The introduction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has completely altered the way movies are presented. While linked cinematic universes and crossover events have occurred in films before, they have never been as massive as the enormous franchise Marvel has built for itself.
It has also set off a chain of events that saw rival companies trying to mimic their gameplan, with varying success. DC Comics is trying to capitalize on the idea, Universal has started their attempt to build a the Dark Universe with The Mummy, and there was even talk of having the cast of the 21 Jump Street movies team up with the Men In Black. These large cinematic universes are changing everything in media.
Included in those changes are the comic books which they were originally spawned from. The Marvel films have made such an impact on the mainstream consciousness that Marvel has had to go into their comic books and change a whole lot of things around in order to match what audiences have been seeing on screen. They want a sense of cohesion between their mediums, because nothing would be more confusing than picking up an Avengers comic book after seeing the film and finding out the team is completely different than what we’ve seen in the films.
So, in order to appease new fans of comic book characters and comic books in general, Marvel has retooled how they are doing things. Here are 15 Ways Marvel Movies Changed The Comics.
15 Nick Fury
Any fan of comic books will tell you that the original Nick Fury was indeed a white man - though the Ultimate run did have a Nick Fury that looked surprisingly like Samuel L. Jackson.
After the success of The Avengers and Nick Fury’s pivotal role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s hard to have a white dude in the comics when Samuel L. Jackson is portraying the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. What did Marvel do in order to remedy this problem? They gave Nick Fury a black son.
This son had never been mentioned previously, and fit in very nicely once the success of the movie franchise took off. But Nick Fury Jr., aka Marcus Johnson, eerily had the same aesthetic as Jackson after a while. He got into an accident that saw him lose an eye, he shaved his head, and just started to go by Nick Fury instead of Marcus.
14 No More Fantastic Four
It is well-known that Marvel Studios doesn’t currently hold the rights to the Fantastic Four, which is why Fox Studios keeps putting out terrible movie after terrible movie involving the original super team. Almost none of their movies involving the team have been good, but they keep making them in order to hold onto the rights.
The Marvel comics branch of the empire has decided to write the Fantastic Four out of their stories almost entirely. They have in fact, “de-prioritized” the team in favor of teams they actually have the rights for.
What the super team is doing now is acting as caretakers of of the rebooted continuity after Secret Wars. All of their actions happen off-page, though, and the whole world are convinced that Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm are dead.
13 Star-Lord’s New Personality
You would be forgiven if you were confused about Star-Lord’s personality in the Guardians of the Galaxy films if you were a long time fan of his comic book character. The way he is portrayed in the movies is a far cry from his original personality.
Before the movie, the Star-Lord of the comics was an intensely sardonic and cynical realist after fighting in several wars. He had a grim outlook on life, was often sarcastic, and definitely not someone you could stand to be around for long periods of time.
After the movies came out, his personality was tweaked, not his backstory, just his personality. He’s now a goofy wisecracker we see in the films. He just randomly changed his personality with no explanation. He’s still a veteran, but now he’s just a happy veteran!
12 Brought Captain America Back To Life
The Civil War event that happened in Marvel comics saw a major conflict between teams of superheroes. Captain America and Iron Man had a clash of ideals on whether superheroes should register with the government. The event saw Captain America get killed in the process, in one of the most heartbreaking moments in Marvel’s comic books.
With the popularity of Captain America’s movies, Marvel realized it was leaving a ton of money on the table by having the Cap dead in their comics. In order to remedy this problem, they brought Steve Rogers back to life with a storyline that is so ridiculous, you can just see it for the cash-grab that it is.
They explained that Cap didn’t actually die in Civil War, he was shot with a time-gun that left his spirit unstuck in time. That spirit eventually found its way into a clone of his body. Makes a ton of sense, right?
11 Brought Old Man Logan Back
Since the X-Men are far more popular than the Fantastic Four, Marvel doesn’t have a big problem with striking a deal with Fox about the X-Men franchises. When Fox was set to release Logan, a very loose adaptation of the comic Old Man Logan, Marvel decided it was in their best interest to bring Old Man Logan back into the comics.
Since they knew they weren’t going to be seeing any profits from the film, Marvel thought it would be smart to reap the benefits of the movie though OML. Since Wolverine has been killed in continuity, Marvel had to get creative with bringing him back into the fold. Luckily, the Secret Wars event allows them to mess around with their continuity in a ton of different ways, which allowed for the return of Old Man Logan.
10 Promoting The Inhumans
Since Marvel is no longer prioritizing, or even writing new stories, for the Fantastic Four, they thought it would be a perfect time to push another superpowered family to the forefront. Thus, we are seeing more heavy promotion of the Inhumans, who just so happen to have a new television series coming out in September.
The Inhumans were mostly a secondary, or even tertiary, superhero team throughout their publication history. Their rise to prominence has been abrupt and strange to say the least.
The race of aliens created a poison that kills off mutants, which leads to a huge conflict with the X-Men. This killed two birds with one stone, de-prioritizing the X-Men, while promoting the Inhumans. It’s a Marvel win-win.
9 Changed Scarlet Witch And Quicksilver’s Backstory
Things begin to get very complicated when you talk about Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Fox and Marvel share the rights to these characters, which can make for a murky situation. Quicksilver appeared in both an Avengers movie and an X-Men movie within the same year, leading to a lot of confusion for moviegoers.
In order to screw Fox over some more, the writers of the comic books completely changed the pair of twins’ backstory and even their species. First, there was the revelation that Magneto is not their father. Next, they were found to not be mutants at all; instead they were a product of experimentation by High Evolutionary.
Say goodbye to decades of continuity and storylines, Marvel needs to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to their movies, and they don’t want to give Fox any kind of leg up.
