On January 22nd, Injustice: Gods Among Us artist and Lonestar creator Mike S. Miller tweeted that he was considering repurposing a cover breakdown drawn by legendary comic artist Mike Wieringo for use on his series Lonestar:

On January 29th, Miller tweeted that he had found the original breakdown and intended to use it for Lonestar:

Wieringo was a renowned comic book artist with a storied career, providing art for titles such as The Sensational Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and The Adventures of Superman, as well as co-creating the speed force empowered Bart Allen (aka Impulse) for DC Comics. Wieringo tragically and suddenly passed in 2007 as the result of an aortic dissection. In 2017, the Baltimore Comic-Con introduced The Ringo Awards in his honor, with each award honoring the recipient’s achievement in comic books.

When asked by a fan if he feared any backlash from Wieringo’s friends and family, Miller stated that he would welcome any controversy that arose regarding the use of the cover breakdown:

The breakdown drawn by Wieringo was originally used in 1996 for the cover to The Sensational Spider-Man #8:

Mike S. Miller Sparks Controversy Over Use of Mike Wieringo Cover Breakdown

Wieringo’s original breakdown was used in 1996 for the above cover of The Sensational Spider-Man.

The next day, on January 30th, Miller posted a Lonestar cover based on Wieringo’s breakdown, bearing Wiernigo’s signature, declaring that it may be the last Wieringo cover to see print:

Upon posting the image of the in-progress Lonestar cover, fans took issue with the labeling of the work as a Wieringo original due to multiple factors: Wieringo never consented to his breakdowns being used on Lonestar, Wieringo had not worked personally on the new Lonestar piece, and that Miller forged Wieringo’s signature on to the final piece.

Fans were not the only ones to push back against Miller’s use of the cover, as Miller also received backlash from pros across the industry, including Kyle Rayner creator Ron Marz:

RED creator and Batman and The Signal artist Cully Hamner:

And writer Jeff Parker who worked with Wieringo on 2007’s Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four miniseries:

The conversation regarding Miller’s use of the breakdown eventually reached the ears of Wieringo’s brother and the executor of his estate, Matt Wieringo, who requested that the signature be removed:

Following this request, Miller pulled the cover from use on Lonestar.

He then proceeded to light the original artwork on fire as his final statement regarding the controversy:

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