* Many superhero comics. Franchise/{{Superman}} was a FlyingBrick who couldn't fly, only jump (hence, "able to leap tall buildings in a single bound") and run (hence, "faster than a speeding bullet"); Franchise/{{Batman}} and the TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles both killed their adversaries, even Joker and Shredder.
** ComicBook/{{X-Men}} villain {{Magneto}}, in contrast to his contemporary portrayal as a WellIntentionedExtremist, was a straightforward bad guy without any redeeming features. He also had psychic powers that were nearly a match for Charles Xavier's, including AstralProjection.
** During the early years, DC's different heroes very clearly took place in separate continuities - an issue of ''Batman'' from the 40s, for instance, had Dick Grayson get an autograph from Jerry Siegel, identified by name and explicitly noted as "the creator of Superman".
*** Early Timely (Marvel) Comics did the same. In the very first CaptainAmerica story, the Human Torch is mentioned as being "a hero from the comic books". About a year later, Cap and the Torch met in a crossover story.
** Superman was probably the most notably different of these lacking many of his current powers, sporting a different (and often inconsistently illustrated) costume, killing bad guys, and being something of a rebel. But especially weird, given his current international sensibilities, is when we're told that "Superman says 'You Can Slap a Jap'" as seen on many World War 2 era covers.
*** In part this is because Superman, Batman, and some of the others listed here were introduced before the genre was codified as they were the codifiers of many of its tropes. Their early adventures were the EarlyInstallmentWeirdness of the entire genre. Another major reason is because of TheComicsCode; for a significant length of time, comics simply ''couldn't'' have their main characters kill people, so they gave them TechnicalPacifist leanings (and made them more like TheCape in general) as a way of satisfying MoralGuardians. These characterizations were used long enough to stick after the Comics Code fell.
*** Superman wasn't always the well meaning hero he's known as today. In fact, he caused more harm than good in his earlier comics, [[http://www.cracked.com/article_20069_5-classic-superman-comics-that-prove-he-used-to-be-dick.html and was actually kind of nuts]]. Examples include deliberately trapping a party of rich people in a mine to demonstrate the mine's safety problems, and drugging a football player and taking his place on the team, so that an opposing coach, who is guilty of cheating, won't win. He also once tackled teenage delinquency by demolishing their slummy neighborhood, making sure that the residents had evacuated with their possessions, upon learning that the government would be obligated to rebuild the neighborhood.
** Batman originally wore purple gloves, and his first story ends with the plot twist that Bruce Wayne IS Batman!
** SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker originally had NoSenseOfHumor.
** The modern version of Batwoman debuted in the series ''52'', with a different look than what she'd sport in her ongoing series and "Detective Comics" appearances. Kate was first depicted as having long auburn-red hair, was more into dresses for her fashion sense, and had brown eyes. When her series came around, her skin was dramatically lightened to be a "vampire porcelain white" (to better reflect a redhead's complexion), she was depicted as dressing more punkish, her hair became short and a highly saturated shade of red, and her [[SignificantGreenEyedRedhead eyes were changed to green]].
** The Scarecrow was originally a standard hoodlum-for-hire (albeit one who used to be a college professor) who terrorized his victims the old-fashioned way: with guns and death threats (in [[GoldenAge this era]], fear gas was actually the gimmick of the now-comparatively obscure Hugo Strange). He also managed to hold his own against Batman and Robin physically, at least for a little while.
* The Brazilian distributor of DisneyComics released in 2000 a special celebrating the 50th anniversary of their DonaldDuck magazine. The description of the first issue listed all that could be found weird: differences in language/spelling (apart from the 1950s version being quite formal, Portuguese underwent several orthographic reforms) and character names (biggest one was {{Goofy}} being called Dippy - though the story has him being called "a goofy guy"; in one story, Goofy was discovered by talent scouts after they didn't like his original name, ''Dippy Dawg''), unfinished stories (it was published across 3 issues as movie serials were popular in those days), only eight pages in color, and a trivia section filled with ValuesDissonance (telling stories of animals suffering accidents, such as ''j''iraffes being decapitated by telegraphic wires). 10 years later, the collection released to celebrate the 60th anniversary had its first issue come with [[EmbeddedPrecursor a facsimile of Donald Duck #1]], letting readers experience Early Installment Weirdness firsthand.
