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Adaptation Origin Connection

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Batman: You killed my parents.
Joker: What? What are you talking about?
Batman: I made you, but you made me first.

In an adaptation of a work, it's common to make the iconic Arch-Enemy of the source material into the adaptation's Big Bad. Due to Rule of Drama, this character will be tied into the hero's origin story, whether they were in the original work or not. A common variation is that the villain is the one who killed a loved one in their Death by Origin Story, making the villain a Composite Character with the Token Motivational Nemesis. Often revealed at the end, leading to the hero to decide that It's Personal.

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The reasons for this are similar to those behind Superhero Movie Villains Die. Since the movie isn't necessarily an ongoing series, writers have a limited time to make the villain have as much impact as possible. It's a simple way of adding drama and a personal connection between the villain and the hero. Often Inverted such that a villain that wasn't a Create Your Own Villain in the original is made one in an adaptation.

This goes double for instances of Token Motivational Nemesis. Who is more interesting as the one who killed the hero's beloved teacher, love interest, or parents, some nameless thug or the iconic Big Bad?

This is the inverse of Create Your Own Villain, where the hero is involved in the origin story of the villain. Also compare to Related in the Adaptation, when an adaptation makes two previously unrelated characters family, and Meta Origin, where an origin story is given a specific underpinning that ties the characters' seemingly random power to a concrete phenomnena (and thus can connect them when they wouldn't have been in the source material).

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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In the original Pokémon games, Mewtwo was strongly implied to have been created by Mr. Fuji, formerly Dr. Fuji, acting alone (which Pokémon Origins is more explicit about). In the anime continuity, he was commissioned to do so by Team Rocket. Because of the anime being more well-known than the games at the time along with Fuji's unexplained reasons and seeming lack of motive for creating Mewtwo otherwise, Team Rocket being connected with Mewtwo has been a strong piece of Fanon.
  • Pokémon Adventures:
    • As in the anime, Mewtwo is a Team Rocket creation. However, Blaine is also involved with its creation, with his DNA being used in the Pokémon. (A connection to Blaine in the form of him knowing the aforementioned independent researcher is introduced to the game canon in FireRed and LeafGreen, however.)
    • Giovanni, posing as a friendly traveler, is the one to give the Old Amber to Red, which would become his Aerodactyl.
    • The Arc Villain of the GSC arc, the Masked Man, kidnaps and raises six children who grow up to be Blue and Silver, Will and Karen, and Carl and Sham (the two unnamed Rocket leaders in Gold and Silver, who were later given the names Archer and Ariana in HeartGold/SoulSilver).
  • The Powerpuff Girls anime adaptation Powerpuff Girls Z made it so that the Powerpuff Girls and the majority of their enemies all gained their powers in the same accident, in contrast to the original cartoon, where Mojo Jojo was the only enemy of the Powerpuff Girls whose origin was connected to the girls'.
  • In GoLion, an unnamed Space Goddess broke apart the titular robot into its component Lions. In Voltron, the Goddess was Haggar (Honerva) in disguise.
  • Besides his canon crimes, Street Fighter II: The Manga makes M. Bison responsible for the death of Ryu and Ken's mentor.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Four supporting characters—Master Bob from Blue Pegasus, Master Goldmine from Quatro Cerberus, Fairy Tail's medicinal advisor Porlyusica, and Councilor Yajima—are all established as Makarov's old teammates from Fairy Tail in the anime. While the manga implies that Porlyusica may have been a member, none of the others have any ties to Makarov besides being friends of his. This eventually becomes Ret-Canon in the manga's official sequel, Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest.
    • Ultear's backstory has always been set at the Bureau of Magical Development, where the doctors there experimented on her for little reason other than her having high amounts of magic. In the anime, it's shown that Brain—the leader of Oración Seis and head of the facility—was trying to mold her into a potential member of his guild, and ditched the place when she came back for revenge, since he found enough candidates anyway.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • In the manga, Winry helps deliver a random baby. In the 2003 anime, Edward helps deliver a baby. In this case the baby isn't random: it's Elicia Hughes. In the manga, Elicia is first met as a toddler. More importantly, the day Elicia was born in the 2003 anime is also Ed's birthday, giving an even more personal connection between the Elrics and Maes Hughes. Also, Nina is present for this event.
