It’s been 10 years and 19 movies since Iron Man (2008) came out, and now MCU is approaching at the culmination of everything that has happened till now, as Kevin Feige puts it. Marvel Studios have managed to assemble a magnificent cast under one roof to create a mega comic-book event as part of phase 3.
A section of the Marvel fans believes that the superheroes that MCU has chosen as marquee characters are actually less significant in Marvel comics but holds a disproportionate level of clout in the movies. Here’re 10 such characters which are historically less significant in comics as compared to Marvel movies:
Guardians of the Galaxy:
In 2014, the studio almost achieved the impossible with the spectacular success of Guardians of the Galaxy. Only the passionate fans of Marvel comics were fully aware of characters – Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) etc. It was one of the most amazing marketing campaigns by Marvel, as they managed to not just introduce these characters well, instead made audience adore them more than expected. But guess what before 2014 when the movie was not released, they were mere footnotes of Marvel comics buried deep into the Marvel universe.
Michael Keaton played Vulture in Spiderman: Homecoming. He had a suit which gave him the ability to fly at increased strength, built from the remains of Chitauri (a race of extra-terrestrial shape-shifters) technology from the battle of New York. He employed the help of a villain called “The Tinkerer” to make the suit, in comics he is known to be a man with a penchant to make spectacular mechanical devices. In 1963, he became one of the first Spiderman comics villains but he was never the most dangerous adversary as compared to hunters and goblins.
Agent Carter is a popular character in Marvel comics but it’s not as huge as Captain Marvel. Still, Agent Carter was one of the most anticipated TV series of 2015 starring Hayley Atwell played the central character, an intelligence agent working in SSR to fight the Nazis during World War II. She had earlier portrayed the character in Captain America: The First Avenger. The Marvel fans really loved the chemistry between Chris Evans and Hayley Atwell, which subsequently got her the spin-off series based on Peggy Carter. In Captain America: Civil War, Steve Rogers goes to attend the funeral of her long-time girlfriend from the days of WW-II. Marvel fans think that her character has been shortchanged but she has got more than her fair share as she does’nt even appear for years sometimes in Marvel comics.
When Scott Lang entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was marketed as an average Joe who accidentally became a superhero. Lang brought with him a humor that Marvel had not seen and in the two films that he has appeared, Ant-Man has slowly distinguished himself as a worthy opponent for any villain and Avenger. In Captain America: Civil War, fans witnessed the introduction of Giant Man, another iteration of what Lang’s suit could do. In Marvel comics, Scott Lang could never top the first Ant-Man and he was always at best a supporting character.
In MCU, Pepper Potts is played by Gwyneth Paltrow, her character has moved from Tony Stark’s secretary to girlfriend to now potential wife. She is a very important person and she gets equal treatment as other characters. In comics, she marries Tony’s driver cum assistant Happy Hogan and goes away from his life for years and then return to Stark industries.
In 2016 movie Doctor Strange, he was a major villain who was hell-bent on destroying the multi-verse but failed in his mission. In comics, he could not make a dozen appearances before he was introduced in MCU. He is just a forgotten sidekick of Baron Mordo.
In GOTG Vol. 2, a lot of time was dedicated to explaining Nebula’s backstory and her relationship with Gamora. She was tortured by Thanos who replaced her body part with machinery every-time she would lose to her sister. In comics, she is brutalized by the mad Titan, held Infinity gauntlet briefly and then faded into oblivion.
Vision is created by Tony Stark who has a vibranium-laced body and a synthetic soul. He was programmed by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner using J.A.R.V.I.S codes, activated by the mind-gem hidden inside the Loki Scepter. In comics, he does’nt have an Infinity stone and he is just one among many AI’s used by Tony Stark.
He is this bad-ass H.Y.D.R.A double agent who has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D and was a memorable villain. In comics, he is this insignificant guy who played Fury’s right hand man in the 1990’s. He then came back in 2010 as leader of Team Black.
In Iron Man 3, Ben Kingsley as Mandarin was wasted as Aldrich Killian turned out to be real villain. He was a scientist who developed Extremis virus and it took an army of Iron Man suits to foil his evil designs. In comics, he is a far cry from his movie version.