Marvel Comics writer Donny Cates has been accused of ripping off a student script in his debut issue of Absolute Carnage.
The accusations come from Will Valle in a lengthy article discussing the ComicsGate movement. (Related: Comicsgate: Setting the Record Straight After Media Blitz Attacks the Popular Movement!)
At the end of the article, Valle states that Marvel and DC are out of ideas. He supports his position stating, “Marvel just reimagined ‘Maximum Carnage’ as ‘Absolute Carnage’. And they did it halfheartedly without an original script.” (Related: #Comicsgate: How Anti-Speech Harassment Got Ugly and Profitable)
“I know this because the first 3 pages are ripped from a student script they used to give us newbie comic artists when I was studying at SVA in 2000.
The story was relatively simple: ‘A guy runs into the subway, falls on to the tracks, and finds a train baring down on him; only to realize the train is actually a monster.'”
Valle then shares a sketch of his homework assignment from SVA in 2001 and compares it to Cates and artist Ryan Stegman’s pages from the first issue of Absolute Carnage.
**Warning Spoilers for Absolute Carnage #1 Below**
Here’s a look at Valle’s SVA homework assignment.
And here’s a look at the pages Valle shares from Absolute Carnage.
If you happened to read Cates and Stegman’s Absolute Carnage #1, the book does indeed see Eddie Brock and Dylan get pursued into the subway. Once inside, Kletus Cassady shoves them onto the train. In order to save both Brock and Dylan from an oncoming train, the Venom symbiote reveals itself and grinds the train to a halt, derailing it.
The scene is definitely similar to the 2001 writing assignment, but it’s possible this could be just a coincidence.
The Sinister Subway is actually a well-known media trope. Maybe one of its most famous portrayals is in Ghostbusters 2. It’s possible Cates was just using the very common trope to set the stage for the series.
What do you make about the claims that Donny Cates ripped off a 2001 School of Visual Arts homework assignment and included it in Absolute Carnage? Do you think there is any merit to this accusation?