    • In the manga, the homunculi were created by Father to carry out his plans, and have nothing to do with any of the heroes outside of Envy starting the Ishvalan War and Wrath literally running the country. In the 2003 anime, they're the results of human transmutation that Came Back Wrong. Due to this different direction for the homunculi, many of them are more personally associated with the protagonists in some way: Lust is Scar's sister in-law, Sloth is Ed and Al's mother Trisha, Wrath is Izumi Curtis's stillborn son, and Envy is Hohenheim's first son with Dante, making him Ed and Al's half-brother.
    • Inverted with King Bradley, a.k.a. Wrath (manga)/Pride (anime). Even though both differ in terms of origin and even personality, both depictions of Bradley have the same connections to Roy, in that he's the fuhrer of Amestris and helped carry out the Ishvalan War. What's different is his adopted son Selim; in the anime, he's just a kid that Bradley took in, while his manga counterpart is the homunculus Pride (ironically enough), making him Wrath's accomplice.
  • The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Reflection/Detonation duology made it where Yuri worked alongside the Florian sisters' grandparents on the Eltrian Restoration Committee.
  • The Nichijou manga doesn't exactly provide an explanation for where Sakamoto came from. The anime, however, makes Sakamoto the former pet of Professor Nakamura, who he ran away from because she was ill-equipped to take care of a cat.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: Zero Year:
    • Implied to be the case with Batman and The Joker in the last part of "Secret City." In the third chapter of the arc, the Red Hood Gang leader tells Bruce how it was the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, and the terror that the deaths of these prominent citizens to a random mugging sparked in the minds of most Gothamites, that inspired him to turn to a life of crime and similarly terrorize Gotham. The Red Hood Gang leader is implied to be the future Joker, resulting in this trope.
    • In a more tangential sense, circumstances resulting from Bruce Wayne's return to Gotham set Edward Nygma down the path to becoming the Riddler.
    • In the inverse, as revealed in the finale, Bruce Wayne was this to his rogues, as he also went to Arkham Asylum. The difference that makes him a Shadow Archetype is that he actually tried to change and went there to get better, and didn't treat it as a prison.
  • Spider-Man: Chapter One (originally written as a Retcon before being made an Alternate Continuity) made Norman Osborn the mastermind behind everything that happened in the first 20 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man or so and had Peter and Otto Octavius caught in a radioactive meltdown that made them respectively Spidey and both Doc Ock at the same time, among other changes.
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • The Ultimate reimagining of Spider-Man does this three times over. First, Norman Osborn becomes the Green Goblin thanks to the same Applied Phlebotinum that affected the spider that empowered Peter Parker; and another recurring Big Bad candidate, The Kingpin, is connected to Spider-Man's origin in that the burglar who killed Uncle Ben is one of his lower-level thugs. Finally, Eddie Brock is Peter's childhood best friend, and the Venom symbiote is the result of an experiment their parents worked on together for Bolivar Trask. Also, the explosion caused by the Green Goblin created Doctor Octopus and turned Harry into the Hobgoblin.
      • Also, Peter's father worked with Bruce Banner and Henry Pym in the early attempts to recreate the super soldier serum. Bruce Banner tested it on himself, and almost killed Richard Parker as a result.
    • Ultimate Fantastic Four changes the event that gave the Four their powers from a space flight into a teleportation experiment and merges it with Doctor Doom's origin story (in which a dimensional portal experiment blew up in his face because he refused to take Reed's advice, leading to him adopting his trademark metal mask). In the Ultimate version, Doom tinkers with the settings on Reed's teleporter experiment because he believes he knows better, causing it to blow up in their faces and transform the five of them into superpowered beings.
    • In The Ultimates, Black Panther got his powers from Weapon X, and it's implied that his retractable claws were patterned after Wolverine's.
    • The origins of most of the characters, including mutants, are all attempts to recreate the Super Soldier serum that made Captain America.