** On a lesser scale, the Italian character [[PaperinikNewAdventures Paperinik]], Donald's superhero alter ego: in the early stories he wasn't Disney's LighterAndSofter counterpart to Batman, but Donald using the tools of a disappeared GentlemanThief (and some gadgets provided by Gyro Gearloose) to vent his anger and get revenge on anyone pissing him off too much committing blatantly illegal acts (including [[ImpossibleThief stealing Scrooge's bed while he's sleeping on it]]), and was openly considered the public enemy number 1. Later stories sometimes keep part of the 'avenger of himself and criminal' part (with Angus Fangus in ''PaperinikNewAdventures'' [[JerkassHasAPoint devoting his journalistic career to get him arrested]]), but Paperinik has become an obviously more benign character, often working alongside the police supposed to try and arrest him.
* The early ''Comicbook/SonicTheHedgehog'' comics were very comedic and often even stranger than what we have today, with lots of [[NoFourthWall fourth wall demolition]], BetterThanABareBulb, and HurricaneOfPuns. This was more due to following ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'' and using a few video game stages in the early days, as well as the fact that Michael Gallagher was the head writer. Sally was seen with varying colors of fur (red fur with blonde hair in her first appearance, pink fur with black hair up until issue 16) and Rotor was known as "Boomer" until about issue 6. Roboticization was shown differently with people with hypnotized eyes instead of out and out robots. The series wouldn't reach the [=SatAM=] levels until Dulcy showed up in issue 28 and a few characters will still seem odd looking back at them (for instance, look at Metal Sonic in issue 25 and look at him today). Once Gallagher backed off as head writer, the series began to resemble what it does now.
* ''SonicTheComic'' was just as bad. For a while it was full of one-shots that barely related to each other, often with OffModel drawings. It took several issues for it to become plot-orientated, and even afterwards it took a while for it to drop the oneshot routine.
* ''ComicBook/UsagiYojimbo'' had a bit of unevenness in the beginning: in addition to being a bit more violent than it is now, non-mammals and humans are seen in crowd shots and two human/oids have speaking roles [[HumansAreBastards (they're both villains)]]. Currently the only non-mammal characters are Lord Hebi, a giant snake, and his human boss Lord Hikiji, [[TheFaceless whose face hasn't been seen in ages.]] We can only speculate what foreigners could look like since [[MisplacedWildLife lions, tigers, and rhinos]] already live in Japan.
** Stan Sakai has stated that he regrets having made Hikiji human.
* The first few ''ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}'' stories are very odd to read in comparison to later installments, thanks to JohnByrne's writing. Under Byrne, Hellboy uses a PrivateEyeMonologue to describe the story, tying him more closely into the NinetiesAntiHero archetype. When Byrne left and Mike Mignola, the series' creator, took over dialogue in addition to plotting and art, this form of exposition vanished.
* While Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Comicbook/TheSandman'' has always taken place in the [[TheDCU DC Universe]], early issues were much less shy about depicting the title character interacting with other DC characters. Hell, the first story arc features Dr. Destiny as the BigBad, as well as [[ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}} John Constantine]], [[NewGods Mr. Miracle]], MartianManhunter, {{Etrigan}}, and [[Franchise/{{Batman}} the Scarecrow]] in supporting roles and/or cameos. For the bulk of the series, the Endless and associated characters more or less exist in their own continuity.
** In addition, while the comic was always very dark, the first story arc was closer to a straight-up horror comic.
* First two ''ComicBook/NemesisTheWarlock'' stories - ''Terror Tube'' and ''Killer Watt'' - refers to Torquemada as chief of Tube Police, while later he is referred to as "Grand master Of Termight". Nemesis spends both stories inside his ship, with no clue about his identity or appearance, saying nothing but his CatchPhrase ''Credo!'', which he tends to use at odd moments. A lot implies it wasn't even established that Nemesis is even an alien back then, with narration referring to him as "not ordinary man" at best.
* While people often note the various changes that came about when the Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles changed from being merely a comic book to a multimedia franchise, the original [[ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesMirage Mirage comics]] were also subject to quite a bit of this. Most notable is the Frank Miller-esque narration, which was gone by the series' second issue; the idea that the turtles had grown to look like their present-day selves in the space of a year, which was ignored when the writers decided to write stories featuring younger versions of the characters; and the bit where Splinter expressly trained the turtles so they would kill The Shredder for him, which was glossed over with time. The Shredder himself was originally a TokenMotivationalNemesis and StarterVillain who died in the end of issue one. He did kill Hamato Yoshi, yes, but he was pretty much the [[{{Spider-Man}} crook who shot Uncle Ben]] but with a cooler outfit.
* The ComicBook/FantasticFour wore civilian garb in their first two issues.
