Did Marvel rip off Kyle Ritter’s indie comic project “Starblades”?

As part of their Marvel Future Fight mobile game, Marvel recently announced a new all-Asian superhero team: the Warriors of the Sky. The characters include War Tiger from Thailand, Blue Dragon from Vietnam, Sun Bird from Malaysia. and Shadow Shell from Taiwan, all of whom are identifiable with color-coded designs and animal “totems”.

Looks fine, right? Well, as Twitter user Johnny Medieval points out, this new Marvel team looks remarkably similar to the heroes of Starblades, the independent comic book created by comic creator Kyle Ritter.* Like the Warriors of the Sky, the roster of Starblades have animal totems and are similarly characterized by a unique color scheme. While it’s certainly possible that Marvel would not be aware of an independent project like Starblades, it should be noted that the book has garnered over $130 thousand via Indiegogo support, making it one of the most successful crowdfunded comic books of the last few years.

Below are images of both teams for you to decide for yourself…

Marvel’s Warriors of the Sky

Kyle Ritter’s “Starblades” from left to right: Kevic – Sharkblade, Tyrus – Bronze Bear, Dryden – Dragon Knight, Talon – Princess of the Eagle Tribe, Anora – Ghost Tiger, Warrok – Star Wolf

What do you think? Is this an innocent coincidence of “great minds think alike”, or is Marvel’s “House of Ideas” officially out of ideas? Let us know in the comments. And if you’d like to support Kyle Ritter’s Starblades, you can do so through the project’s Indiegogo campaign page here.

Thanks to Jon Malin for the tip!

*Note: this post has been updated after mistakenly identifying Kyle Ritter as Brazilian. I honestly have no idea where that came from…

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