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Legends of Tomorrow Art Swiped from Fantastic Four

Remember that amazing concept art for The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow? Firestorm looked fantastic, didn’t he?!?! Well, he really did look FANTASTIC. In fact, the artwork for Firestorm’s face was swiped from the Human Torch on the cover of Fantastic Four #542 by Adi Granov. Take a look a this side-by-side comparison I put together:

Legends of Tomorrow concept art and Fantastic Four #542

There is a long history of artists using pre-existing artwork for reference. “Swiping” is a comics term that refers to the intentional copying of a cover, panel, or page from an earlier comic book or graphic novel without crediting the original artist. In this case it appears to be a direct copy with some re-coloring. I’m not a copyright lawyer or an artist, so I can’t speak to the legal or ethical implications of this. I’m just a humble fan of Firestorm fan (well, not all that humble) and wanted to bring this to the attention of my fellow fans.

For reference, here is the cover to Fantastic Four #542 by Adi Granov:

Fantastic Four #542 cover by Adi Granov

And here again is the Legends of Tomorrow concept art:

CW Legends of Tomorrow concept art

Huge props to eagle-eyed Ross Pearsall for noticing this swipe! Ross runs a fantastic site, Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues. The tagline for the site is, “The Greatest Team-Ups that Never Happened… But Should Have!” Be sure to check out his site each day! It will quickly become one of your favorites!

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  1. Martin Stein Returns says:

    Good for you, calling shenanigans on this.

  2. Xum Yukinori says:

    In my experience in advertising and promotions, swiping is a common practice in regards to developing concept art, which usually has be be turned around on very short notice and in many cases is used as a visual aid in corporate pitches behind meeting room doors and not intended to be shown to the public at large…

  3. Xum Yukinori says:

    Also, I do not believe the face was “swiped”, but actually “cut and pasted” onto the LoT piece and the touched up with a computer. Again, a fairly common practice in concept art development in order to save time…

  4. Keith Samra says:

    I agree with Martin Stein Returns, good on you for calling this out Shagg!
    I also agree with Xum Yukinori, that sometimes designers and artist have a short turnover with time…

    That said, I’d like to add, that the head may be a “swipe” off of Human Torch, but the body is a “swipe” of Superman from the infamous Superman vs Spider-Man cover!

    Still a very kool image!

  5. Nice catch on the Superman pose Keith. I knew it looked familar.

    I agree with Xum, this is common practice. Probably not really smart to swipe from a Marvel property, though. I remember seeing concept art from the first Batman film. There were swipes from Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Alan Davis, Todd McFarlane, Neal Adams…anyone who had drawn Batman in the last 20 years prior, basically. Of course, that was for the same property, so it made more sense…


  6. HimAnI says:

    I was taught, many years ago in one of my advertising media classes, “If you’re going to swipe something, better make sure it’s something great!” :-)

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