** Also, the Human Torch looked like a featureless yellow blob of flame, taking after his Golden Age incarnation.
** As well as the Thing looking very lumpy and uneven.
** DoctorDoom acquired the ability to switch minds with whomever he had eye contact with. This is an ability that he occasionally uses even in the newer comics, but it was an odd concept for the time. A later RetCon stated that only his infamous vanity keeps him from using the ability more often.
* ''Ultimate Marvel Team-Up'' was done very early in the life of the [[UltimateMarvel Ultimate universe.]] As a result, a lot of characters like Hulk and ComicBook/IronMan appeared before they were given headlining roles in The Ultimates and are noticeably different then what would come.
* After his first appearance in Tales of Suspense #39, ComicBook/IronMan spent the next few issues travelling back in time to visit Cleopatra, fighting a robot caveman built by aliens, preventing a race of people who lived inside the Earth from invading the surface world, and having several other wacky adventures. It wasn't until Tales of Suspense #45 (the first appearance of Pepper Potts, Happy Hogan, and supervillain Blizzard) that he started to edge more towards superhero territory.
* Similarly, the MartianManhunter, having first appeared at the start of TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks, was more like a detective than a superhero in his initial appearances and only became a superhero when superheroes started to get popular again.
** Also, there was absolutely ''no'' indication whatsoever that Mars was a dead planet or that J'onn was the LastOfHisKind. Many of the tales of the time feature either Martian technology or the appearance of other Martian characters.
* Notably, Bruce Banner originally turned into the Comicbook/IncredibleHulk at night. He was also originally coloured grey, but this changed to green, as grey was hard to reproduce consistantly in the 1960's.
** Of course, these two traits were notably brought back in years later in the 1980's where it was revealed that the Grey Hulk was another personality of Banner's.
*** There is a lot of other weird things that happen before Hulk hits his stride, him changing via machine, Hulk's intelligence level going up to near Banner and down to inhuman stupidity. The early issues also make the Hulk quite misanthropic (an '''extremely''' bad thing when coupled with Banner's brains) and Rick Jones was the KidWithTheLeash who kept him from actually ''trying to end the world'' at least once. It takes them awhile before the character is associated with anger, around his first visit with the Inhumans where they establish that his strength increases with his rage.
* CaptainAmerica has a different shield and costume in his first issue.
* Upon reading [[http://www.reading-room.net/SC22/SC22p1.html the first]] [[TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] ''Franchise/GreenLantern'' story, you get the impression that the Green Lantern Corps (referred to only as space-patrolmen in the story) do not generally call themselves Green Lanterns -- in fact, "Green Lantern" was only an alias Hal adopts for himself.
* ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'': The series started as a comic strip in the back of SHADIS gaming magazine and as such, the character were flat and Sara had not been added yet. The Knights were simple gamer stereotypes shifting to fit the gag of the strip (for example, Dave, Bob and Brian all knowing the stats for a monster whereas in later strips, only Brian had stats and charts memorized like that.)
* This can be applied era to era in comics but especially the SilverAge which generally has the silliest and most over the top plots and really sticks out from the other eras with many of the most popular characters of today being invented or taking on their most recognizable forms in that era.
* The original ArchieComics looked nothing like their more familiar, modern look. It had the more realistic style of most 1940s comics before becoming stylized like it is today. Archies looked more like [[Magazine/{{MAD}} Alfred E. Neuman]] than anything. The characters were also younger and it initially lacked the signature BettyAndVeronica (Betty was part of the strip since day one, but Veronica did not show up until the fifth or sixth appearance).
* The first three issues of ''NinjaHighSchool'' were drawn in a somewhat different style from the rest of the series.
* The "Locas" stories in ''ComicBook/LoveAndRockets'' initially had sci-fi elements, but they were soon dropped and the series became very present-day real-life in nature.
* Comicbook/DoctorStrange started out looking much older than his eventual appearance, with slanted eyes and vaguely Asian features, and was styled the "Master of Black Magic."
* In the first few isues of ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}'', mutants weren't hated and feared, the X-Men were treated as celebrities (the second issue has Angel meet a bunch of fangirls), they had an official government liasion (Fred Duncan), Beast was DumbMuscle, Iceman was a JerkAss (mission briefing would sometimes lead to him attacking the rest of the team) and Jean's telekinesis was for some reason called teleportation, even in the second issue, in which they fought an actual teleporter. Xavier didn't hesitate to hit people who knew too much with LaserGuidedAmnesia, either.
* In early issues of TheBeano pretty much all the comic's most iconic characters had yet to appear. The only strip in the first issue to survive into TheFifties was Lord Snooty. Early issues also included text stories and adventure strips unlike later ones which only featured humourous comic strips.
