9 MCU Characters That Are Different From The Original Marvel Comics

Undoubtedly, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most prominent example of a comic book universe successfully adapted to the big screen.

Marvel has introduced many comic book characters to theatres through the course of 27 films with a high degree of adherence to the source material. Some of them are still in production by Marvel Studios.

Their films did not immediately go into the more complicated aspects of the original source. Rather, the makers have taken components of many great comic storylines and adapted them to match the MCU.

But sometimes, we find either the story or characters a little diverted from their original source. 

Though many of these stories were written decades ago, much of their original tones, themes, and characters have been preserved. Nevertheless, not everything is taken directly from comics.

Marvel Studios attempts to create faithful adaptations of their famous comic books. But implementing adjustments is not out of the question.

Here, I am going to share 9 MCU characters that are different from the original Marvel Comics.

Bucky Barnes 

For the most part, Phase 1’s adaptation of its characters from the comics to the movies was relatively easy. There were only some minor modifications in terms of their personalities and relationships.

The most noteworthy exception to this rule is Bucky Barnes. He appears in Captain America: The First Avenger as Winter Soldier.  

His character is presented as Steve Rogers’s long-time closest friend who helps him stand up against bullies. Bucky gets killed after World War II, causing Steve a great deal of grief and remorse.

He seems to be a young orphan in the comics, and he eventually becomes the new mascot of the training camp wherein his father was murdered shortly before World War II.

During this journey, he encounters Steve Rogers, who subsequently becomes his sidekick after discovering that he is the man behind the Captain America mask.

It’s vital to remember that the major changes to Bucky’s persona occurring in the MCU are exclusive to his tenure as the Winter Soldier.

That aspect of the character first appeared in a Captain America comic narrative back in the 2000s. The MCU’s depiction of the tale was actually faithful to the source material itself.

For a long time, he was considered one of the select few characters in comics who did not come back to life.

In the comics, Bucky was not captured and brainwashed by HYDRA. He is instead taken to Moscow and trained as an assassin as part of a unit known as Department X.

However, Marvel kept some things the comic way in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The involvement of SHIELD, Steve attempting to restore Bucky’s memories, as well as the iconic “who the hell is Bucky” line and shot were lifted directly from the comics.

The most plausible reason for Bucky’s old appearance in the movies is that it made things simple for the filmmakers.

Steve and Bucky had already developed a friendship before the war. Hence, there was no need to cut time from the film for them to create one from the beginning.

It’s also possible that Marvel was going to consider incorporating the Winter Soldier storyline into the MCU. It wanted to give audiences a chance to see the same actor play beforehand.

The big announcement of his survival & status as a brainwashed villain would have had a more significant emotional impact on them when they finally watched him.

Hawkeye

Since his induction into the Marvel Comics, Avengers, in 1965, Earth’s Mightiest Marksman has played an important role in the team’s success.

Hawkeye’s early days as an Avenger were marred by his comrades’ perceptions of him as an egoistical loudmouth who continually fought with Captain America while attempting — and failing — to win the heart of Scarlet Witch.

On the contrary to comics, the MCU Hawkeye has undergone a significant amount of personal growth and development. Hawkeye has toned down his back-talking and overconfident attitude while maintaining the characteristics that made him famous in the first place.

He lacks the superhuman power of the Hulk and the mind-blowing intelligence of Iron Man. Hawkeye is the type of person who maintains his sense of humor and composure even when surrounded by personalities who are superior to him.

The version of the character who appears in The Avengers is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent where Missions, protocol, & following orders are all part of his daily routine.

We don’t get to see anything from his personality in the first film. However, future films have shown that the character does have a small degree of his counterpart’s snarkiness.

Black Widow

In a similar vein to her comic book twin, Black Widow was trained as a K.G.B. spy from a young age. It results in her becoming a skilled marksman and martial artist adept in espionage.

Throughout the MCU, she is given indications about her past, and in Avengers: Age of Ultron, she has a hallucinatory flashback of her early years in training.

However, a critical component of her character is left unresolved – she is, in fact, an improved superhuman entity.

In the comics, Black Widow isn’t simply a super-spy; she’s an agent who has been scientifically enhanced.

Not that she is on the same level of “super” as Captain America, but she has improved strength, senses (especially hearing), agility, and a slight amount of healing power.

Her character first appears to have had some unclear surgical operations that may have been her artificial improvements.

But they are eventually discovered to be something else in her flashback scene. The MCU might upgrade her powers in the future.

However, for now, she’s merely an extremely skilled spy who happens to be a member of the Avengers.

Thor

Thor appears in Marvel Comics in a form that is quite similar to his original incarnation from the first Thor. He was a pompous Asgardian warrior who needed to acquire humility to be granted the opportunity to wield Mjolnir, the legendary weapon.

However, by the time Thor: Ragnarok arrived on the scene, something had occurred, and the God of Thunder had become virtually unrecognizable.

Thor was no longer an arrogant and aggressive warrior but rather a humble and honorable fighter. He was a source of amusement.

He had several brilliant one-liners, and his confrontations with characters such as Loki and the Hulk made him more interesting than ever.

It was a significant shift in his personality, but it served him better than anything else. You will not find such character development for Thor in the comics. 

