Origin Story of Comic Characters Changed in The Movies/TV Shows: Marvel Comics is filled with a variety of different characters who each have their own storyline and arcs. These characters often interact with each other and form bonds. With the existence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these characters have become available to fans in various mediums now. With the vast range of characters in the Marvel Comics, there are bound to be some discrepancies between their movie or TV version and their comic counterpart, Here are some of the characters whose origin stories differ in the MCU and the comics:
Origin Story of Comic Characters Changed in The Movies/TV Shows
- Peter Parker (Spider-Man)
- Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch)
- James ‘Bucky’ Barnes (The Winter Soldier)
- America Chavez (Miss America)
- Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel)
- Daisy Johnson (Quake)
- Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Jones (Cloak and Dagger)
- Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow)
- Marc Spector (Moon Knight)
- Sam Wilson (Captain America/The Falcon)
Peter Parker (Spider-Man)
In the comics, the story goes as follows, an irradiated spider bites Peter on a school trip, giving him arachnid powers. Peter, still coming to terms with his powers, encounters a robbery, where he lets the thief go. Uncle Ben is killed and Peter finds out the murderer is the same thief that he let go earlier. He vows to bring justice to his Uncle and begins using his powers for good.
The very first adaption of Spider-Man on the big screen came out with the Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire and directed by Sam Raimi. The films garnered a great response and gained a massive fan following. In 2012, the series was rebooted as ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ this time with Andrew Garfield in the role of the web-slinging genius and Marc Webb as the director. While both of these films stay true to the origin story of Spider-Man as portrayed in the comics, the third and final (so-far) reboot of the series strays from the original storyline quite a bit. The MCU’s Spider-Man’s origin story, however, does not go like this as far as we know.
When Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is introduced to us, he has already grown into his powers and has been using them to protect his neighbourhood, best as he can, while living with his aunt May. While his first appearance in the MCU is in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (2016) it is in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, that we see Peter go through an origin arc when he gets back up after being defeated by the villain Vulture, to once again fight him and bring him to justice.
Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch)
In the films, Wanda and her twin brother Pietro are orphaned at a very young age as a result of the constant attacks their city was under. To avenge their parents’ death, the twins volunteered at HYDRA, where horrifying experiments were conducted on them, resulting in them gaining powers. Wanda would be manipulated by the AI Ultron, using her grief and desire for revenge, before understanding her wrongs and joining the Avengers. Wanda would ultimately go on to become one of the, if not the strongest superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
As far as Wanda’s comic counterpart goes, their strength and powers are on the same level. Though their pasts do not exactly match. In the beginning, it was thought the twins, Pietro and Wanda were children of the powerful mutant, Magneto, which is how they gained their powers. However, in reality, the twins were orphans who were experimented upon by an organisation known as the High Evolutionary, which is how Wanda came into her powers of manipulating chaos magic. Another major difference between the MCU Wanda and the comics Wanda is her Romani heritage. In the comics, Wanda was the daughter of a Romani witch and her Romani heritage played a huge part in her story, though the MCU did not incorporate it in their portrayal of the Scarlet Witch. They have received considerable criticism over this from fans for years now.
James ‘Bucky’ Barnes (The Winter Soldier)
In the comics, Bucky Barnes was born in Indiana, the USA in 1925, and lost his parents at a very young age. Barnes also had a sister named Rebecca, who was sent to a boarding school following their parents’ death while Bucky was sent to Camp Lehigh, a military base located in Virginia. Bucky received military training here and was sent to England during World War II where he performed special-ops assignments. It was during his adult years and time in the military that he met Steve Rogers and became close friends with him. They would go on many missions together before Bucky’s fall and transformation into the Winter Soldier.
In the films, Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers are childhood best friends. Bucky goes to war much before Steve does, but after Steve goes through the transformation of the super-soldier serum, he and Bucky go on many missions. Together, they even face off against Red Skull.
America Chavez (Miss America)
In the comics, America originally had a sister, Catalina, and they both suffered from a rare genetic disease. To find a cure, their mothers take them to an island owned by the billionaire Mr. Gales. Once America begins showing signs of improvement and her powers become apparent, it becomes clear that Mr. Gales only wished to help her so he could use her powers for his own gains. When her mothers try to escape from the island with both the sisters, they are killed. Out of fear and self-preservance, America opens a portal to escape with her sister but is separated from Catalina and goes through the portal alone.
While not much is evident in terms of an ‘origin story’ as far as the MCU America Chavez is concerned, it is possible her storyline takes a turn from the comics. For starters, MCU America does not have a sister, and before she becomes estranged from her mothers, after accidentally sending them through a portal she opened out of fear as a child, her family was living happily on a distant planet, seemingly utopic.
Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel)
In the comics, Kamala Khan is a teenager growing up in New Jersey with her parents and an older brother. Khan is a huge fan of the Avengers, especially Captain Marvel, whom she idolizes. Once Kamala goes to a party, and while returning home becomes exposed to terrigen mist. Due to Kamala’s Inhuman lineage, Kamala receives a vision involving Captain Marvel, Tony Stark and Captain America and her dormant powers awaken.
In the newest Disney+ show, Kamala’s source of power has changed drastically. An Inhuman in the comics, the show does not really allude to her Inhuman lineage in the show whatsoever. Instead, Kamala gains her powers from the bangle her mother gives her which once belonged to her grandmother.
Daisy Johnson (Quake)
In the show, Daisy’s ancestry is a matter of mystery and intrigue, and she has been searching for the secrets in S.H.I.E.L.D. archives for most of her life. This search is what brings her in contact with S.H.I.E.L.D. and eventually, she becomes a major part of the organization, specifically Phil Coulson’s team. In later seasons, it is discovered that Daisy is the daughter of an Inhuman woman, Jiayang and doctor Calvin Zabo, believed to be Mr. Hyde, and has alien DNA in her system. Daisy’s dormant powers become active when she goes through a process called ‘terregenesis’.
In the comics, Daisy Johnson is the daughter of Calvin Zabo and Kim Johnson, who has Inhuman lineage. Her mother gives Daisy up for adoption soon after her birth. Daisy spends her childhood in a foster home. As a teenager, Daisy’s powers become active on their own and cause an earthquake. Following this, Daisy is approached by the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury who offers her a job at the organization.
Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Jones (Cloak and Dagger)
In the comics, Tandy Bowen, whose alias is the superhero Dagger, grew up neglected. Her father left when she was very young and her mother remarried her stepfather, during all of this Tandy was never paid attention to. Frustrated, disappointed and heartbroken, Tandy left from home to go to New York. Tandy would meet Tyrone, who would save her from a thief and they would become very close friends. Tandy, tricked by a Dr. Simon Marshall, went to his facility in hopes of food and shelter, where Tyrone followed her. Here, cruel experiments were performed on them resulting in them gaining their powers.
In the TV show, while Tandy’s familial situation follows in a similar vein, Tyrone, who is homeless in the comics, has a happy family and is a model student. Both of them receive their powers when they get into an accident due to the collapse of the Roxxone Gulf Platform and eventually find each other and team up.
Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow)
In the comics, upon Natasha’s mother’s death in a fire, she is taken in by her foster father, Ivan Petrovich who gives her over to Taras Romanov. Romanov trains Natasha in combat and espionage under the Black Widow program of the Red Room. During this time, Natasha’s memories and biology were both tampered with, which is why her strength surpasses any ordinary person.
In the film, the stark difference stands in the fact that Natasha was given over to the Red Room by her own mother. It was found through some algorithms that Natasha possessed extraordinary genetics, which would make her a great fit for the program. Though, doubting their motives later, Natasha’s mother tries to search for her daughter, which is what gets her killed. Natasha emerges from the Red Room as one of the greatest Black Widows and works for the Russian intelligence, before deferring to S.H.I.E.L.D. and joining the Avengers.
Marc Spector (Moon Knight)
In the comics, Marc Spector is a mercenary, who on a mission finds that the man who hired him is attacking locals. Marc, unwilling to hurt the locals, betrays the man he was working for, who then attacks Marc, almost killing him. Marc somehow escapes into the tomb of the Egyptian God, Khonshu, though he is still dying. As he is breathing his last breaths, Khonshu appears to him with a deal, his life in exchange for becoming a vessel for Khonshu and exacting revenge. Marc agrees, though he is already dead and has to be revived by Khonshu and made into a vessel.
In the Disney+ show, the deal Marc strikes with Khonshu follows a very similar pattern. Though the locals Marc was so desperately trying to save still die, Marc escapes into Khonshu’s tomb. Seeing no way out of the situation, Marc plans of taking his own life but is interrupted by Khonshu with his offer of making Marc his vessel and his fist of vengeance, to which Marc agrees. Though what stands out is that, the show, focuses on Marc’s alternate personality, Steven Grant, who he created as a way to cope with his traumatic childhood after his brother’s death.
Sam Wilson (Captain America/The Falcon)
In the films, Sam Wilson meets Steve Rogers when he comes back to the future after being frozen for almost a decade. Wilson, a war veteran, himself bonds with Steve over their shared grief and time in the military. During the events of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, Wilson is one of the only people Steve trusts and teams up with him to defeat HYDRA. They become incredible friends, so much so that Steve passes the mantle of Captain America on to Wilson.
In the comics, the circumstances of Wilson and Rogers’ first meeting are wildly different. They meet when Wilson is lured onto the Exile Island by the group that supported Red Skull during his first regime. Rogers and Wilson become good friends and create the person of the Falcon to inspire the people of the island to fight for their freedom.
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