** When [[ComicStrip/DennisTheMenaceUK Dennis the Menace]] first appeared in 1951 he lacked his red and black stripey jumper and instead wore a tie.
* Early issues of ComicBook/TheDandy featured Desperate Dan as a bit of a bad guy (a Desperado hence the strip's name) instead of the nice but dumb guy who DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength.
* In the early strips of ''MortadeloYFilemon'', both worked alone as private detectives instead of being secret agents, Filemón was always angry and smoke a pipe, Mortadelo was even more stupid and clumsy, and there was barely any of the {{Slapstick}} that defines the series nowadays.
* The series ''La parejita'' started in 1993 as "Emilia-o", the story of a 18-year-old couple who had to serve in the Spanish military service. Emilia, the girl, disguised herself as a man to stay with her boyfriend during that time instead of being sent to different destinations. After a year of military jokes, author Manel Fontdevila decided to put the couple back in the city and write a story about their day-to-day life, which he described as "putting the same actors in a different set".
* On their very first appearance in "Johan and Peewit: The Flute with Six Holes", TheSmurfs had five fingers on each hands, their village was on a rocky, barren landschape and their houses were different sizes and species of mushrooms.
* In ''ComicBook/{{WITCH}}'', Will was a major ButtMonkey and it seemed all she existed for, beyond being leader, was having something horrible happen to her. She lampshades this when her dormouse is ran over after she and her friends save her family's livelihood from her JerkAss, gambling-addicted father.
* ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'':
** In "Tintin in the Land Of The Soviets" Tintin only gets his famous hairstyle several pages into the story, with the apparent side effect of a car crash being that his hair goes on-model
** The early Tintin stories before "The Blue Lotus" are mostly a continuous series of events without much focus and a lot of randomness. "Tintin in the Land Of The Soviets" and "Tintin in Congo" ("Tintin in Africa") are plain propaganda stories warning the youth against Soviet communism and the praising the virtues of Belgian colonialism in Congo. Tintin's travels to foreign countries were simply based on stereotypical ideas. Hergé only started doing research for his stories from "The Blue Lotus" on.
** The Thompson Twins actually tried to arrest Tintin for most of the early albums, and, in doing so, [[GoodIsDumb prove themselves much more competent than they would ever be as allies.]]
* The first Asterix story, ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}} the Gaul'', had an single issue ArtEvolution (with plenty of OffModel drawings before Uderzo settled on the style he employed for years to come) and a plot unlike the ones that followed, in particular for having a relatively small role for Obelix (who also wears an axe on his belt in this first album). Julius Caesar also looks completely different in this album. Compare the one on the first page with the one on the final pages! And even then he still doesn't resemble the later Caesar!
** Most of the Gauls have much longer hair and moustaches.
** A single drink of magic potion apparently makes one strong for several hours, whereas in later stories it lasts long enough to see a battle to its end but certainly not for hours.
** Getafix originally lived in a cave. Fulliautomatix looked radically different, more a roly-poly sort with a long nose rather than broad-shouldered. He shapes iron with his bare hands instead of his trademark hammer.
** Cacofonix' outfit is also different. On top of that, the running gag that his music is [[DreadfulMusician just horrible]] isn't yet set up. Asterix refuses to let him sing early on but only because he has better things to do, the Gauls dance to his playing with no complaints, and he sings at the banquet at the end (!!!!), only annoying a couple of characters sitting right next to him, presumably with volume rather than quality.
** The first issues also have the lack of Dogmatix before his introduction in ''Asterix and the Banquet''.
* ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke''
** The first three Lucky Lukes people and animals are drawn in a more roundish "animated cartoony" style, complete with four fingers one each hand. Comics artist Morris aspired to bring his characters to the screen in an animated form and thus they look more like animated cartoon characters.
*** Luke in particular has a different outfit and a large chin.
** Lucky Luke also shot his opponents dead or wounded them severely. In later stories he simply shoots their weapons out of their hands.
*** In their first appearance The Daltons were actually shot dead by Lucky Luke! Since the characters proved to be very popular Morris brought them back, or rather their SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute nephews! So the Daltons we know today are actually copies of the original.
** For almost 40 years Lucky Luke was portrayed as a cigarette smoker, something Morris eventually changed under pressure of health groups and fear of children imitating the habit.
* SuskeEnWiske:
** In the first official story "Rikki en Wiske in Chocowakije" Suske doesn't appear at all. Only Wiske and her aunt Tante Sidonia are present. Wiske actually had an older brother, Rikki, who was PutOnABus from the second album on and ignored for more than 60 years in the stories' continuity.
