Although it’s not a universal rule, in general, the best superhero movie adaptation are faithful to the comic books they’re based on – and that includes in terms of the character aesthetics. The likes of Spider-Man, Iron Man, Batman and Superman have always at least heavily resembled their comic book counterparts when they’ve appeared on screen, for example.
However, for various reasons, a number of characters in superhero movies have been barely recognisable in terms of their physical appearance when compared to the source material. In most cases, this results in a fan backlash – which kind of makes you wonder why the movie-makers thought it was a good idea to change the way they look in the first place.
In this video, we’ll take a look at some of the most extreme examples. Here are ten superhero movie characters who look nothing like the comics.
Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is a rare example of a superhero movie character who has proven to be extremely popular, in spite of the fact that he really doesn’t look like his comic book counterpart. Sure, he’s muscular, has the same hair and the claws, but that’s where the physical resemblance ends. Jackman is more than six feet tall, whereas Wolverine classically hovers around the five-and-a-half feet mark and, most notably, movie Wolverine lacks the iconic yellow costume of comic book Wolverine. Still, the eight X-Men movies that Jackman has appeared in so far would suggest that it’s done the character no harm.
It was a long wait for a villain as monstrous as Apocalypse in the X-Men movie universe, so when he was announced as the antagonist in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, fans were excited. Unfortunately, instead of the hulking seven-foot-tall brute from the comic books who’s as wide as two average men, we were given a fairly unintimidating villain the size of an average adult male. Moreover, his colouring was different. Instead of the classic vibrant blue coloured armour, he wore a drab greyish-blue costume and, in some promo pics, even looked a weird shade of pinky purple. He looked more like a low-budget Doctor Who villain, or a character from one of the shoddy live action Mortal Kombat adaptations than he did the legendary mutant from the comic books.
Superman’s arch-nemesis Lex Luthor has been portrayed by three different actors – Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey and Jesse Eisenberg – in five live action movies, and none of them have really looked anything like the classic comic book version. They’ve all ended up bald – which is Luthor’s most distinguishing feature – but the classic Luthor also has very recognisable, stern and chiseled facial features that none of the actors who’ve played him have possessed. He’s also quite a muscular man who is actually very capable of handling himself in physical combat – and none of the actors who have played him have had that quality.
Jeremy Renner has now played Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye in four MCU movies to date – Thor, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War – and he’s yet to look anything like how the character looks in the comics. Classically, Hawkeye wears a purple costume with a very striking purple mask – but the MCU version wears something far more practical. It’s black for starters, making it more covert (although there is a touch of dark purple in the latest incarnation in Civil War) and, most noticeably, there’s no mask. Although, to be fair to Marvel Studios, the mask probably wouldn’t have looked great in live action.
admit that a planet-eating giant in purple armour might have looked a bit silly on film too.
The 2016 version of Deadpool totally nailed the character in every respect. He looked great and Ryan Reynolds played the character to perfection – but the previous version from 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine absolutely sucked. We could complain about everything that was wrong with him all day, but let’s stick to his appearance for the purposes of this video. Where was the iconic red and black suit? This Deadpool was topless, wore elasticated trousers, had blades protruding from his hands, had his mouth sewn shut and was covered in pen markings. Talk about butchering a character!