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Composite Character / Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Whether to streamline the story, surprise comic-savvy fans, or just get around characters it can't use, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is no stranger to assigning one character attributes of another.

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • Donnie Gill is named after the second Blizzard, but has a science and engineering background like Gregor Shapanka, the original Silver Age Blizzard.
    • The Ghost Rider used on the show is the Robbie Reyes version, but the creators explicitly incorporated elements of Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch as well. Notably, Robbie's flaming skull looks much more like Blaze and Ketch's, and he actually has a true Spirit of Vengeance.note  His backstory of having become Ghost Rider after making a Deal with the Devil to save the life of a dying loved one is also much closer to Johnny's origin story.
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    • The Patriot, Jeffrey Mace, serves as the US Government's replacement for Captain America like he did in the comics, but while he's a regular human in the comics, here he's explicitly a superhuman who derives his powers from a strength-enhancing super drug while claiming to have a more heroic source (being an Inhuman), much like the modern Patriot, Eli Bradley. In addition, the drug is specifically based on Cal Johnson's; the patriotic hero Jack Flag got his powers from accidental exposure to Calvin Zabo's Mr Hyde formula. (It helps that Cal was an adaptation of Zabo.)
    • The Inhumans as a race serve as a mix between the classic depiction of them (a genetically-modified offshoot of humanity who gain random superpowers through exposure to Terrigen) and Mutants (hated and feared race of superbeings constantly facing Fantastic Racism), the latter of whom couldn't be used themselves due to corporate red tape. Season 3 even had a subplot dealing with Daisy and Lincoln becoming divided over a possible "cure" for Inhuman powers, an idea clearly lifted from Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run (and which had already been adapted before in X-Men: The Last Stand).
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    • Hive has the Puppeteer Parasite powers of his comic counterpart and, when he unveils his true form, the appearance of him as well, along with his status as a creepy HYDRA leader and one of the biggest threats facing the Secret Warriors. However, his status as the ancient leader of the Inhumans whose history was covered up, and who plans to turn humans into Alpha-Primitive slaves, are definite characteristics of the Unspoken. Keeping with the X-Men parallels, his gray skin and backstory also call to mind Apocalypse.
    • Madame Hydra still retains her green-tipped hair, is named Ophelia, and wears a tight green outfit whenever she ventures outside the office. However, she is merely an avatar/aspect of Aida, who is a completely unrelated character in the comics.
    • Holden Radcliffe is a composite of the comic book Radcliffe, a roboticist and industrialist who was the villain of Machine Teen; Tom Thumb, a Multidisciplinary Scientist on Squadron Supreme's Earth who created Aida; and the Inhuman geneticist Adavar, creator of the Alpha-Primitives.
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    • Glenn Talbot behaves more like Thunderbolt Ross than his comic counterpart. Furthermore, he becomes the show's version of Graviton, taking the role from Franklin Hall.
    • The Superior (the disembodied head of a man called Anton who controls an army of LMD bodies) is a composite of the fourth Red Guardian (an LMD called Anton last seen as a disembodied head) and M.O.D.O.K. Superior (a giant floating head who was first seen in command of an army of LMDs - Superior even calls his LMD bodies "designed only for killing").
  • Ant-Man:
    • Darren Cross had no supervillain alias in the original comics, but in the Ant-Man movie, he is given Sizeshifter abilities and the Code Name Yellowjacket. Both of these come from Hank Pym, who used the name Yellowjacket in the comics. This is a rare case of Decomposite Character as well, since Pym is in the movie, just as a civilian scientist rather than a costumed superhero. (He used to be Ant-Man but retired; he never took the identity of Yellowjacket in this universe.) Darren eventually took the Yellowjacket identity in the comics after the movie came out.
    • In another example of Composite/Decomposite Character, Cross also takes some traits from the comic book version of Ultron, specifically his "daddy issues" relationship with Hank Pym (in the comics, Hank Pym created Ultron, but that role was given to Tony Stark in the movies). Even the face of the Yellowjacket armor more closely resembles the 616-Ultron's face than MCU-Ultron's does.
    • The Wasp is seemingly a Posthumous Character, much like Maria Trovaya, Hank's first wife in the comics.
    • The Wasp's daughter, Hope Van Dyne, has her mother's trademark hairstyle. She also becomes the new Wasp in one of the post-credits scenes.
    • The title character himself, by virtue of the fact that in this continuity, Hank Pym lacks any connection to the Avengers. Instead, Scott is the Ant-Man who is associated with the team, and even takes on Pym's Giant-Man identity from the comics in Civil Warnote . Scott also was never partnered with a Wasp in the comics (again, that was Hank), but here, he is.
