Marvel Has Paid America Chavez Co-Creator 'Nothing' For Her Appearance In Doctor Strange 2

Comic book movies generate billions of dollars at the box office, not to mention the amount of money they end up producing in terms of merchandising and other ancillary revenue after the fact. That might lead one to believe that the creators of the characters that go on to inspire these movies are wealthy. In many cases, they are not, and the live-action debut of America Chavez in the upcoming "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" helps to illustrate why, as the creators of the character have not received any money for it, and they have only been offered a small sum by the brass at Disney/Marvel Studios.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the character's co-creator Joe Casey opened up about the situation, which is something many comic book writers and artists are afraid to do as it could cost them work at Marvel and/or DC. Yet, Casey has revealed that he hasn't been paid by the studio, and he co-created America Chavez with artist Nick Dragotta back in 2011. Xochitl Gomez is playing the role in the movie alongside Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange. Casey said the following:

"Marvel has paid me nothing for America Chavez, not only for appearing in the Doctor Strange sequel, but in numerous animated TV episodes, for the numerous action figures they've made of her, for video games she's appeared in. They seem to be fine with that."

Casey, it's worth noting, rejected what was labeled as a "pittance" by the writer from Disney/Marvel, though no precise amount was quoted. Casey further adds that, "Marvel owns America Chavez. That's not in dispute on any level, but there are still systemic flaws in the way that creators are neither respected nor rewarded." And, especially from Marvel's camp, Casey's words seem to ring very true.

A major ongoing issue

To date, the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies have generated more than $25 billion at the global box office. Imagine the many billions from TV shows, games, toys, and everything else that has come about as a result. Yet, creators of the characters at the center of these movies and other projects continue to reveal that Marvel pays them little to nothing for these creations. Granted, most contracts for major companies are done as work-for-hire, meaning that Marvel owns all characters created in the books. But the fact is that these works go on to generate billions in revenue. It seems like a gigantic corporation like Disney could thank the people with a reasonable bit of financial compensation.

Ed Brubaker, who co-created The Winter Soldier for Marvel Comics, also has shared his woes, explaining that he felt screwed over by Marvel for not getting compensated for a character that has been at the center of giant hits like "Captain America: Civil War" and "Avengers: Infinity War." Jim Starlin, the creator of Thanos, is another example of a creator who has shared his lack of compensation from Disney/Marvel for his work. This is a big issue. It is worth noting that DC is known to pay better rates to writers and artists, though it still pales in comparison to what the multimedia works generate. Casey, speaking further, added the following:

"For me, it's not about money. It's not even about the respect. I would never expect to be respected by a corporation. If I'm in a position where I can afford not to take their insult of an offer, and be able to talk about it, maybe the next guy — where that kind of money could change their life — would get a fair shot of receiving that money."

One can only hope that Disney decides to make this right in the future rather than continue to build billion-dollar franchises on the backs of these artists.

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" hits theaters on May 6, 2022.