In the last 15 years, the MCU put Marvel in the center of mainstream media. However, before it became a cultural phenomenon, Marvel already had a rich history of around 70 years in the comic industry. Now, its popularity has driven more people into comic books, so naturally, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has slowly and steadily leaked into the pages, modifying Marvel’s history.
From new characters who became fan-favorites, like Phil Coulson and Darcy Lewis, to big changes in other characters, like Loki and Nebula becoming sympathetic villains, many Marvel Studios’ creations have become canon in the Marvel Universe in the comics. Whether comic fans like it or not, these modifications won’t stop soon as long as the MCU is the incredibly successful franchise fans know and love right now.
10 The Infinity Stones
The Infinity Stones are easily the most crucial item in “The Infinity Saga.” These six powerful cosmic weapons allowed Thanos to blip half of the universe’s life from existence and served as a guiding thread for the whole saga throughout 23 different films.
Comic fans surely noticed a small but important detail: in the comics, they were originally known as the Infinity Gems. However, since the MCU, they have been known as the Infinity Stones in the comics too. This may be a small change, but it speaks volumes of how much the movies have influenced the books.
9 De-Aged Agatha Harkness
Agatha Harkness has been one of Wanda Maximoff’s most important frenemies since they met in the 70s and the villain decided she wanted to control Scarlet Witch’s powers. The MCU first introduced this villain in 2021, portrayed by Kathryn Hahn for WandaVision.
Hahn is considerably younger than the comics’ Agatha, who had been drawn as an older woman until Midnight Suns — by Ethan Sacks, Luigi Zagaria, Antonio Fabela, and Joe Sabino. In this comic, Agatha recovers her youth after a fight against Corina. This change surely modified the villainess’s appearance so it matches Hahn in the upcoming TV series Agatha: Coven of Chaos.
8 Nebula’s Complexity
In 2014, the MCU introduced Nebula (Karen Gillian), Thanos’ daughter and Gamora’s sister who went from a villain to a Guardian of the Galaxy member. This character was inspired by Nebula, created by Roger Stern and John Buscema in 1985, who was, unfortunately, quite a two-dimensional character. Luckily for the fans, the MCU Nebula changed her for good.
Since Gunn’s trilogy, Nebula has become one of the most popular characters in the MCU. It makes sense that the film’s version took over her original comic counterpart. Now, comics’ Nebula is as complex as she should be, often dealing with her own flawed morality, not a simple bad guy trying to best her father.
Although the Marvel Universe has thousands of heroes and villains, Marvel Studios has also created original characters for many of its most popular MCU projects. Some of the most popular MCU original characters have become central allies for the heroes, such as Darcy Lewis and Dr. Selvig for Thor, Layla El-Faouly for Moon Knight, or Phil Coulson for the Avengers.
All these characters debuted in the MCU, but have now become part of the comics too. Recently, Darcy became Wanda Maximoff’s ally in Steve Orlando and Sara Pichello’s run on Scarlet Witch, and Coulson starred in Jason Aaron’s Heroes Return. Their time in the comics has been short so far, but fans like them plenty, so they will surely star in more stories for many more years to come.
Uncanny Avengers #4 — by Rick Remender, Gerry Duggan, Daniel Acu?a, and Clayton Cowles — retconned the origins of two popular Marvel siblings: Wanda and Pietro Maximoff. After years as two of the most powerful mutants in Marvel and the children of Magneto, this comic revealed the twins are experiments by the High Evolutionary.
This radical change altered Wanda and Pietro’s power level, which fans welcomed. However, it made little sense, especially following the events in House of M. Since it was done post Avengers: Age of Ultron, fans believe the comics changed to be more similar to the MCU.
5 Earth-616’s Nick Fury Jr.
In 2002, Marvel Comics designed the Nick Fury Ultimate version inspired by the appearance of Samuel L. Jackson. However, Earth-616’s Fury was still a different man, starting with the fact that he was White. Regardless, the Ultimate version of the character led Kevin Feige to offer Jackson the role of the MCU.
Following Jackson’s performance, Marvel Comics introduced Nick Fury Jr. from Earth-616. The son of the original Nick Fury and Nia Jones debuted in Battle Scars — by Chris Yost, Cullen Bunn, Matt Fraction, Scot Eaton, Andrew Hennessy, Joe Sabino, and Paul Mounts. Like Ultimate Nick Fury, he looks just like Samuel L. Jackson.
4 The Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Humor
The Guardians of the Galaxy are unarguably the funniest bunch of the MCU. The scripts for the films are hilarious, but, additionally, the cast totally has a knack for comedy. This is such a natural thing that casual fans may believe the Guardians are the same in the comics, but that wasn’t the case until after the first movie premiered.
Following Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, Marvel Comics changed the Guardians’ dynamic, turned Peter Quill into a full joker, and filled the comics with one-liners and more sarcasm than ever. Even though comic fans don’t love the influence that the movies have on the comics, most readers love the Guardians. They definitely became more popular post-MCU.
3 Iron Man’s Charisma
Since he first appeared in Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. became one of the most popular actors in the MCU. His charisma when portraying Tony Stark also made Iron Man an absolute fan favorite, and his death was one of the hardest hits in the MCU.
Funny enough, Iron Man was never as famous in the pre-MCU era because Tony Stark wasn’t nearly as charismatic. If anything, he often came across as arrogant and stiff. Thanks to RDJ’s performance, the comics changed Tony’s personality, so now he’s just as sympathetic as his MCU counterpart.
2 Loki’s Moral Alignment
When Tom Hiddleston debuted as Loki in the MCU, no one expected him to become such an iconic character. However, almost 15 years later, he’s about to star in the second season of his solo show, Loki. Hiddleston’s charismatic demeanor as well as the MCU’s decision to turn him into a hero is the main reason why fans now love this character.
Since he’s easily the most popular MCU villain, Marvel Comics worked to give the comics’ Loki a similar vibe. He was de-aged previously, but since 2010 he has also starred in comics as the hero, even becoming a member of the teenage team Young Avengers.
Earlier this year, Marvel surprised everyone by announcing Kamala “Ms. Marvel” Khan would die in The Amazing Spider-Man — by Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr. Following this, she was resurrected in Krakoa, with Marvel retconning her origins through the revelation that she’s a mutant too.
In the finale ofMs. Marvel, it was revealed that this heroine (portrayed by Iman Vellani) is the first Marvel Studios mutant. This radical change in the comics is obviously an attempt to make Kamala more similar to her MCU counterpart. Only time will tell if they change her power set too.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is quite powerful, and its popularity extends beyond screens, affecting and altering the Marvel comics it’s based on. Read More