The Marvel Cinematic Universe has done a lot right during the 11 years since it began with Iron Man back in 2008. It has helped them become the highest grossing film franchise in history. One thing we often see from the MCU is the way they change a character from its comic book roots.
As much as we may love our comic characters, a lot of them can come across as too goofy to work in a movie intended for mainstream audiences. That's why the MCU has made so many changes to them. A lot of them managed to improve the character, but some ended up hurting them. Below, you'll find five instances of each.
There are plenty of similarities between the comic book Maria Hill and the one presented by the MCU. Both are tough and loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D., but the MCU version is more of a pure hero. She's always by Nick Fury's side and is quick to help Captain America, Spider-Man, or any other member of the Avengers.
While the MCU made Maria Hill more likable as a person, it makes her less interesting as a character. In the comics, she sticks to protocol, even when it puts her at odds with the heroes we love. She goes hard in her quest to arrest Captain America during Civil War. Hill would've been more intriguing as an antagonist who sticks to the rulebook.
Ego the Living Planet is precisely the kind of character who nobody ever expected to work in a major motion picture. Someone how is just a giant planet doesn't sound all that interesting. The combination of his powers and his look made him unappealing to a film interpretation.
Thankfully, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 changed that. James Gunn turned him into Peter Quill's dad, which isn't even close to being what happened in the comics. Star-Lord's dad on the page is wildly generic. This change for the MCU was a positive one as it raised the stakes, added a personal element, and made Quill's decision to remain human instead of being a celestial mean so much more.
Unlike its sequel, the original Guardians of the Galaxy film lacked a compelling villain. That's because some of the alterations made to Ronan the Accuser stunted his development. For one, the written version has been around for a long time and he's had a lot of time to develop, while the movie variation felt like a generic genocidal bad guy.
Ronan's actions have led him to become something of an anti-hero in the comics. The MCU Ronan also never used his Universal Weapon to its full extent. With it, he could fly, project energy blasts, teleport, and more. Nothing even remotely cool was done with him on film.
Yes, it's another character from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. James Gunn truly made that series in his own vision. Comic Yondu was profoundly religious and followed a strict moral code. He took it so seriously that he'd commit suicide if he ever broke his beliefs.
The MCU Yondu is the opposite. He has little use for morals and honestly, we like him more for it. This change allowed Yondu to be someone most fans could relate to and it made the actions of Peter Quill more understandable. Plus, this version of the character was given a ton of depth and emotional growth in the sequel.
Ask most people what the worst MCU film entry is and they'll usually say Thor: The Dark World. One of the main reasons that the movie suffered was because of its main villain, Malekith. In it, he was a bland bad guy who never felt like a threat to Thor. His best offensive attacks only came because he possessed an Infinity Stone.
In the comics, Malekith is way more powerful. His magic powers include teleportation, energy blasts, illusion casting, and flight. They didn't even dive into his vulnerability to iron. While his look came across better on screen, everything else about Malekith was incredibly lackluster.
When word first broke that the villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming would be the Vulture, a lot of fans groaned. Spidey has a fantastic rogues gallery and Vulture ranked near the bottom. In the comics, he was just an old man in a cheesy bird costume who would engage in petty theft.
But, MCU Vulture turned out to be fascinating. Even without taking Michael Keaton's stellar performance into consideration, this Vulture was way better than anyone expected. They tied his story into the aftermath of The Avengers, his technologically advanced suit looked terrifying at times, and the personal connection he had to Peter Parker added to the emotional stakes.
Odin was handled very differently in the MCU than the comic character fans have known for decades. The father of Thor, Hela, and Loki, Odin is almost unbelievably powerful. We're talking telepathy, dimensional transportation, and he can even destroy planets in the comics.
Odin is just the kind of leader who can intimidate a being as strong as Thor or Hela. However, the film version of Odin barely displayed any of his abilities. He mostly takes a bunch of naps while all the action happens around him in the first two films, and then he waits to die on Earth in the third installment.
Michael B. Jordan is one of the hottest actors in the world and it's mostly due to his performance as Erik Killmonger in the MCU's Black Panther. In the comics, Killmonger had an academic background, was raised as a slave, and wasn't related to T'Challa. The MCU made changes that helped make this character one of the best villains in film history.
In Black Panther, Killmonger was T'Challa's cousin and they had an emotional family quarrel. He was also a vicious mercenary. But what worked even more was how Killmonger's motivation changed. He wanted to use Wakanda's technological advancements to get the weapons to liberate black people around the world. It was one of the greatest character changes ever done.
Watch X-Men: Days of Future Past to get a taste of how Quicksilver should've come across on film. He was cool, charismatic, and a ton of fun. When we were introduced to the MCU's Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he lacked all of those aspects. His powers were barely used and he felt like an afterthought.
In the comics, he and his twin sister Wanda are the children of Magneto. Understandably, the MCU changed that since they didn't hold the rights to the Magneto character. However, making them Hydra experiments just led to a lot of questions about the whole process that were never answered. And then Quicksilver died in his first full appearance despite being a core member of the Avengers in the comics.
In his first two solo films, Thor was way similar to his comic book origin. And that's part of why he never fully clicked. Being a God who spoke like he was in a Shakespearean play made him unrelatable. Thankfully, that all changed once Thor: Ragnarok rolled around.
Director Taika Waititi unleashed a funny side of Thor and it has worked wonders. Thor went from afterthought to arguably the MVP of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. He's quippy, engages in unexpected physical comedy, and comes across as way more relatable. It helps that Chris Hemsworth has excellent comedic timing.