    • Ultimate X-Men: Regular-verse Yuriko is obsessed with Wolverine and only cares about the other X-Men through their relationship with him. This Yuriko is obsessed with Storm and doesn't give two hoots about Wolverine. However, as he's her boyfriend, if she goes after her she must be ready to fight with him as well.
  • Heroes Reborn:
    • In its version of Fantastic Four, it's the presence of Doctor Doom's minions which forces Reed to fly the ship with Ben, Johnny and Sue to reach a cosmic anomaly before they can destroy it. Besides, the anomaly turns out to be Silver Surfer.
    • Its version of Iron Man has Bruce Banner as a Stark Industries scientist and one of Tony's closest friends from college. When HYDRA attacks the Stark facility where the Gamma Bomb is housed, the blast mutates Bruce into The Incredible Hulk, and it's the Hulk's subsequent rampage that badly wounds Tony and forces him to don the prototype Iron Man armor to save his own life.
  • A heroic example. At least one comic (of unknown canonicity), Superman/Batman #50, had Jor-El befriending a human he pulled from Earth while studying it before sending him back, cementing his decision to send Kal-El there. That human? Thomas Wayne. One gets the feeling that either the criminal population of Gotham City or the entire planet just dodged a particularly big bullet there.
  • Superman:
    • Post-Infinite Crisis, General Zod leads a coup against the Science Council after he discovers Jor-El was right about Krypton's impeding doom. Pre-Crisis, Zod led a coup long before Jor-El's discovery.
    • In Metallo's New 52 origin, John Corben was originally a soldier outfitted with Metal-0, a special suit of Powered Armor created by John Henry Irons. It was Corben's subsequent rampage as Metallo that caused Irons to don his own armored suit and become Steel for the first time in order to protect Metropolis.
  • Mega Man (Archie Comics) connects four games together this way. Most adaptations of Mega Man (Classic) like to link Duo and the Stardroids together in some fashion. The comic takes it one further by having the Stardroids be the creation of Ra Moon, who is also the creator of Shadow Man. The Evil Robot that Duo fights from the eighth game also joins Ra Moon's side, implying that Evil Energy has a connection to it, making Ra Moon - a one-shot side villain in the games - the Greater-Scope Villain of every one of Mega Man's outer space threats.
  • The Micronauts (IDW) version of Acroyear is a Super Soldier created from members of Baron Karza's race; the Pharoid, meanwhile, is a member of the species that became the Time Travellers.
  • X-Men: Grand Design has several examples:
    • The series posits that much of the anti-mutant racism that pops up in the X-Men books can be traced back to Namor's duel with the original Human Torch back in the early 1940s, which resulted in thousands of deaths after New York City was flooded. Professor X's parents subsequently made their fortune (the same money Xavier would later use to fund the X-Men) by devising the technique that dried out the floodwaters and made the city inhabitable again.
    • The Mutant Master is inspired by the abilities of the X-Men member Mimic to create the Super-Adaptoid.
    • In a broader sense, Mutant Master is revealed to be the mastermind behind many of the events of the early Silver Age X-Men comics. His reason for coming to Earth in the fist place turns out to be an attempt to locate the future host of the Phoenix Force.
    • The Living Pharaoh's ancestors are said to have worshipped the Phoenix Force, and his kidnapping of Havok is changed to an attempt to offer the Phoenix a Human Sacrifice.
  • Dark Nights: Metal provides a retcon to explain the origin of metahumans. People become metahumans because they have trace amounts of a mysterious metal in their blood. This metal is powerful enough that it's in pretty much every powerful metal artifact in the DCU in one form or another.
  • Metal also connects Hawkman and Hawkgirl to the various immortals of the DCU. Instead of being an Egyptian prince and princess cursed to constantly reincarnate by Hath-Set, they are now immortals whose immortality was somehow tampered with by Hath-Set, so that they'd reincarnate. Hath-Set himself was working for the Immortal Men, an ancient conspiracy.
