I'm familiar with that blog post, and the ones it links to. I kind of find the blogger more obnoxious than the affronts he calls out Mack for, but it's fair that he found those similarities. Mack responded to them as follows:
"About the reference to Adam Hughes.... When preparing for the look of this book, I wanted to really embrace the comic book look of things while keeping things looking realistic as well, and I'm a big fan of Adam's ability to do that and I was looking at a lot of his work, among others, as a kind of training wheels in considering styles, and getting started on this issue.......This was one of the first pages that I drew in this issue, getting into the vibe for the series and you may be right that I referenced it too heavily. Sometimes when you are getting rolling on a project it takes a few pages to work the influences out of your system. So props to Adam, you have to give credit where credit is due, and I hope this will be viewed as more of an homage and not be distracting to you in the context of the rest of the story."
"When I was doing the second Echo story in between the Bendis/Maleev run, I tried to make it look like the Maleev DD to fit into the continuity.In this story the images of DD has Iconic DD looks from Iconic DD artists for reasons based in this particular story. I'll comment more on it when the issue is out, so as not to spoils."
Artistic talent is not limited to one's ability to create figure drawings, though I understand that for many comic artists, that's their bread & butter. Mack has worked in a multitude of mediums and styles and always brings a distinct visual flare to his work that is uniquely his own. He's a "fine artist" by education, and one of the most notable for bringing that sensibility to comics. In the cases of those covers and (to a far lesser degree) the interiors, perhaps his major flaw here was in thinking with a fine artist's brain instead of a comic artist's brain.
He uses the original images as jumping-off points to create his own presentation. Look at the panels; in each, he references only the shape or angle of the human figure -- and even then, sometimes he wont use the whole figure -- and then creates a wholly original image around it.
I understand why some might cry foul when dealing with an industry that notoriously mistreats its artists, but I think some level of context is important when judging one case from the next. In Mack's case (regardless of how friendly he is), I see a shortsightedness and misunderstanding of what's expected from him in this medium, but I do NOT see someone maliciously or sneakily swiping an image to hit a deadline or steal the previous artist's credit. And, again, considering the entire body of work surrounding those few instances, I'm more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Sorry, I know this was all hashed out years ago and is a serious digression of the thread topic and I'll drop it after this post (though, I'd be happy to continue the debate in another thread, should that be preferable). I just find it frustrating that four years after the fact, the takeaway from that whole debacle is (paraphrasing) "Mack is a lazy tracer." And, if it's gonna keep being brought up as a never-ending reminder, I find it only fair to bring up the other side of the argument as well.