8 Made Quake an Inhuman
Quake was always a bit of a lesser-known hero in Marvel comics, which made it easy to change her backstory. Marvel didn’t think its readers would notice a drastic and nonsensical change to her story, but you can’t slip anything past comic book fans.
Since Quake, aka Daisy Johnson, became a major player in Marvel’s television show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., they completely changed her origin to make her a part of the Inhumans. Originally, she was always the result of human experimentation, but no more! The major AoS character introduced as Skye was revealed to be Daisy after she went through Terrigenesis and developed abilities.
This change in backstory and origin makes no sense until you realize that Marvel is just trying to shoehorn in as much Inhumans stuff as they can.
7 Killed Off Happy Hogan So Tony Stark Can Be With Pepper Potts
If you’ve been following the Iron Man films, you’d know that Happy Hogan is Tony Stark's assistant and Pepper Potts is Tony Stark's lover. It has been that way since the very first film and has continued through all of the cinematic universe.
Not so in the comics! On the printed page, Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts were lovers, and for a long time.
In order to match the stories they tell on screen with the stories told in the comic books, Marvel decided to kill Happy Hogan off in the most depressing way possible. He slipped into a coma after suffering a fall. Tony Stark eventually pulled the plug on his longtime friend and coworker, and he was now free to hook up with Pepper as much as he likes. We're sure Happy wouldn’t be too... happy... about that.
6 Blade Is A Day Walker
Many people might not remember or realize this, but Blade is a Marvel property and his movies were moderately successful in their heyday. Wesley Snipes played the vampire hunter and gave an inspired performance that many people enjoyed.
Blade's comic backstory is a little weird, though. His mother was bitten by a vampire while giving birth to him, thus giving Blade his powers of vampire sensing and vampire immunity.
In the movies, he was basically a vampire that could walk around while the sun was out. He essentially got all of the positives of being a vampire/vampire hunter without any of the negative consequences - well, aside for the craving for blood.
In order to match this story from the movies, Marvel decided to give him the same powers in the comics by having him get bitten by Morbius, the living vampire, giving him all the same powers he had in the movies.
5 X-Men Costume Change
When the X-Men’s film franchise first took off, Fox was tasked with making the team super cool and very early-2000s. In order to do this, they ditched the traditional blue and yellow uniforms in favor of black leather. It was a major update to the team’s gear and it left many fans split on the decision.
Well, in order to match the films, comic book writers made the team’s uniform more in line with what was seen on the silver screen. The X-Men soon began sporting leather-y outfits in the comics as well. While the outfits were more functional and realistic, not many comic readers liked the attire.
Luckily, Joss Whedon took over writing duties shortly after and put the team back in their classic colors, ditching the leather garb. Joss Whedon can save just about anything, can’t he?
4 Gave Spider-Man Organic Web-Shooting
If you were a fan of Spider-Man before Sam Raimi’s film trilogy, you were probably very dismayed to see that Peter Parker got a very unique ability in the movies. Instead of constructing his own web-shooters, he was given the gift of organic web-shooters as a part of his abilities.
Anyone who had ever picked up a Spider-Man book, or watched the Spider-Man cartoon, knew that Parker constructed his own web-shooting. This change was out-of-nowhere and left many fans confused or upset.
In order to fix this inaccuracy, Marvel just gave Spider-Man the organic web-shooting ability in the comics through a whacky story involving Peter Parker becoming an actual spider, and then reverting back to his human form.
Thank goodness they went back to the original story. It’s one of the only things that prove Peter Parker is a scientific and innovative genius.
3 Hawkeye’s Costume
Okay, some people might consider this a good change from the movies, but it’s a change nonetheless.
Traditionally, Hawkeye has donned a bright purple costume with a giant “H” on his head to let people know that he is, in fact, Hawkeye. Many people don’t consider this to be a very good costume, but it is what he has worn throughout his history.
The films changed it up into something more realistic. He started wearing combat gear, which is definitely more suited for the real world.
Realizing it was a good idea to change up his aesthetic in the comics as well, Marvel followed the movie’s lead and gave him a more realistic look. This may be an example where the changes made due to the movies actually make sense and were positive.
2 Making Deadpool A Mainstream Hit
After the massive and unpredictable success of the Deadpool movie, Marvel decided that it would be best if the Merc with a Mouth was more prominently featured in the pages of their comic books. No longer relegated to secondary storylines, Deadpool saw a surge in popularity, and it was addressed head-on in the comics.
In the comics, Deadpool was deemed the most famous superhero, and was given fabulous wealth and notoriety. He became so rich from his merchandise sales that he was able to fund The Avengers’ activities when they needed money.
They don’t explain how exactly Deadpool got to be the most famous superhero in the world, but the leap from secondary character to mainstream success is a hilarious one. Would you expect anything less from the fourth-wall-breaking anti-hero?
1 Changing Bruce Banner And Tony Stark’s Relationship
In The Avengers, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are well-aware of each other and their scientific acumen make them quick friends. They are seen teaming up to conduct experiments and invent new technology.
In the comics, their paths don’t really cross too often. Marvel had a quick fix for this, though, with the storyline, Original Sin: Hulk Vs Iron Man. In this storyline, Tony and Bruce’s past is explored more thoroughly and it is revealed that Tony Stark actually played a part in the gamma radiation experiment that made Banner into The Hulk.
Banner Hulks-out on him until it’s revealed that Tony’s drunken mistake during the experiment actually saved his life by reducing the amount of gamma radiation he would receive, which saved his life. If Stark hadn’t done this, Banner would have been atomized.
Are there any other changes to Marvel comics caused by the movies? Let us know in the comments!