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Marvel's Ultimates co-creator Bryan Hitch is calling it quits on Marvel, DC, and anything that he doesn't own himself

The artist of Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor is on his own last days as a Marvel & DC superhero artist.

Image credit: Bryan Hitch (Marvel Comics)

Bryan Hitch is one of the giants of modern superhero comics, with his work on the Ultimates and the Authority inspiring the way we read and see superheroes - not just in comics, but in the movies, TV shows, video games, and merch they inspire. His early '00s series Ultimates with writer Mark Millar helped definite the Marvel brand as it became known through the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But now, he's leaving all that behind.

Hitch, 53, has announced that he will no longer be doing any project that he doesn't own at least part of. This decision to move away from what's commonly known as 'work-for-hire' or 'WFH' in comics is in advance of Hitch's new creator-owned series Redcoat with writer Geoff Johns and inker Brad Anderson scheduled to launch in Spring 2024.

Hitch's planned last WFH project is the current DC 3-issue series Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor.

"Since Superman was the character who first sparked my passion for comics and movies (and orchestral music), I can't think of anything more fitting that a truly brilliant Superman story is my last WFH project," Hitch writes on social media.

This would seemingly preclude Hitch continuing to be a concept artist on any movies or TV shows he does not own. He was a concept artist for the BBC's 2005 Doctor Who relaunch, as well as for 2009's Star Trek movie directed by J.J. Abrams.

The only exception to this would be if Marvel, DC, or other publishers began giving creators an ownership stake in the comics they create - which is a whole 'nother story.

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