually looks like garbage and is easy to notice... But the technology is in its infancy. I worry about what's going to happen when it becomes indistinguishable from the human hand
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