The Avengers arrived in the MCU in 2012 and while they seemed familiar to the comics, there were many major differences between the two.
When Marvel adapts comic book properties, the company has to make some changes to transfer the source material to the world of movies. There are some things that remain very loyal, such as the overall goodness of Captain America and the powers of someone like Iron Man and Thor.
However, there are some things they have to change to make it work in a movie. In The Avengers movies, there were several alterations that the MCU made to make the movies work and present a flowing story from one movie to the next. Some were based on necessary changes to characters and others were just to help fans unfamiliar with the comics buy this fantastical world of superheroes.
There was one thing that the first Avengers movie did that kept it close to the comics. In both the movie and comics, it was Loki who brought the group together. However, the way the team formed was very different. In the movie, Nick Fury gathered a list of heroes and pushed them into working together.
In the comics, Loki tricked Hulk into a rampage, hoping Hulk would kill Thor if they fought. Instead, a group of heroes banded together to stop Hulk, including Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, and Wasp. When they learned it was Loki, they beat him and chose to remain together as a unit.
The Avengers, in the movies, worked mostly for Nick Fury, who had them work in association with S.H.I.E.L.D. However, while the team had an in with S.H.I.E.L.D., they were mostly working on their own after that first movie. In the comics, there was a stronger connection.
It didn’t take long after the Avengers formed in the comics for the government to take control. There was almost always someone in the government who was in control of the team, with Henry Peter Gyrich as the man who often pulled strings and kept the Avengers under control.
In the movies, Iron Man was mostly the leader and the one many who ended up answering to the government and keeping the team in line. Tony Stark started out as a rebel, and he was never wanting to be part of a team, but he embraced the role strongly and became the heart and soul of the MCU.
That is not the Iron Man from the comics. He made more mistakes in the comics that made things worse for the heroes. He was arrogant and considered himself above everyone. Robert Downey Jr. brought humanity to Iron Man that didn’t exist in The Avengers comics.
In the MCU Avengers movies, Black Widow and Hawkeye were founding members of the team. That was because they were S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and Nick Fury added them to keep an eye on the team. However, they were not founding members in the comics.
In the comics, it was Ant-Man and the Wasp — and it wasn’t the ones from the MCU. In the comics, it was Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, and Janet became a team leader more than once. In the movies, Hank was an older S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, while Janet was lost in another dimension, both aged drastically compared to the comics.
Because Hank Pym was not a member of the Avengers in the MCU and had already quit his role as a hero by the time they formed, he was not viable for the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie. Hank Pym created Ultron in the comics and it ended up turning evil and becoming a recurring enemy.
In the movies, the MCU had to take a different direction. Instead of Hank Pym creating Ultron, it was Tony Stark. This changed the dynamic as well since Stark was a major character on his own and Pym was mostly known for creating Ultron.
When Ultron was formed, his body was fractured and broken. He set out to have a new body built for himself and this was Vision. However, the Avengers retrieved this body and then Tony Stark ended up transferring his old AI Jarvis into the body and brought it to life with an Infinity Stone – the Mind Stone.
In the comics, Vision had nothing to do with the Infinity Stones. Instead, Ultron built Vision as his “son,” using the body of the Android Human Torch from World War II and the brainwaves of the deceased Simon Williams. Vision turned on Ultron and joined the Avengers.
In the movies, JARVIS was an IA that Tony Stark used to help him with his experiments. He was very opinionated and was helpful with everything Stark needed to complete. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Stark transferred JARVIS into Vision.
In the comics, Jarvis was an actual human. He was Edwin Jarvis, who in the MCU was Howard Stark’s butler in Marvel’s Agent Carter. This is who Stark named his AI after. In the comics, Jarvis was the butler in Avengers Mansion and served them honorably for years.
Marvel made a huge change when it came to founding Avenger Thor and his brother Loki. In the comics, the Asgardians were aliens and Asgard was in the far reaches of space, with the Bifrost as a way to get to Earth quickly when needed. They showed in Avengers: Infinity War that they could get to Earth by spacecraft.
In the comics, the Asgardians were not aliens. Thor was, in fact, the God of Thunder and Odin the All-Father from the Norse Gods. In the comics, gods were real, and in the movies, they were all aliens.
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were very different in the comics, although their origins have changed over the years. In the MCU, they were two orphaned children that Hydra took in and experimented on using an Infinity Stone, giving them powers, before they defected and helped the Avengers beat Ultron.
Originally, in the comics, they believed they were mutants — the children of Magneto. However, they were not his children and they were not mutants. Despite this, their origins in the comics were based around working with Magneto and that had to change in the comics since the mutants were not there, the source of their powers changing as well.
The main story of Avengers: Infinity War was about the same, with Thanos snapping his finger and wiping out half of all beings in the universe. However, the MCU only had the rights to certain characters and had to make some major changes. First, Thanos’ reason for the snap was different – in the comics, he was trying to impress Lady Death.
There were also key players missing. The Avengers had no chance of defeating Thanos and they didn’t beat him. Adam Warlock, who was only hinted at in Guardians of the Galaxy, was the main hero, and Silver Surfer, who was part of Fox at the time, was the secondary hero battling Thanos.
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Shawn S. Lealos is a senior writer on ScreenRant who fell in love with movies in 1989 after going to the theater to see Tim Burton’s Batman as his first big screen experience.
Shawn received his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma with a minor in Film Studies. He has worked as a journalist for over 25 years, first in the world of print journalism before moving to online media as the world changed. Shawn is a former member of the Society of Professional Journalists and current member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. He has work published in newspapers such as Daily Oklahoman and Oklahoma Gazette and magazines such as Vox Magazine, Loud Magazine, and Inside Sports Magazine. His work on the Internet has been featured on websites like The Huffington Post, Yahoo Movies, Chud, Renegade Cinema, 411mania, and Sporting News.
Shawn is also a published author, with a non-fiction book about the Stephen King Dollar Baby Filmmakers and has begun work on a new fiction series as well. Visit Shawn Lealos’ website to learn more about his novel writing and follow him on Twitter @sslealos.