Secret Invasion has only been streaming for a few hours, but already the new Marvel series has sparked a wave of controversy thanks to a foreboding creative decision for the opening credit scenes. According to Secret Invasion director and executive producer Ali Selim, the “artwork” featured in the title sequence was created using artificial intelligence. Marvel fans are not taking it well.
The use of AI art has been a contentious issue for years, but thanks to the writers’ strike, AI-generated content has become even more of a hot topic as studios have signaled their willingness to bypass human writers and/or artists. However, Selim has attempted to justify the use of AI art as a commentary on the themes present in Secret Invasion.
“When we reached out to the AI vendors, that was part of it — it just came right out of the shape-shifting, Skrull world identity, you know? Who did this? Who is this?” Selim says.
Like many people, Selim says he doesn’t “really understand” how the artificial intelligence works, but was fascinated with the ways in which the AI could translate the sense of foreboding he wanted for the series. “We would talk to them about ideas and themes and words, and then the computer would go off and do something. And then we could change it a little bit by using words, and it would change.”
Unfortunately for Selim and Marvel, fans are not buying the meta-commentary excuse for using AI art. On Twitter, the Secret Invasion hashtag has been inundated with backlash to the opening credits sequence.
You can see some of the reactions below:
I love spy shit so I hoped Marvel had figured out how to excite me again with #SecretInvasion
And instead all I got was a visceral reminder of why I need to promote the hell out of every artist I have the luck to work with because of that goddamn AI opening
— Emma Mieko Candon – THE ARCHIVE UNDYING – June 27 (@EmmaCandon) June 21, 2023
— William Bibbiani (@WilliamBibbiani) June 21, 2023
The AI intro for #SecretInvasion is of course uncanny to watch and ethically disgusting but i can’t believe marvel is proudly using the same visual gag that little kids use in tiktoks for fun. This is an embarrassing new low. pic.twitter.com/0lPQrgU9o8
— Sydney🚀 (@CountVolpe) June 21, 2023
“bUt ThE sYmBoLiSm”
Breaking Bad’s titles weren’t cooked up by meth dealers, Bridgerton’s weren’t copper etched in the 1800s and I’m pretty sure Dexter’s weren’t made by a serial killer.
— Matt Taylor (@MattTaylorDraws) June 21, 2023
I do not condone using AI 😡
Not only does it take away a job from an artist or artists
— Grace Randolph (@GraceRandolph) June 21, 2023
There's definitely commentary in using disturbing non-human art for a show about non-humans taking over the world.
— Vin (@vinwriteswords) June 21, 2023
Nothing says you don't value a product more than putting an Ai generated image or animation in front of it. The look will be dated soon (animated jitter), but the moral lapse will last well beyond. #secretinvasion pic.twitter.com/ewMRZPcjQ6
— Tim O'Brien (@TonkaOBrien) June 21, 2023
Marvel : already having issues with overworking and treating VFX artists poorly
— Aeon 🏳️⚧️ ||COMMS OPEN|| (@MissPenenko) June 21, 2023
— Mitch Gerads (@MitchGerads) June 21, 2023
Said it before but I’ll say it again – we really went from Spiderverse celebrating the arts and artists to Secret Invasion spitting on us. pic.twitter.com/JXncZtokCe
— Kunal – Commissions (4/10) (@HairyShortStack) June 21, 2023
New episodes of Marvel’s Secret Invasion stream Wednesday on Disney+.