  • Before that, Geoff Johns retconned in a connection between the Hawks, Doctor Fate and Black Adam. In JSA, it's shown that, after Khufu and Chay-Ara discovered the Thanagarian spaceship that granted them the Nth metal they use for flight, Nabu was their magical adviser and Black Adam their close confidante (after the death of his people). The comic also positions Black Adam as a Foil to Hawkman, with Adam still using the brutality of his era while Hawkman, having witnessed the changes to society throughout his various lives, doesn't. Nabu swings either way depending on his mood.
  • Marvel 1602 unified the origins of its versions of Spider-Man and the Hulk by having Peter Parquagh gain his powers from being bitten by a spider that was exposed to the same mystical energies that caused David Banner to transform into a muscular behemoth.
  • Arthur Light and Kimiyo Hoshi were originally two unrelated characters who just both happened to go by the name Doctor Light, both utilizing light-based powers and wearing highly similar costumes. Arthur was an American supervillain most famous for raping Sue Dibny, while Kimiyo was a Japanese superhero loosely associated with the Justice League, and the excuse for why she had his name was that they did not know about each other when they both initially used the name. Post-Infinite Crisis, it was mentioned in an issue of Justice League of America that Kimiyo's father had worked with the scientist Jacob Finlay to develop the original Doctor Light suit, but that Arthur Light had murdered Finlay and stolen it for himself. The New 52 later retconned their history, so now Arthur was a Nice Guy who accidentally gained his powers and initially tried to act as a superhero, with no mention of any rape, while Kimiyo was his wife, Kimiyo Hoshi-Light. It's not explained how, but DC Rebirth retconned it so that she also gained powers somehow, while Arthur returned to being a villain.
  • A major theme in the G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers miniseries by Devil's Due was that the origins of G.I. Joe characters were now intertwined with the origins of Transformers characters or had Transformers characters involved.
    • The organization G.I. Joe is founded to do something about Cobra, who in this continuity have captured and enslaved the Autobots and Decepticons to use as weapons after the Cybertronians ended up on Earth. Only by resisting Cobra's control is Optimus Prime able to convince the Joes to help him free his fellow Autobots so that our heroes can turn the tide against Cobra and the Decepticons.
    • The Art of War has this continuity's version of Serpentor being an android constructed from the remains of Megatron.
    • Black Horizon establishes that Cobra-La are in cahoots with Unicron, having made a deal with the Chaos Bringer to spare the Earth in prehistoric times and to come back and wipe out humanity when Cobra-La decided the time was right.
  • Wonder Woman: In Wonder Woman (Rebirth) Adriana Anderson's manner of death leads directly to the creation of the AI based on a digital map of her mind that goes on to become the Prime Earth version of Dr. Cyber. These two characters had never previously even existed in the same universe with Dr. Anderson originating in Wonder Woman (1987) and Cyber being from Wonder Woman (1942).
  • Pre-Flashpoint, the Justice League of America first formed fighting the Appellaxians and the accident that turned Vic Stone into Cyborg was an experiment of his dad's. In the New 52, the Origins Episode of Justice League (2011) had both be the same event — an invasion by Darkseid that caused Vic to end up as a cyborg and the forming of the League and is now Earth's first encounter with the denizens of Apokolips.

    Films — Animation 
  • Beowulf: In the original poem, the dragon was a separate threat from Grendel and his mother. Here, the dragon is reworked into the plot by being the offspring of Beowulf and Grendel's mother.
  • Batman: Soul of the Dragon has Batman, Lady Shiva, Richard Dragon, Bronze Tiger, Cheshire and Judomaster all be fellow martial arts students of O-Sensei in Nanda Parbat, far before any of them became famous.
  • Batman vs. Two-Face: In the original comics, Harvey Dent becomes Two-Face after being splashed with acid by a mobster he's prosecuting. Here, he is disfigured when an "Evil Extractor" built by Hugo Strange overloads and explodes when used on five villains at once.
  • Legend Of The Guardians The Owls Of Ga Hoole: Had The Pure Ones being the ones who kidnapped Soren and performed Brainwashing on owlets rather than the St. Aggie's owls, who isn't even mentioned.
  • In the original The Long Halloween, there's no sign that Alberto and Gilda even knew of each other, much less knew each other in person. In Batman: The Long Halloween, they dated in college and even got intimate, which resulted in a child that'd been born out of wedlock had Alberto's father, Carmine Falcone, not forced Gilda to get an abortion, hence why she became Holiday.
