The Superhero movies are characterized by two things – how cool is the superhero and how evil is the super villains. While it is difficult to get a balance out of the two, it is not impossible. But several times for the sake of storytelling, the movie has to change pivotal aspects of the bad guy just so it could fit the storyline of the movie.
Ultron is created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner
The depiction of Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron was nothing short of atrocious. In the comics, Ultron is a force of nature. He has defeated the entire team of Avengers with ease. Even the likes of Thor and the Hulk think twice before taking him on. He is the deadliest and most fearsome force that sends a chill down the spine of anyone who comes to confront him but the best part of the movie version of Ultron was the voice over of James Spader.
What’s even more wrong is that in the comics, Ultron is the creation of Hank Pym, not Iron Man. Hank Pym aka Ant-Man created Ultron by mapping his own brain. In other words, Ultron is an Evil Hank Pym. MCU distorted comic-book history only to lend more importance to Tony Stark while Hank Pym is more a supporting character.
Baron Zemo is from Sokovia
Baron Zemo was one of the deadliest foes of the Avengers in the MCU. He did what not even alien armies or Gods from other worlds could do. He destroyed the Avenger by sowing seeds of discord from the inside.
But Baron Zemo is not some PTSD war veteran in the comics. The Zemo dynasty like Strucker family passing the mantle from one generation to another. The famous actor Daniel Bruhl (Rush, The Fifth Estate) played the role. In comics, he has solid affiliations with HYDRA and Masters of Evil. He is the 13th Baron Zemo, son of Baron Heinrich Zemo who was a master Nazi scientist, hence an enemy of Captain America. There was a Baron Zemo in World War 2. There is one now in the 21st century as well.
Ego is Star Lord’s father
Marvel created history when it achieved the most amazing feat of launching Guardians of the Galaxy and in no time making them the most adorable set of people in the minds of Marvel fans who barely knew them. The biggest question of GOTG was – Who is Peter Quill’s father?
In the comics, Peter Quill’s parentage is a tad bit different. He is the son of J’Son, (King of the Planet Spartoi, second son of the Galactic emperor). The MCU portrayed Quill as the son of Ego. The story is pretty much the same – Space guy comes down to hook up and 9 months later, a boy is born. But in the MCU version, instead of J’Son, it was Ego, a living and sentient planet that sired Quill. It was more attention-grabbing but far less accurate.
The Vulture is a Family Man
Adrian Toomes, in the comic book universe, is an aging scientist that steals inventions to gift him longevity. The guy becomes the Vulture to literally stay alive. He is considered to be the nemesis of Spiderman in the comics. He has defeated Peter Parker multiple times even without the help of Sinister Six.
In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Michael Keaton’s character has no more such evil motivations. He becomes the Vulture to support his own family and the families of the men working under him in his salvaging company. He was pissed at Tony Stark who won the government contract through lobbying, that was enough to push him to the breaking point. Moreover, Spiderman took him down without the help of Iron Man or Iron Spider suit with relative ease.
Baron Mordo is not evil
Baron Mordo is to Doctor Strange what Lex Luthor is to Superman. Strange’s most recurring foe, Baron Mordo is of the belief that Magic should be taken advantage of at the fullest, even going as far as using the forbidden arts if it serves a purpose.
In the movie, Baron Mordo is a good friend of both the Ancient One and Strange, but he has a strict belief in rules. It is his self-revelation at the end that Magic itself is evil that pushes him away from everyone.
Malekith is Sane
Malekith’s most recognizable feature is his cackling laugh and wicked grim, both of which were absent in Thor: The Dark World. Malekith is the king of the Dark Elves and a master manipulator and the very embodiment of evil.
The movie showed Malekith as someone out for revenge against Odin for the former’s defeat at the latter’s hand centuries ago. It makes Malekith more relatable, but not exactly as interesting.
Loki is an Anti-Hero
In both the comics and the movies, it is Loki’s actions that lead to the formation of the Avengers. But Loki doesn’t become a good guy later in the comics, but he does in the movies.
After the events of Thor: Ragnarok, Loki has become an anti-hero. In the comics, Loki is far more sinister and has relentlessly tried to conquer Earth. But the speculation is that he has stolen Tesseract aka Space Stone from Asgard and he will gladly give that to Thanos, it’s possible that he was always doing the bidding of the Mad Titan.
Abomination is not a spy
The second Hulk movie The Incredible Hulk is also a part of the MCU. Released in 2008, the main villain of the movie is The Abomination, a more violent and powerful version of the Green Giant. Emil Blonsky, who becomes the Abomination later is a United Kingdom’s Marine Commando born in Russia.
In the comics, Emil Blonksy is a KGB operative working in America as a double agent. The movie ignored the rich history and character development of Blonksy and rushed straight to him becoming ‘The Abomination’.
Grand Master is the ruler of Sakaar
Fans will remember the name Sakaar very vividly. It is the planet Hulk landed on in after the rocket we were trapped in by The Illuminati crash landed. Hulk goes on to become its ruler and come back to Earth to exact revenge.
In the movie, the Grand Master is the ruler of Sakaar. That was one big change to his character, apart from his signature blue skin. Moreover, he is the elder of the Universe and played a big role in important comic-book plots but in the movie version, he was just a comic relief and was not even aware of the threat looming the nine realms.
Hela is Thor’s Sister
This was obviously bound to be the first on this list. In the comics, each Ragnarok cycle destroys Asgard and makes way for a new one. Hela is the daughter of Loki from a previous version of Asgard.
The movie portrays Hela as Thor’s estranged sister that was cast out of Asgard by Odin when she became too ambitious and wanted to rule all the nine realms. She is the best villain of MCU till now (even better than Loki) but her depiction was not entirely comic-book accurate.