  • The Avengers
    • This extends to MacGuffins. The Avengers (and the films immediately before it) introduce an alien device called the Tesseract or "the Cube", standing in for the Cosmic Cube of the comics. Thor: The Dark World then reveals that it's also one of the Infinity Stones.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron:
    • Iron Man creates Ultron instead of Hank Pym.
    • Subverted with Black Widow, who wields a pair of batons much like those used by her fellow Avenger, Mockingbird. Mockingbird would show up as a separate character in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s second season.
    • Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch start off as a pair of superpowered twins working for Baron Strucker. This is much like the Fenris twins, Strucker's own mutant children from the comics.
    • Ulysses Klaue has taken many elements of his father, Fritz Klaue such as being a smuggler and ally to Baron Strucker, the unique spelling of his surname and overall look.
    • Helen Cho has undergone the reverse, taking elements of her son, Amadeus, supreme intellect in particular. She also essentially becomes the MCU version of Phineas Horton, being the one who created the Vision's synthetic body.
    • The Vision is made by implanting the remains of the J.A.R.V.I.S. A.I. inside of the aforementioned synthetic body. He also has one of the Infinity Stones embedded in his forehead, much like Adam Warlock note .
  • Avengers: Infinity War:
    • In another non-character example, Thor's replacement for the destroyed Mjolnir is an axe like Jarnbjorn, the weapon he used after becoming unworthy of Mjolnir in the comics. However, here the axe is called Stormbreaker, which was the name of Beta Ray Bill's hammer. Despite having the same name as Beta Ray Bill's hammer, its design takes more cues from the Mjolnir used by Ultimate Thor.
    • Ebony Maw was originally a Badass Normal in the comics. Here, he instead has powerful mental abilities, much like Supergiant, the only member of the original Black Order who doesn't appear in the film (though Maw's powers are telekinetic in nature, while Supergiant's were closer to telepathy).
    • Hulk takes the Silver Surfer's role as the hero who crashes through Doctor Strange's roof and warns him about Thanos' plot.
    • The Red Skull being cursed to act as the guardian of the Soul Stone while wearing a black cloak is very reminiscent of Nick Fury's transformation into the Unseen after the events of Original Sin.
    • Thanos' motive to bring balance to the universe by wiping out half its life is similar to that of Mistress Death, who he was in love with in the comics, but they seem to be his own beliefs rather than hers, which he would carry out in devotion.
  • Avengers: Endgame: Hawkeye's new Ronin persona is influenced by both his classic and Ultimate incarnations. The name and look come from Clint's time in the New Avengers, while the premise of Clint adopting a new costume and a darker, more murderous personality following the death of his family comes from The Ultimates 3.
  • Black Panther:
    • Nakia is completely reimagined as T'Challa's ex-lover who acts as a Wakandan agent overseas. That backstory was lifted from Malaika, an obscure character who only ever appeared in the 1988 Black Panther mini-series by Peter B. Gillis.
    • In the comics, Zuri is a Boisterous Bruiser who has served as a warrior for many years. The film instead depicts him as an herbalist and shaman who is in charge of overseeing the Black Panther's Rite of Ascension, a role that was filled by two characters named N'Baza and Medinao in the comics.
    • Erik Killmonger takes on elements of T'Shan as T'Challa's cousin who seeks the Wakandan throne. Likewise, this makes Killmonger's father N'Jobu one with S'Yan, T'Chaka's brother in the comics.
    • Shuri's sarcastic personality, as well as her Trollish tendencies (particularly towards Ross), come from Queen Divine Justice.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger:
    • Captain America takes the original Nick Fury's place as the one who assembles the Howling Commandoes.
    • The version of the Red Skull has a lot in common with Baron Strucker (the founder of HYDRA) and the first Baron Zemo (a disfigured Mad Scientist in charge of the Nazis' super-weapon development), though he retains his disfigured appearance and status as Cap's Arch-Enemy. Strucker still appears in the MCU later as one of the HYDRA leaders following the exposure of HYDRA to the world, as did Heinrich Zemo, who is a Posthumous Character in Captain America: Civil War while Helmut Zemo, his son, was featured as a Sokovian colonel avenging his family from the indirect actions of the Avengers.
    • The film's take on Peggy Carter combines the inherent Action Girl-ness and relationship to Sharon Carter of her namesake (Sharon still appears later on in the present day of later films), along with the appearance and role of Lt. Cynthia Glass from the Adventures of Captain America: The Sentinel of Liberty miniseries released in the early 90s.