  • In the folktales Son of the White Horse draws from, the three dragons have no backstory. They just exist and rescuing the princesses they have kidnapped is the goal the Son and his three unrelated companions, Treeshaker, Stonecrumbler and Irontemperer set out to achieve (though in some versions Treeshaker is the Son himself). The Son's mother is a mare for no particular in-story reason. Also, there is no previous calamity mentioned apart from the princesses' kidnapping. In the film, the dragons are an ancient force that have ruined the world and stole the power from the ruler deities, one of whom turned herself into a White Mare to flee. The Mare gives birth to her three brothers, Treeshaker, Stonecrumbler and Irontemperer specifically so they would defeat the dragons and reclaim their empire as adults.
  • In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Kingpin is the Big Bad of Miles Morales' origin story, being the one who murdered their world's Peter Parker, as well as the criminal employer (and later killer) of Miles' uncle Aaron. In the original Ultimate Spider-Man comics, the two never even met, as the Kingpin had been killed off by Mysterio before Miles was even created.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Batman:
    • In Tim Burton's first Batman film, it turns out that The Joker was, in fact, the man who killed Bruce Wayne's parents rather than Joe Chill.
    • In Batman Forever, this happens by way of Composite Character, as the Dick Grayson version of Robin sees his circus acrobat parents killed by Two-Face instead of Tony Zucco. This makes him a bit like Jason Todd in the Post-Crisis comics, whose gangster father was murdered by Two-Face.
      • Also the Riddler in the same film — Edward Nygma really has nothing to do with Bruce Wayne or his company in the comics, but in Forever Nygma was originally an employee of Wayne Enterprises and has Bruce as his entire motivation.
    • Batman Begins, Ra's al Ghul (and the League of Shadows) was actually the one who trained Bruce Wayne in the ninja techniques that he uses as Batman. In the comics, Ra's had nothing to do with Bruce's origin or training, though he was a great foe. Also, while Ra's was training Bruce, he was under the alias Henri Ducard, who was an actual character in the comics and one of Bruce's many teachers.
    • In Joker, Arthur Fleck's (AKA the Joker's) actions are indirectly responsible for the murder of Bruce's parents by Joe Chill, who was inspired by Arthur's on-screen murder of Murray Franklin to kill the Waynes for being a part of the wealthy elite. There's also the possibility that Arthur is Bruce's older half-brother, though it's left ambiguous as to whether or not this actually is the case.
  • Inverted in Blade. Deacon Frost, the vampire who bit Blade's mother while she was pregnant, causing Blade to become what he is, becomes the Big Bad of the film. Turns out he fully turned her and she's now on his side. While Deacon did turn Blade's mother in the comics, him being the Big Bad is new to the movie.
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula: In the original book, Mina Harker was a major supporting character who became a victim to Dracula before joining the mission to destroy him, but had no connection to the Count's backstory. In this version, she's reimagined as the reincarnation of Dracula's former wife who was the cause for his turn to darkness.
  • Cruella:
    • Horace and Jasper, Cruella's usual flunkies, are shown to have known Cruella since they were children living on the streets. In all other portrayals, the brothers are never shown to be anything other than Mooks, with Cruella often expressing contempt for them.
    • The Stinger reveals that Cruella, in this continuity, is the one who gave Roger and Anita their respective Dalmatians (Pongo and Perdita). On a somewhat related note, Roger appears as a lawyer working for the Baroness von Hellman, although, like his animated counterpart, he decides to try his hand at a music career after the Baroness fires him.
  • Daredevil:
    • The Kingpin is the man who killed Matt Murdock's father and set him on his vigilante career, rather than Roscoe "The Fixer" Sweeney, the Token Motivational Nemesis from in the comics.
    • Additionally, Elektra starts her own career after Bullseye kills her father, and he is her primary enemy in the film; in the comics, her father died in the crossfire of a botched hostage rescue attempt involving a SWAT team and some generic Western Terrorists.
