Superhero movies have an inherent challenge, as they are expected to be able to seamlessly condense decades of source material into a two-hour package. Even with the trend of the cinematic universe in full swing, creatives have to be picky about the characters and stories that survive the jump to the big screen.
A common trope in adaptations is the “composite character”, or the combination of at least two characters from the original text into one. Comic book movies often use these types of characters, as they can help streamline complicated story arcs.
10 In Tim Burton’s Batman, The Joker Killed Batman’s Parents, Not Joe Chill
Tim Burton at The Hand Batman contains one of the earliest and most infamous examples of this. Among the film’s many deviations from the comics, it gives the Joker a real name (Jack Napier) and a definitive backstory. Part of that story?
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It was a young Napier who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents, rather than Joe Chill like in the comics. Although the Batman Burton’s is still well regarded, it’s telling that later iterations haven’t reused this twist.
9 The Penguin in Batman Returns is much closer to Killer Croc
Batman Returns showed that Burton’s interest lay more in the villains of Gotham City: his affinity for Batman only existed to the extent that he could draw a parallel with the Dark Knight as a “weirdo” not too different from his enemies.
Along the Return, Burton makes the animal alter egos of Gotham’s costumed characters reflect his personality. Thus, the Penguin goes from being a gangster of the city to a mutant with deformities reminiscent of a Penguin. Cobblepot’s change in appearance, his personality (rabid, semi-miniature) and his story (abandoned as a child, left to fend for himself in the sewers) are more reminiscent of another Batman enemy: Killer Croc.
8 The MCU’s Howling Commandos served under Captain America, not Nick Fury
Although Sergeant Fury and his Howling Commandos Far from being Marvel’s most famous comic, its introduction by Nick Fury makes it an important footnote in the history of the comic and Marvel’s shared environment.
The Howling Commandos made the leap to the MCU, but with one significant difference: the squad leader was Captain America, not the yet-to-be-born Fury.
7 In the MCU, Iron Patriot is just a War Machine repaint
The alias “Iron Patriot” debuted in 2009 during Marvel Comics’ “Dark Reign”; The mantle was created by Norman Osborn as the identity with which he could lead his personal Avengers squad.
“Iron Patriot” made its MCU debut in Iron Man 3, but there the identity was simply a repaint for the armor Jim Rhodes / War Machine wore and a quickly discarded repaint.
6 Alexander Pierce in the MCU has more in common with comedian Aleksander Lukin
In “The Winter Soldier,” as originally created by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, and Michael Lark, the comic book’s main antagonist was Aleksander Lukin. Lukin was a former general in the USSR and the protégé of Vasily Karpov (creator of the Winter Soldier program). During the arc, he used the Cosmic Cube to make his company, Kronas, the centerpiece of the global energy market – if you can’t beat the capitalist pigs, join them. At the same time, he pulled his mentor’s killer out of cryosleep to psychologically attack Cap. The final chapter of the comic revealed that Lukin had been possessed by Cap’s archenemy, Red Skull, killed by the thought.
On Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the main villain is another Alexander: Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford). Pierce is represented as the United States Secretary of Defense and supervisor of SHIELD. Although he has no connection to Red Skull, it is member of HYDRA.
5 the MCU made Tony Stark the creator of Ultron, instead of Hank Pym
This composite character is the result of a domino effect. To explain the delays in the production of Ant-Man (before original director Edgar Wright left ship), neither Hank Pym nor Janet Van Dyne were founding members of the MCU’s Avengers.
For the second movie avengers , the natural choice for the villain was the team’s archenemy in the comics, Ultron. The problem? Hank Pym is the creator of Ultron. To explain Ultron’s appearance, writer / director Joss Whedon turned Ultron into an Iron Man creation, with some changes to his personality to reflect his different lineage.
4 The DCEU’s Dead Robin is Dick Grayson, not Jason Todd
The North Star of Zack Snyder’s DC movies is The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller . That book featured the second Robin, Jason Todd, as long dead, a death that was implied to be the Joker’s doing. Jason’s death, and the Joker as his killer, were canonized in mainstream DC in A death in the family, written / drawn by Jims Starlin and Aparo.
On Batman V Superman, the culprit Bruce observes a disfigured Robin suit hanging in the Batcave as a monument. Although Snyder never revealed it on screen, his intention was that this Robin was not Jason, but the first Boy Wonder, Dick Grayson.
3 In Batman V Superman, Doomsday is created from the corpse of Zod
The only connections General Zod and Doomsday have in the comics are their hatred of Superman and his Kryptonian origins. On Batman V Superman, his characters got very close, much plus. How close?
Doomsday is created by Lex Luthor from Zod’s corpse, albeit with a hint of Luthor’s own DNA added to the mix. With two supervillains as “parents,” it’s no wonder the DCEU’s Doomsday is just as destructive as its comic book counterpart.
2 Zack Snyder’s steppe wolf has more in common with Kalibak
The villain of both cuts of the League of Justice was Steppenwolf, Darkseid’s herald and uncle. While the Zack Snyder cut from the film embodied the villain’s goals and background, it also made it clear that it might have been better to use a different New God.
In the Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Steppenwolf’s goal is to be liked again by Darkseid and end his exile from Apokolips. This motivation, plus the beastly aspect of Steppenwolf, is closer to the Kalibak of the comics, Darkseid’s first-born who wants nothing more than to win the approval of his father. Unfortunately, for both Steppenwolf and Kalibak, pleasing the Lord of Apokolips is an impossible task worthy of Sisyphus.
1 In the MCU, Ego is Star-Lord’s father, not J’Son
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 revealed that Peter Quill’s alien father was Ego, the living planet. Ego has had a reputation for being a joke character for much of his existence, but Kurt Russell’s portrayal and Gunn’s writing gave him an unexpected pathos, especially by taking his name literally.
Ego’s kinship with Peter departs from the comics, in which Star-Lord’s father is J’Son from Spartax. The only similarity between Ego and J’Son? They both end up being more of an enemy to Peter than a father.
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10 times superhero movies combined multiple comic book characters into one