Everything The MCU Leaves Out From The Comic Stories That Inspired It

Over 300 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Everything The MCU Leaves Out From The Comic Stories That Inspired It
Voting Rules
Vote up the MCU adaptations that are nothing like the comics that inspired them.

With so many moving parts, creating a singular, shared universe is an incredibly difficult task. Fortunately, Marvel Studios has cracked the formula with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), as it's all connected in a coherent and cohesive way. For the most part, Marvel movies try to stick as close to canon as possible, ensuring that comic fans are also left satisfied by the live-action adaptations.

Then, there are times when the studio has had to deviate and provide different stories. The reasons for these changes vary. In some instances, the comic book storylines may be too convoluted and large for a singular film or television series. Alternatively, there could be key characters involved that were tied up in other rights at the time. Whichever way, there are more than a handful of times when MCU films have had to pivot from the very comic book storylines that inspired them.

  • Scarlet Witch Does A Whole Lot More Than Take Over A Suburban Town In The Comics
    Photo: WandaVision / Disney+

    The Comic Inspiration: House of M

    What Is the Same: After traumatic events, Wanda Maximoff struggles to contain her grief. She creates a new reality where her fantasy comes to life. Unfortunately, other people are caught up in her new illusion.

    What's Way Different: In House of M, the Scarlet Witch starts to warp reality. Heroes such as the Avengers and X-Men try to come up with a solution to stop it, with one extreme suggestion being to eliminate her. Refusing to let her become a casualty, her family members Magneto and Quicksilver take her out of harm's way. Unfortunately, she ends up sending the Marvel Universe into a daze where everyone's lives are drastically altered. Later on, it's revealed these events actually happened and Scarlet Witch was solely responsible for the decimation of the mutant population.

    220 votes
  • The Comic Inspiration: Civil War

    What Is the Same: An accident featuring super-powered individuals rattles the cages of politicians, who demand a need for a registration act for all super-powered people. Captain America opposes this, while Iron Man is for it. It ends up dividing Marvel's heroes as they are forced to choose battle lines.

    What's Way Different: The comic book event is much bigger, featuring other heroes such as the X-Men and the Punisher. It also involves Peter Parker unmasking himself as Spider-Man and revealing his true identity to the world. However, there are two major differences between the comics and the movie. The first is Iron Man creates a concentration camp-like prison called 42 in the Negative Zone where super-powered individuals are thrown in without a fair trial. The second is Captain America actually stands down in the end after beating the snot out of Iron Man; however, he is assassinated by a brainwashed Sharon Carter. Obviously, like anything else in comics, these events aren't permanent.

    180 votes
  • A Completely Different Magical Force Makes The World Forget Spider-Man's Identity In The Comics
    Photo: Spider-Man: No Way Home / Sony Pictures Releasing

    The Comic Inspiration: Spider-Man: One More Day

    What Is the Same: When confronted by a difficult decision, Spider-Man seeks out magic to help change the events of the past and to secure a better future for everyone he loves. He also encounters the Spider-Men from different universes.

    What's Way Different: In the comics, Aunt May is on her deathbed and Peter Parker will do anything to bring her back. His first foray with magic is by using a spell against Doctor Strange's wishes, but it doesn't work out and only hurts Peter. Later on, Peter is confronted by a little girl who reveals herself to be Mephisto, offering him a chance to save May. Peter makes a deal with the devil; however, this deal is to sacrifice his happiness, which is his marriage to Mary Jane. MJ also cuts a deal with Mephisto, asking for the world to forget who Spider-Man really is after the events of Civil War.

    161 votes
  • Thanos Isn't Actually The Ultimate Villain In The Comics That Inspired 'Infinity War' And 'Endgame'
    Photo: Avengers: Infinity War / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    The Comic Inspiration: The Infinity Gauntlet and The Infinity War

    What Is the Same: Instead of collecting stamps like regular people, Thanos decides he wants a few magical stones so he can hold infinite power over the universe. Naturally, heroes realize this is a bad idea and try to stop him.

    What's Way Different: Oh, boy, where to start? While the plan is initially all Thanos and he does secure all six Infinity Gems to wreak havoc, Nebula eventually steals the Gauntlet from him. The Mad Titan has to team up with heroes and villains to recover it, with Adam Warlock eventually wielding the Gauntlet to undo Thanos's damage. Later on, Warlock's evil future self, Magus, tries to get his grubby paws all over the Gauntlet. Again, heroes and villains team up to stop him, even though the treacherous Doctor Doom tries to secure the Gauntlet for himself. In the end, they avert disaster - until the next time, that is.

    201 votes
  • The Comic Inspiration: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

    What Is the Same: Captain America discovers that his best friend, Bucky Barnes, is still alive. Unfortunately, Bucky is now known as the Winter Soldier and works as an assassin for the bad guys by putting bullets in people's heads. Somehow, Cap needs to try and get through to him before it's too late.

    What's Way Different: In the comics, Bucky works for the evil Soviet general and the story's big bad, Aleksander Lukin, who orders the Winter Soldier to assassinate the Red Skull to secure the coveted Cosmic Cube. Unbeknownst to nearly everyone, Red Skull transfers his consciousness to the Cube and takes over Lukin's body like he's in an episode of Days of Our Lives. In the end, Cap uses the mystical Cube to break through Bucky's brainwashing to restore his memory of who he is - not just by appealing to him through a “Martha… Why did you say that name?" moment.

    146 votes
  • The Comic Inspiration: Age of Ultron

    What Is the Same: The sinister artificial being known as Ultron has plans to take over the world. However, Earth's Mightiest Heroes might have something to say about it.

    What's Way Different: Well, this is the one instance where the premise of the comic and movie are the same, but the sequence of events is entirely different. In the comic book event, Ultron actually succeeds and brings the world to its knees. However, there are elements of multiple earths and Ultron acting from the future and others having to go there to defeat him. It's the typical comic book nonsense where everything is so entangled and a map is necessary to navigate the plot and its intricate details. Plus, Tony Stark isn't the creator of Ultron in the comics.

    127 votes