There are many cases in entertainment where someone has clearly been inspired by the work of another, to the point of plagiarism.
This really is not one of them.
But in 2011, one Michael Bennett became obsessed with the idea that Mark Millar had stolen aspects of his novels, Owl: Unlikely Crusader and Owl: Knight's Quickening and used it in Kick Ass and other work. And at some point managed to try and get a DC VP on his side. He wrote back in 2014 on Facebook,
On September 10th 2008 I sent my manuscript Owl Unlikely Crusader along with a drawing of Owl to Marvel Entertainment, Inc. 417 5th Ave. New York, New York 10016 labeled as a Writing Inquiry. I don't know if Mark Millar was given my manuscript or stole it on his own but I do know he used it along with his Batman revenge rip-off characters to make the movie Kick-Ass 1.
Just so we are clear on this, he did no such thing. And Millar, as a freelance writer for Marvel living in working in Coatbridge, Glasgow, would have no access to such submissions. Not only that, but Marvel don't even take such unsolicited submissions.
Since then Mark Millar has stolen more material from Owl Unlikely Crusader and some material from my latest version of Owl called Owl Knight's Quickening that was released January 17, 2012. Most likely Mark Millar put my name Michael Bennett and the word Owl in a search engine and up popped Owl Knight's Quickening on Kindle. Oh what a wonderful day this must have been for Mark Millar. There he was the criminal returning to the scene of the crime, happy to steal more fruitful intellectual property from me. This is why I hesitate publishing any more Owl material because I have Mark Millar lying in wait.
Because now Michael Bennett is seeing his work ripped off across all sorts of media. And blames Mark Millar for doing it all.
In the movie The Avengers Black Widow wraps a chain around bad guy's leg then pushes him over a ledge where he dangles. Where as Owl wraps a cable around Dr. Morikaido's neck and kicks him out of a helicopter where he dangles. Rare element in Avengers is Iridium. Rare element in Owl is Cotonium. The Bomb arrow that Green Arrow used to damage flying aircraft carrier looks like Owl's Grappling Chuck on Owl writing inquiry/book cover. Green Arrow has a grappling arrow now like Owl has a Grappling Chuck. Iron Man's suit is attracted to his Tony Stark's bracelet like Owl's wings are attracted to his gloves.
From Owl Knight's Quickening he stole my new beginning the perimeter wall around Towne City that protects the city from the Monkey People and put it in the movie World War Z as the Israel perimeter wall, built to keep out the zombies that act more like Monkey People than zombies. World War Z was based on a 2006 book but the Israel Perimeter Wall was a Hollywood rewrite. The Movie World War Z was made by the film company responsible for Kick-Ass 1, Plan B Entertainment.
He put the Towne City Perimeter Wall around Mega City One in the movie Judge Dredd. Also in Judge Dredd there are arbitrary shots of skateboarding like in Owl.
He also put a perimeter wall around the city in the Fox TV show Almost Human.
It is possible Mark Millar put the Towne City Perimeter Wall in the Movie Pacific Rim as well.
From Owl he took Kelly Westcott's plane, the C15050, which is a large cargo plane (like the C130) that has the ability to take off vertically and put it in Marvel's ABC TV show S.H.I.E.L.D.
Mark Millar has plucked off Falcon's old feathered wings and replaced them with Owl's mechanized wings for the new Captain America Winter Soldier movie.
I went to go see Captain America and it was like watching Owl. I wrote down some more possible infractions.
Michael Bennett's Comparison of Owl and Captain America Winter Soldier
From Owl's Cover Art
Captain America has Owl's Gloves. Instead of his bright red dish washing gloves he was wearing in The Avengers.
Captain America has Owl's pants (Cargo style with built in Knee Pads). Instead of his tights tucked into his boots he wore in The Avengers.
Winter Soldier has Owl's pants (Cargo style with Knee Pads).
Falcon has Owl's pants (Cargo style with Knee Pads).
Falcon has Owl's Wings. Once again Mark Millar uses Owl imagery in the movie trailer to put asses in the seats, just like he did in Kick-Ass 1 and in World War Z.
Falcon's Wings attach to his torso with buckles just like Owl's Wings do.
Black Widow has a grappling chuck like Owl.
Winter Soldier has a grappling chuck like Owl.
Captain America has a scar on his left cheek like Owl.
Captain America gets shot in the thighs on both his legs like Owl.
More Possible Mark Millar Infractions
Captain America stands on the back of his motorcycle seat and uses the bike to launch himself into the air like Owl does.
Both Owl and Falcon use parachutes.
Winter Soldier has a dust mask like Owl does.
Steve Roger's (Captain America) scene in the museum where he sees a little boy and a woman on a TV screen gives a back story about Captain America and Steve gets sad when he thinks of his dead friend Bucky is like James Knight's (Owl) scene where he is walking down the street and notices a little girl watching a TV in a window and there is a news woman doing a story on Owl and James gets sad when he thinks of his dead friend Tomas Strainer.