** Suske and Wiske were actually toddlers in the first stories, instead of the early teenagers they became later.
** Tante Sidonia actually looked more feminine in the first stories, dressing like an old woman of her age would.
** Lambik was obnoxiously stupid in the first stories and completely untrustworthy to his friends. His intelligence improved over the course of the series, though he remained not very bright.
** Jerom actually dressed as a caveman for most of the first stories he appeared in. Only gradually he lost these roots and became more civilized.
** Professor Barabas was originally a stutterer with a pot belly. He lost both traits later.
** Also, many readers will notice that even after main characters were introduced in the series there were still stories where either Lambik or Tante Sidonia are noticably absent. Even without giving an explanation about their whereabouts!
* ComicStrip/{{Nero}}:
** Nero was originally a man who thought he was Emperor Nero! After a while other characters started naming him "Nero" anyway. Also, he was completely bald and only got his famous hairs in the album "De Man Met Het Gouden Hoofd", as a result of drinking from an enchanted river. Also, for the first five years of the series, the comic strip centered around Detective Van Zwam, who was eventually reduced to a secondary character while Nero became the star of the series.
** In his first albums Adhemar dresses like a baby and acts very obnoxious and egotistically to get his will. This is in sharp contrast with later albums in which he behaves more civilized.
** Petoetje walks around dressed like a tribal native, wearing nothing more than a tribal dress. Of course, he came from Papua New Guinea: but it takes several albums until he finally starts wearing more Western clothing!
** The famous waffle feast which [[EveryEpisodeEnding traditionally closes each album]] didn't occur until well after fifty albums, after the series switched over to color!
* ''Superlópez'' began as a direct and shameless parody of ''Superman'', mocking several MarvelComics characters and plotlines. When the original writer Efepé left, it changed into a "regular dude thrown into a superhero role", focusing notably on López's life and work. From the 90's on, though, a decent rooster of villains had been added and the stories became more adventure-oriented, with several [[RippedFromTheHeadlines political jokes and references]] thrown everywhere.
* ''JudgeDredd'' was originally set in New York City, the judges were "elected by the people" and regular police still appeared.
* The original incarnation of ''ComicBook/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' from [[http://www.themarysue.com/archie-sabrina-50th/2/ the original five page comic]] was a VillainProtagonist. She also couldn't cry and would float in water, which is old witch lore. Early comics had a witch head known as "Della" who disappeared randomly and Salem used to be a normal cat until they changed him into once being a human.
* In the second issue of Marvel's ''StarWars'', the scene between Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt (or Hut here) is included, but Jabba looks absolutely nothing like the familiar character as seen in ''ReturnOfTheJedi''.
** Though this persists for much of the comic series, as another story about Han and Jabba uses the same humanoid design as the adaptation of A New Hope. It isn't until Return of the Jedi came out that Jabba was depicted as he is now.
* In early issues of Marvel's ''{{Micronauts}}'' series, Commander Arcturus Rann seemed to be a less refined individual. He used slang, mild swear words, and occasionally uttered sexist comments toward Marionette. In this, he was much like Han Solo from StarWars. This was toned down immediately after the first three issues, and he started acting like a straight-laced hero.
* In his first few stories, Thor wasn't treated as the actual Thor from the myths. While Donald Blake did physically transform into Thor, the mind was still Blake's. For example, when he first meets Loki, Thor/Blake thinks about the things he knows from the myths, and not of the things he, being Loki's brother, should know.
* Today, the ComicBook/UltimateMarvel version of ComicBook/NickFury is probably best known for being [[ComicBookFantasyCasting closely modeled after]] actor Creator/SamuelLJackson (with Jackson's permission), with the assumption that Jackson was always destined to play Fury on the big screen. Understandably, it can be a bit jarring to read Ultimate Nick Fury's first appearance in ''ComicBook/UltimateXMen'''s 2001 story arc "Return to Weapon X", where [[ArtEvolution he looks nothing like Samuel L. Jackson]]. While [[RaceLift he's still African-American]], Fury is drawn with noticeably lighter skin than Jackson, and he has a fade haircut instead of Jackson's distinctive [[BaldOfAwesome shaved head]]. Also, he's initially depicted as a snappy-dressing S.H.I.E.L.D. field agent with an arsenal of elaborate gadgets (not unlike his depiction in the old ''Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' comic book series) rather than as the BaldBlackLeaderGuy of the Ultimates.
----