    • Howard Stark creates Captain America's iconic shield, much like Dr. Myron MacLain in the original comics.
    • Montgomery Falsworth, the pencil-moustached, red-bereted British officer in the movie's Howling Commandos, is an amalgam of Montgomery Falsworth, the costumed hero Union Jack, and Percy Pinkerton, the pencil-moustached, red-bereted British officer in the comic's Howling Commandos. In fact, given it contains Falsworth, Cap and Bucky Barnes, the Commandos could be considered an amalgam of the comic-book Commandos and The Invaders.
    • Bucky is an amalgamation of James Buchanan Barnes and Arnold Roth, a childhood friend of Steve's who used to protect him from bullies before he became Captain America.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier:
    • Alexander Pierce is given elements of Aleksander Lukin, namely his role as the Winter Soldier's handler and the mastermind behind the entire plot.
  • Captain America: Civil War:
    • Everett K. Ross fills a role similar to that of Henry Peter Gyrich, the Avengers' government liaison from the comics.
    • Helmut Zemo takes Klaw's role as the one who kills Black Panther's father. Klaw, renamed to Klaue, still has involvement with Wakanda however as seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron, where Ultron severs his arm instead of Black Panther.
    • During the airport battle, Scott Lang becomes Giant-Man, one of Hank Pym's identities in the original comics.
  • Captain Marvel:
  • Daredevil:
    • The show combines Night Nurse, an obscure character from the comics who specializes in helping injured superheroes, with Claire Temple, one of Luke Cage's old love interests.
    • Season 3 adapts elements of the "Born Again" storyline from the comics, but with a few changes. A significant one is that the Costume Copycat that Wilson Fisk recruits to frame Daredevil is Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter, rather than the unnamed psychopath who posed as Daredevil in the original comic (while Bullseye did impersonate Daredevil in the comics, this happened later in the Ann Nocenti run). In addition, since Nuke had been transplanted to Jessica Jones, Dex takes on some of Nuke's comics traits, given Fisk manipulates him with similar speeches to the ones he gives Nuke in the "Born Again" story about how Dex “sacrifices for his country” and “nobody appreciates him for it”.
  • Doctor Strange (2016):
    • Kaecilius replaces Baron Karl Mordo as Dormammu's servant, although Mordo makes an appearance anyway, albeit with Adaptational Heroism where he performs a Face–Heel Turn in The Stinger.
    • In another non-sentient example, Strange's iconic Eye of Agamotto is also the Time Stone in this continuity.
    • Dormammu has elements of Galactus, due to his purple color scheme and status as the "devourer of worlds."
  • Guardians of the Galaxy:
    • Ronan the Accuser is the one who killed Drax's family, rather than Thanos. Despite this, since Ronan did it while working for Thanos, Drax blames them both.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:
    • The film version of Ego combines elements of the comic book Ego the Living Planet with J'Son of Spartax, who is Peter Quill's father in the comics, and the Priests of Pama, who raised Mantis in the comics. He also resembles Ord Zyonz, the Elder of the Universe known as the Gardener, and seeds various planets throughout the universe.
    • The Sovereign seem to be a composite of the Enclave and the Universal Church of Truth. In the comics both have links to Adam Warlock.
  • The Incredible Hulk:
    • General Ross wishes to capture and dissect the Hulk, similar to John Ryker.
  • Iron Man:
    • J.A.R.V.I.S. is a combination of Edwin Jarvis (Tony's butler from the comics) and H.O.M.E.R. (Tony's A.I. from the 90's comics. It even had a British accent in the cartoon). The real Edwin Jarvis would later be introduced in Agent Carter, implying the A.I is a Legacy Character of some sort (an actual JARVIS AI does eventually appear in the comics).note 
  • Iron Man 2:
    • Whiplash (Ivan Vanko) is both a Composite and Decomposite Character, and it didn't help that the comics introduced a similar character around the time the film was released.
      • Ivan is loosely based on the first Crimson Dynamo, Anton Vanko, and is also a decomposite of the same character who, in the MCU, is his father. In both continuities, Anton defected from Russia to work for Stark Industries, but while the comic version sacrificed himself to prevent the Russians from stealing back his Dynamo armor, the MCU version had a falling out with Howard Stark, and returned to Russia where he would die in anonymity.
