Celebrated writer and creator of iconic characters for Marvel and DC Comics, David Michelinie, clarified what it actually means to create a comic character, and why certain writers and artists receive the "co-credit" distinction. One character he is credited with creating, or co-creating, is Scott Lang. One character fans are quick to question Michelinie about are the creative rights for Scott Lang.
The dual identity of Ant-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Scott Lang's first appearance came in Tales to Astonish #35 in 1962. Michelinie's long post on his personal Facebook account, dubbed "RANDOM MUSINGS," was in reaction to a post that appeared on CBR entitled Comic Legends: Who Created the Scott Lang Ant-Man?
While he is willing to give credit where it is due, Michelinie disputes the notion he shares credit for the genesis of particular ideas and characters when he spent time fully fleshing out their personalities and backgrounds. Michelinie wrote, "However, there are other characters that I came up with entirely on my own, sitting at the desk in my office, with no input from anyone else on the planet."
He went further, addressing the claims of naysayers, stating, "But if I say I 'created' such characters--like Venom, Carnage, Taskmaster, Scott Lang and so many more--someone will come back with, 'But what about such-and-such? He/She created them, too!' And, according to some definitions, that's true."
Michelinie explained that Marvel assigned credit based on who drew and wrote a character's first appearance, regardless of who conceptualized the character first and how briefly they showed up in the issue. He shared examples of this occurrence when he worked on Iron Man with Bob Layton and Star Wars comics with Walt Simonson.
Michelinie concluded by saying he would change his terminology, choosing to replace the words "co-creator" with something more original. "But the bottom line is that I alone ORIGINATED those characters. I was the first to think of them, I brought them into this world, and if I had never been born those characters would not exist. And there's not a fact, opinion or argument that can change that."