Marvel Studios is cutting corners yet again, this time using ugly AI art for the intro credits of its new Disney Plus series Secret Invasion.
Admitted in a Polygon interview, Marvel Studios decided to use artificial intelligence to generate artwork for its new TV show instead of paying artists to create new art for them.
As shown on Twitter, the art used in the Secret Invasion credits sequence is ugly as sin. The “art” attempts to recreate the series’ premise of beloved Marvel characters actually being green alien Skrulls in disguise, but the generative images used are rather disgusting.
Images in the opening credits sequence attempt to show this premise by generating awful images of Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury fused with a Skrull. The resulting image is shockingly bad, barely looking anything like the actor. If you look closely, there’s even a second face sprouting of the character’s cheek.
As a journalist who has paid attention to the explosion of AI art such as Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, Marvel’s use of AI art in Secret Invasion isn’t even a good use of the technology. While AI art will always have its flaws, and is ethically shaky, the artwork on display here is also of atrocious quality.
For example, the Secret Invasion opening credits show numerous attempts at depicting the comic book universe’s Skrulls, a goblin-like alien race. However, their depiction with this poor AI art looks nothing like their designs in the marvel cinematic universe, comics or even any of their video game appearances.
As AI art regulation becomes an even hotter topic, the generative tool has already seen restrictions in countries such as Japan. In order to protect artists, tools such as Midjourney, Stable Diffusion and more will end up being heavily restricted, and that will only ever be a good thing.