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Comic books have always had a weird, give-and-take relationship with their cinematic counterparts. For the most part, comics take one or two items from their adaptions and incorporate it into their look and feel. Marvel, I think, has always been the biggest sinner in this. The X-Men, for example, got pretty dark costumes in the early 2000s. Iron Man’s design subtlety changed for a few years to match what RDJ was wearing onscreen.
Look where we are now. The Marvel movies are so big; you guys, Doctor Strange just made over a half a billion. A Doctor Strange solo movie. Comics are such a strong marketing tool that it’s impossible to keep the changes to a minimum. It’s getting bad, guys. Let me show you.
Peter Quill of the early 00s was pretty different from Chris Pratt’s Quill. If you had learned of the Guardians of the Galaxy through the movie and, wanting to read everything you could, went back to the Annihilation Wave era (I assume the shock would be even bigger if you went to the original in the 80s), you’d be really surprised.
Gone is the rouge-ish ne’er-do-well; he’s replaced by a cold, pragmatic strategist. With cool cyborg parts! It’s not until the movie backed a money truck up to Disney’s door that comic book Peter Quill became a blonde too-cool-for-space-school… mercenary? Pirate? I have haven’t kept up. I think Kitty Pride was on the team for a bit. Then The Thing? I think Venom was even a Guardian for a while. Man.
Tony Stark has been a dick. Really, that’s been a huge defining trait for his character since forever. Sometimes he was a lovable brand of dickishness. Sometimes, like in the Civil War comic, he was heavy-handed human garbage. Regardless, through the decades, he was the rich handsome guy you loved to hate.
After the movies forced a reboot in All-New, All-Different Marvel, Tony became an incorrigible goof. He cracked wise, sure, but his jabs were softer. He was offended by his reputation with women. He was an excellent people person. He was basically Spider-Man. No, I take that back. He was a broader Robert Downey Jr.
Ultimate Nick Fury was obvious modeled after Samuel L. Jackson. I mean, this was years before the movies. Main universe Nick Fury, 616 Fury, is like what your grandpa imagines a military man to be. Stern-faced white man with an eye-patch. Cigar. Flat top you can set your watch to.
After the movies, it’s revealed that 616 Fury has a son, and to make matters even better, he happens to look just like Sam Jackson! Sweet! All tied up in a little bow. Whoa, waitaminute. What about his eye patch? Ah… how about another war accident? If it ain’t broke and all that.
Before the movies, Black Widow was kind of this nebulous figure. Originally, she was an Iron Man villain. A formal-dress-wearing femme fatale. Then she became something of a super assassin. Sometimes a spy. Then she was kind of a ninja for a bit. Sometimes a villain, sometimes not.
Post-MCU, Black Widow has been firmly stuck in anti-hero super spy territory. Maybe it’s the smallest of the changes, but it’s the closest to the MCU. Literally, literally, just imagine her from the movies and you’re 95% of the way there.
For the longest time, the Inhumans have been a quaint corner of Fantastic Four lore. They were a bunch of monsters living in a hidden city, then the Blue area of the Moon. Sometimes they’d get caught up in an intergalactic war or two. However, they never really rose higher than B-List side characters.
Now, with the hint of an upcoming movie and a few appearances on Agents of SHIELD, the Inhumans are everywhere. Multiple titles, major universe-wide story lines. They’re the new mutants (not the New Mutants). I’m not kidding, there was a mist of Terrigen sweeping the planet killing mutants and making Inhumans. They’re no longer horrific freaks, but your standard good looking characters with super powers. I’m assuming this is what we’re getting in the MCU.
And there are more and more each announcement it seems. Can you think of any more? Let me know in the comments below!