The Marvel Cinematic Universe has introduced some of the best characters from the comics straight to the big screen. From popular heroes like Iron Man to lesser-known characters like Star-Lord, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has pulled no punches in exploring different storylines from its vast library of comics.
Marvel Studios has done a great job in portraying these comic-book characters, case in point, the decision to drop original costumes of some notable heroes like Thor and Captain America for obvious reasons. Yet, hardcore comic-book fans have complained that the MCU has severely nerfed down some of their favourite characters, thus altering their personalities in the process too. Let’s check out the 10 top characters who were severely nerfed down in the movies when compared to their comic-book counterparts.
The adopted daughter of Thanos, Gamora’s full name is Gamora Zen Whoberi Ben Titan. Making her first appearance in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 (2014) as an antagonist, she soon changed her allegiance by teaming up with Star-Lord, Rocket Racoon, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer.
Though Zoe Saldana has done a remarkable job in portraying the character, the studio’s decision to severely nerf down the character has not been well received by hardcore fans. In the comics, Gamora has enhanced speed, strength, durability which can rival Adam Warlock’s abilities. In Infinity Watch, Gamora’s abilities were further enhanced using cybernetic enhancements, which also granted her rapid healing powers. As one of the most accomplished martial arts specialist in the entire universe, Gamora has mowed down armies in minutes. There’s a reason why she is called the deadliest woman in the galaxy.
9. Drax the Destroyer
Another member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Drax the Destroyer is a freak of nature whose abilities were ridiculously inhibited in the movies. Before becoming Drax, Arthur Douglas was a human who was killed by Thanos. To stop the Mad Titan, the cosmic character Kronos put Douglas’ soul in a new body and named him Drax the Destroyer.
Created to kill Thanos, Drax has incredible powers in the comics. From superhuman strength to agility, Drax can project concussive blasts of energy from his palms. He can also travel at a great speed in space without air, water, or food. Drax is also a telepath, who has fought Thanos on a psychic level to a stalemate. In later storylines, Drax gained the ability to sense the presence of Thanos and also developed a pre-cognitive ability to track the Mad Titan.
In the MCU, Quicksilver marks his debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron as the brother of Wanda Maximoff in Strucker’s secret facility. Having the ability of super-speed, Quicksilver becomes a formidable threat for the Avengers before he sides with them, and meets his demise from bullet wounds.
Though the MCU managed to keep the trademark characteristics of the speedster, they inhibited his speed to a considerable extent. In the comics, Quicksilver can run at Mach 10 and can create cyclonic-storms using his incredible speed. Due to his superspeed, Quicksilver can also think faster than anyone, thus gaining an advantage over his opponents. If anything, Fox’s Quicksilver was a much more accurate portrayal of his comic-book counterpart.
A sentient android, Vision is every inch a human being when it comes to his thoughts and emotions. In the MCU, Vision is played by Paul Bettany as this version is an amalgamation of the sentience of J.A.R.V.I.S. and the Soul Stone, created to be a power upgrade of Ultron.
Despite having incredible powers ranging from superhuman strength to technopathy, MCU decided to power down its version of Vision in Avengers: Infinity War. Originally, Vision has a Solar Jewel on his forehead which allows him to absorb solar energy and use it to fire optic, infrared, and microwave beams. In the comics, Vision interfaces with an unknown dimension which allows him to accrue or dissipate mass, enabling him to phase through objects and become denser than depleted uranium. In the comics, Vision is also trained in hand-to-hand combat by Captain America. Apart from that, Vision’s super intelligence helps him to process information with superhuman speed and accuracy.
The Mad Titan aka Thanos was the main antagonist in Avengers: Infinity War & Endgame. As the most powerful antagonist in the MCU so far, the arrival of Thanos was finally able to lift the curse of weak villains which had plagued the MCU for so long.
Despite showing his prowess in the movies, Thanos’ comic-book counterpart is much more powerful than the character we saw in both Infinity War and Endgame. In the comics, Thanos can absorb and project vast amounts of cosmic energy which was absent in the movies. He also possesses the ability of telepathy and telekinesis, making him quite immune to strong psychic attacks. The Mad Titan is also a super-genius and a master strategist having mastered all forms of advanced science and technology. One major thing which the MCU version of Thanos did not utilize was his transportation chair which allows him space flight, teleportation, time travel, force field projection, and moving across various dimensions. Thanos has been able to hold his ground against Odin and knock Galactus off his feet, which speaks volumes about his prowess.
5. Scarlet Witch
In the comics, Scarlet Witch is the daughter of Magneto. Due to the distribution of rights, the MCU had to change her origin stories in the process. Though already established as one of the strongest Avengers, Scarlet Witch’s true powers are truly incredible.
Scarlet Witch has the ability to warp reality, as shown in the famous House of M storyline where she wiped out most of the mutants and de-powered many superheroes. She is also extremely receptive to magic and has shown using magic in some storylines. Hopefully, her true potential will be explored in the upcoming WandaVision series on Disney+.
Bruce Banner aka The Hulk has become a fan-favourite character since his appearance in the MCU. Despite having character rights issue with Universal Pictures, the Hulk has been able to play a pivotal role in the movies.
Despite being a fearsome hero with uncontrollable rage, the MCU version of the Hulk is not even close his comic-book counterpart. In the comics, Hulk’s rage is known across the universe which makes even the mightiest characters hesitant to fight him. As the Hulk becomes more powerful with his increasing rage, his powers do not have a defined upper limit. Case in point, the Thanos vs Hulk showdown in Avengers: Infinity War was ridiculous because, in terms of pure strength, the Hulk would have never gone down that easily against the Mad Titan. In the comics, the Hulk has pulverized the likes of Wolverine and the entire roster of Avengers in World War Hulk.
Loki Laufeyson is the adopted son of Odin and the adopted brother of Thor. Born to King Laufey, Loki is originally a Frost Giant of Jotunheim. In the MCU, Loki has been an antagonist but died a hero’s death in Avengers: Infinity War.
Despite being a Frost Giant, Loki’s true powers were never shown in the movies. As the son of Laufey, Loki possesses enhanced strength, durability, speed, and stamina. He has been able to knock down gigantic buildings with a single punch, which makes him much stronger than the average Asgardian. As a sorcerer, Loki is Asgard’s most powerful wizard, comparable to Karnilla. He is capable of astral projections, telepathy, telekinesis, psionic attacks, generating mystical energy blasts, and shapeshifting, not limited to only humans.
The King of Asgard, Odin is one of the strongest characters in the Marvel Universe. Much more powerful than the average Asgardian, Odin’s abilities are incredibly calamitous, which can destroy galaxies.
In the MCU, Odin was both severely nerfed and given extremely less screen-time. Having access to the Odinforce, Odin has achieved feats which are unthinkable. From summoning remnants of destroyed planets to knocking down powerful characters like Silver Surfer and Thanos, Odin is an embodiment of spectacular cosmic powers. He has also been able to steal a soul from Mephisto, which is a rare feat for even the most powerful characters in Marvel.
Thor Odinson is one of the strongest Avengers, both in the comics as well as the movies. As the crowned prince of Asgard, Thor possesses abilities which can outclass the average Asgardian by miles.
In the movies, the God of Thunder has only manipulated the power of lightning to fight his enemies. But in the comics, Thor can manipulate storms too. Having the ability to summon the power of a thousand storms, Thor can lay waste to entire galaxies if he wishes to. As Rune King Thor, he can access the Odinforce and has destroyed Yggdrasil to stop the cycle of Ragnarok. No wonder, the MCU has to nerf down the God of Thunder, lest the movies last for a few minutes as Thor saves the day, effortlessly.