Nick Furry faking his own death and Bucky being presumed dead is like Dr. David Morikaido faking his own death and when Thomas Strainer is killed and is sort of brought back as Brian Nelson. Both stories have 2 death then brought back storylines, one good guy and one bad guy.
At the end of both stories a man falls into green water. Both Steve Rogers and James Knight in up in hospital beds. Both Steve and James have a scar on their left cheek. Both Steve and James have unfinished business. Both Steve and James have a friend get them some Intel. Both Steve and James's friends express their concern about the unfinished business.
At the end of movie Falcon pulls the bad guy's head down to knee him in the face like Owl pulls Dr. Morikaido's head down to knee him in the face.
Falcon swoops down to kick Winter Soldier with a straight leg like Owl does in the 3 on 1 scene (chapter 6 Pedagogues) (The Teacher in Unlikely Crusader).
In the middle of the movie Captain America's knife fight with the Winter Soldier is like Owl's fight with Old E (Travis Murray) in chapter 6 Pedagogues or The Teacher in Unlikely Crusader.
James Knight is betrayed by his superior the Dr. Morikaido and Captain America is betrayed by his superior Pierce.
When both James Knight and Falcon first put their wings on they are both in their street clothes.
When Captain America and Falcon talk about PTSD is like when James Knight and Brian Nelson talk about Brian being a veteran and losing his job and becoming homeless. Both are emotional scenes with military sympathy.
Both James Knight and Captain America have to escape their own security teams by jumping out a window.
Owl jumps out of a plane at night to sneak onto and into a building. Captain America jumps out of a plane at night to sneak onto and into a ship.
Both James Knight and Captain America disguise themselves and sneak back into the buildings in which they work to retrieve something.
There are more possible infractions.
So that's it. The reason why I am becoming more bitter with every dead end I come across trying to find someone with the ability to right this wrong. The reason I am becoming weirder and more anti-social as the days click off and as the days turn into years until I won't be able to recognize myself.
Then again I just might get Mark Millar and send him back to the UK where he is from with his tale between his legs.
Since then, Bennett has spent most of his time posting these – and other- allegations on Facebook, on Twitter, to the exclusion of all else. His entire twitter feed is made up of nothing but messages targeting Millar.
Including how Millar is getting all the additional information that Bennett had not sent to Marvel or made public.
@mrmarkmillar Why are you hacking into my phone spying on me and stealing every last sentence from Owl Knight's Quickening & Owl Unlikely C?
— Michael Bennett (@Owljamesknight) July 4, 2015
@mrmarkmillar I sent Marvel's editor Joe Quesada and Marvel attorney Dave Althoff a cease and desist letter regarding your plagiarism.
— Michael Bennett (@Owljamesknight) April 25, 2016
@mrmarkmillar So why did you hack into my phone at 8:10:05 am GMT on 10/9/12 from Algeria IP 22.214.171.124 instead of just working with me??..
— Michael Bennett (@Owljamesknight) March 13, 2016
@mrmarkmillar Kingsman=Millar's detestation of Americans+Owl Knight's Quickening+IP gleaned from illegal phone hack+Johnny English Reborn?
— Michael Bennett (@Owljamesknight) December 13, 2015
No that one totally lost me. Then there are the phone calls, as Michael tried to get DC Comics executives to join him in a suit against Millar over his "theft" of Batman characters for Kick Ass as well. And he got through to Jay Kogan, who is Vice President Business & Legal Affairs for DC Entertainment. Bennett recorded the conversation.
He didn't get anywhere. Jay Kogan did ask Michael to put information together for him, but states that any resemblance to be likely to down to parody.
Michael also writes,
So Jay Kogan calls me back and tells me I can should subpoena him if I were to ever get a court case going. But DC is not going to peruse it. So there is a potential expert witness in Jay Kogan. Now on Fox there is Gotham. On NBC there is Constitine. what I think happened is that DC Comics made a deal using my information. A deal with Universal who owned the rights to Kick-Ass. A deal with Fox who employed Mark Millar as a creative consultant. And I am still fighting!
Instead he now believes Mark Millar took the vulture images from those videos and used them in World War Z, a film Millar had no involvement with at all.
Bennett has also created elaborate diagrams to show the similarities he believes he can see.
This stuff is fascinating. Indeed, I think Michael Bennett might be onto something without realising it. There is so much creativity being expounded on this conspiracy theory, with such dedication and care – that this could well be a hit.
Michael, Mark Millar never stole a thing from you. Any similarities you see is either coincidence or you reaching to find similarities which are commonplace anywhere but in your mind.
But I have been fascinated reading these theories and warped comparisons. Publish them as a book, but mark it as fiction, Except that's what it is. And you know what? I'll buy a copy.