Vision

Unlike his comic book counterpart, Vision’s genesis narrative in the movie is significantly different, and Jarvis plays a pivotal role in that distinction.

Ultron built him in the comics to murder the Avengers, but he eventually realizes the flaws in Ultron’s methods. In the film, Vision is essentially the remnants of J.A.R.V.I.S. after it was destroyed.

At the same time, J.A.R.V.I.S. is an Artificial Intelligence system named after Tony Stark’s butler, Edward Jarvis, in the comics.

In the comics, he has a “control crystal” in his skull (which is responsible for the lasers), but in the movies, he has an Infinity Stone up there, which makes him a dangerous opponent for Ultron and helps set the way for the events of Avengers: Infinity War to take place.

Also Read: 11 Most Underrated Animated Movies of All Time

The Wasp 

Despite the fact that The Wasp and Ant-Man were both a member of the very first Avengers comic book lineup way back in the 1960s, none of them made their MCU debuts until after the team’s cinematic form had already been established.

The people who worked under these mantles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe were also distinct from the original members of the comic book squad.

In the comics, Hank Pym was the first Ant-Man, and Janet Van Dyne was the original Wasp, among other things.

Of course, Hank and Janet exist in the MCU, but they aren’t the “current” holders of their respective mantles.

Scott Lang — who previously had the title of Ant-Man in the comics — is the current Ant-Man, while the Wasp is Hope Van Dyne, the daughter of Janet and Hank Van Dyne.

In contrast to Scott, Hope did not appear in comic books with her MCU superhero persona prior to the films, but rather as a villain in the Marvel Universe.

In the comics, Hope was initially given her father’s last name, Pym, and she also had a twin brother named Pym.

The two of them were dissatisfied that they were not recognized to be the “next generation” of Avengers. Consequently, they formed their own team, which they named the Revengers.

She ends up as a villain known as the Red Queen, who shares many of the same abilities as her Marvel Comics counterpart.

It only made sense, given the choice of Scott Lang as the MCU’s Ant-Man and Hank Pym as his mentor of sorts, for them to cast a character about the same age as Scott as his Wasp comrade.

Casting Hope as the Wasp enabled Hank and Janet to remain critical characters in the tale.

Yondu

Yondu was indeed a founding member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. He was formerly thought to be the only remaining member of the Centaurian race, according to the comic book version of the character.

A very devout individual, Yondu shared the Centaurian trait of having an intense connection to nature that he could sense both spiritually and telepathically.

Yondu, being a man of nature, despises technology and would rather be in the forest than aboard a starship any day. A guy of strong convictions, Yondu was also a man of action.

A solid moral code guided his actions, and he could never be at peace if his moral code was violated in any way.

Yondu would punish himself without a second thought if he was to break one of his codes of principles at any point in his life.

That doesn’t sound like the Yondu you’re familiar with from the movie because they’re not at all alike aside from the red fin and the Yaka Arrow or the flying arrow.

Yondu, the MCU’s rogue with no regard for morality, is shown as such in the sequel. However, the character is given a great deal of development.

Iron Man in the Civil War (he was adopted)

People who have seen Captain America: Civil War and afterward pick up the comic expecting Iron Man to be sympathetic will be in for an unpleasant revelation when they read it.

Throughout the comic series, Iron Man is shown as a bad guy. He collaborates with villains while imprisoning his pals and constructing a secret jail in the Negative Zone, a location notorious for messing with the minds of humanity.

Iron Man purposely abandoned his buddies in Civil War to rescue the world, but he cherished the power and grandeur that came with his position a little too often to be considered entirely selfless. It ruined the character’s reputation among many readers for a long time.

Tony Stark was adopted by the Stark family in the comic books. His parents were, in fact, SHIELD agents, with his father working as a Hydra double agent for the organization.

When he confessed this to Tony’s mother, she assassinated him and sought assistance from Nick Fury. After Tony’s birth, he was abandoned in a Bulgarian orphanage, and when Fury’s friend Howard Stark learned of the circumstances, he decided to adopt the little boy from the institution.

Tony was a healthy substitute for the Starks’ biological son, Arno, whose pregnancy had been complicated and interfered with by the alien robot Rigellian Recorder 451.

Stark would grow up with no knowledge of his biological sibling or that he was adopted.

Also Read: Is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Connected to What If…?

Cosmic Skull

There is some ambiguity when it comes to the Red Skull’s destiny in Captain America: The First Avenger. While clutching the Cosmic Crystal, he almost wholly vanishes and eventually drops the Cube to the ground. Was he no longer alive?

Later on, we learn that Red Skull was sent to a distant world, where he somehow came to be known as the protector of the Soul Stone.

This had never happened before in comics, which was a significant departure from the original story. Nothing made much sense: how did the Cube decide which planet to send him to?

How did he manage to survive alone on a deserted planet? And from whence did he discover all of the Stones’ mysteries,? You might wonder. This intriguing announcement turned out to be quite perplexing in the end.

Wrapping up

Whether to spice up things or make characters more interesting, MCU frequently makes changes and takes a different path compared to comics.

Sometimes it is good, and sometimes it could disappoint the hardcore comic fans. I hope that you really liked these insights and detailed information.

You can subscribe to The Word Street Journal to know more interesting facts about the MCU. 

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