Where exactly does Batman learn all of his sweet techniques to use on the crooks of Gotham? Apparently, it's YouTube. Martial artist Micah Brock, who goes by the moniker Kwonkicker online, has a YouTube channel filled with informational videos about choreography and mixed martial arts. The YouTuber has quite a following, as his videos have collectively pulled in over 65 million views. This month, however, he uploaded a new video accusing DC and Warner Bros. of plagiarizing a fight scene from Brock's indie series Slug Street Scrappers for Batman Vs. Robin. To prove his point, Brock's video shows one scene after the other and even lines them up side-by-side, and it's impossible not to see the direct similarities between the two.
Brock's Slug Street Scrappers is heavily inspired by video games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, though its characters are all original creations. The same goes for the fight choreography, which was designed specifically for the series. In a clip from the show from 2012, a fight scene between two characters plays out, featuring very impressive choreography. One fighter clearly manages to get the best of the other in the sequence primarily through the use of his elbows. Brock's assertion is that someone at Warner Bros. appreciated the scene so much that they completely recreated it for the 2015 animated movie Batman Vs. Robin, right down to the exact camera angles.
It's going to be difficult for the animators to say that Brock's claim is untrue. Compared to the original scene is a fight sequence between Batman and Robin, and it practically mirrors the Slug Street Scrappers scene perfectly. As pointed out in the video, not only does the fight itself play out in the exact same way, it even has the same footwork, close-ups and tempo. Watching both clips in a row should be enough to convince most people, but seeing them side-by-side makes it seem crystal clear. It looks as though the animation team on this Batman animated movie lifted this particular scene from Brock, without giving him any credit whatsoever.
For his part, Brock says he wouldn't have an issue if all that was recreated was the sequence of maneuvers itself. His problem is that it looks as though the animators rotoscoped his footage, tracing over it frame by frame without asking for permission. Because even the body outlines of the characters match up, Brock's argument is that this goes beyond a mere inspiration from the video into straight up plagiarizing the scene. While Brock isn't pursuing a lawsuit at this point in time, he is leaving it to the viewers to compare the scenes and get the web series its credit that DC and Warner Bros. allegedly omitted.
This situation hasn't slowed down Brock at all, as the YouTuber continues to upload videos regularly to his account. There certainly seems to be something to what he's saying, and it remains to be seen if anyone at DC or Warner Bros. will officially respond to Brock's assertion that they ripped him off. You can see more videos from Brock over at YouTube, and you can watch the comparison video below!