      • Ivan's whips are, of course, a signature of the comic book version of Whiplash, a name used by several characters (most of which were female), but best known as the identity of Mark Scarlotti, who also operated at times under the name Blacklash. Scarlotti was also employed by Justin Hammer; guess who busts Ivan out of prison and employs him in this film?note 
  • Iron Man 3:
  • Jessica Jones (2015):
    • Trish Walker is a composite of both her main and Ultimate comic counterparts and Carol Danvers, gaining the latter's blond hair and role as Jessica's best friend. This is because Trish originally was going to be Carol before complications with the Captain Marvel movie necessitated replacing her with a different character. She's also Jessica's adoptive sister, who was a separate, unnamed character in the comics.
    • Will Simpson is a former soldier who takes Psycho Serum pills and becomes Ax-Crazy, like Nuke aka Frank Simpson. Like Mad Dog, he was involved in a romantic relationship with Trish before going off the deep end. His role as Jessica Jones' Friend on the Force is similar to that of Clay Quartermain.
  • Luke Cage (2016): In the comics, Willis "Diamondback" Stryker is Luke's nemesis and former childhood friend. The show keeps this aspect, but with the added twist of Diamondback also being Luke's hateful brother, much like Coldfire, another villain from the comics.
  • The Punisher (2017):
    • William "Bill" Rawlins/Agent Orange takes his codename from a set of characters who used it in the comics. His overall look and scheme (bankrolling CIA operations with drugs smuggled in cadavers) are taken from Robert Bethell.
    • Oddly, Billy Russo acts more like the comics' Rawlins than the one who appears on the show, being a dark-haired womanizer who personally partakes in corrupt CIA operations.
  • Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings:
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming:
    • In the comics, Ned Leeds is an adult reporter at the Daily Bugle. Here, he's one of Peter's classmates and is his Fat Best Friend and confidant, like Ganke Lee is for Miles Morales.
    • Peter himself, by his relationship with Ned and attendance of a gifted school, makes him one with Miles Morales. He was also recruited by Tony Stark shortly after becoming Spider-Man, like how Ultimate comics Peter and later Miles were mentored by Nick Fury. He would later be mentored by Nick Fury in Far from Home, although it turned out to be the Skrull Talos posing as Fury under Fury's orders.
    • Vulture is Adrian Toomes, but much like the Ultimate version of Blackie Drago (who is the sole Vulture in the Ultimate Universe) is a career criminal with a suit given to him by the Tinkerer. Additionally, much like the Blob of the Ultimate Marvel universe, he's Liz Allan's father. This, in turn, fuses Liz with 616 Adrian's daughter, Valeria. The way the suit's wings are attached to his back rather than under his arms is also taken from the Ultimate version of Drago.
    • The Tinkerer himself is Phineas Mason as in the traditional Marvel universe, but is also significantly younger than Mason, as is the Ultimate Tinkerer, who is Elijah Stern.
    • Word of God confirms's that Michelle's nickname of "MJ" is an intentional nod to Mary Jane Watson, which becomes more pronounced when MJ ends up becoming Peter's love interest in the sequel, but her rebellious and tomboyish personality is much closer to that of Ultimate Gwen Stacy.
    • Betty Brant is this to her comic book counterpart (i.e. her relationship to Ned) and Gwen Stacy (blonde hair).
  • Thor: Ragnarok:
    • The Grandmaster takes the Red King's role as the ruler of Sakaar and the one behind the Hulk's enslavement.
    • Valkyrie starts off working for the Grandmaster, but eventually switches sides after developing a bond with one of the heroes. That character arc is lifted from Caiera, who served the Red King in the comics before betraying him after falling in love with the Hulk.
    • Hela is a composite of multiple Thor characters from the comics. Her backstory of having been sealed away for many years comes from Cul, Odin's brother from Fear Itself; her use of Skurge the Executioner as an enforcer comes from the Enchantress; her ability to instantly manifest a large amount of weapons was taken from Gorr the God Butcher; and like the Marvel version of Angela, she's Thor and Loki's older sister instead of the latter's daughter or creation.
    • Hulk's role is ironically flipped around from what it was in the original comic. In Planet Hulk, the Hulk was forced to battle his old teammate Silver Surfer after ending up in the Red King's gladiatorial games. Here, Thor serves as the newly-arrived hero who is forced to battle a former teammate in the arena, while the Hulk serves as the teammate in question.
  • Across movies, there is the Infinity Stones. In the comics, the items of power that turn out to be (or contain) an Infinity Stone in the films did not have any connection to each other or the Infinity Gems. Most notably, the Mind Stone pulls a threefer, being a combination of the Mind Gem, Loki's staff and the solar gem on Vision's forehead.


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