  • The DC Extended Universe;
  • Dragonball Evolution makes Ozaru into a minion of King Piccolo, tying Piccolo to Goku since, as in the original, Ozaru is a transformed Goku. It also makes Chi-Chi a classmate of Goku's rather than a stranger he meets on his journey.
  • Every film iteration of Fantastic Four as of 2015 has done this with Doctor Doom. In the 1994 quickie by Roger Corman, Victor von Doom is Reed Richards' close friend from college, and becomes Doctor Doom after being badly disfigured when he and Reed attempt to harness energy from a passing comet (the same comet that transforms Reed, Ben, Sue and Johnny years later). In the 2005 big-budget films, Victor von Doom is with the others during the cosmic ray storm that empowers them because he is Reed's financial backer, giving him powers of his own and setting up his status as Big Bad. In the 2015 reboot, Reed's misanthropic colleague Victor von Doom is present on the ill-fated drunken interdimensional jaunt that empowers the other four, and once again becomes the Big Bad. It has the result of making him very much unlike the Doom from the comics - the ruler of Latveria whose past with Reed took place many years before the gang got their powers.
  • Gamera: In the original Showa continuity, Gyaos was just another Monster of the Week that Gamera fought among numerous others, without special distinct. The Heisei reboot turns Gyaos into Gamera's archenemy and gives them a unified origin, both being created by ancient Atlanteans. Gyaos was the Flawed Prototype that Turned Against Their Masters, and Gamera was the creation made to fight the Gyaos.
  • Green Lantern (2011) makes Parallax indirectly responsible for Hal Jordan becoming a Green Lantern due to causing Abin Sur's death and therefore making it necessary for Abin Sur to recruit a successor. In the comics, Parallax's only connection to Hal Jordan was possessing him during the Emerald Twilight saga and Abin Sur's mortal injuries were inflicted upon him by either Legion (according to the Emerald Dawn miniseries) or Atrocitus (according to the "Secret Origin" arc of the Geoff Johns run).
  • In the film adaptation of The Howling, Eddie Quist, the serial killer who stalks and attacks Karen, is revealed to be a resident of the werewolf town known as the Colony; Karen's therapist (also a werewolf) intentionally sent her to the Colony, presumably to keep an eye on her in case she regained her memories of the attack. In the book, Max Quist is just some random psycho with no connection to the werewolves and poor Karen is unlucky enough to coincidentally move to a werewolf-populated town following Max's attack on her.
  • The movie adaptation of Inspector Gadget is an interesting variation on this trope. Their origins were never given in the original cartoon, but the live-action film opted to give Inspector Gadget and Dr. Claw a connected origin. Sanford Scolex tosses a "victory cigar" (actually dynamite) at John Brown's car, causing it to explode and leave Brown severely injured with bad tissue damage. However, the explosion also sends a bowling ball flying out of Brown's car and crushes Scolex's left hand as he is closing the sunroof. Yet another thing to note is that Brown was rebuilt as a cyborg as part of the Gadget Project and Scolex's interest in using the technology for his own ends was what caused Brown's accident in the first place. Not only does Gadget get rebuilt into a cyborg after his accident while Claw replaces his crushed hand with a robotic claw, but in this continuity, Gadget's cybernetics are the product of a cyborg creation experiment that Claw wanted to steal information about so he could create robots to do whatever he pleased.
  • I Shot Jesse James: An odd version of this trope happens here, given how it involves two characters who were real people. The film shows the main character Robert Ford (the killer of Jesse James) and his rival John Kelley running into each other years before their conflict in Creede, Colorado, and that these encounters helped solidify their future rivalry. However, there's no historical evidence that the real Ford and O'Kelleynote  knew one another before they came to blows in Creede.
  • Maleficent: Maleficent and Stefan (Princess Aurora's father) are portrayed as childhood friends who grew apart as Stefan became more obsessed with climbing ranks in the human kingdom, while Maleficent herself grew to become the guardian of The Fair Folk. When the human king is fatally wounded by Maleficent in battle, he offers the crown to whoever can kill her. Stefan, unable to go through with killing his former friend, drugs her and cuts off her wings in order to fake killing her. While he becomes king, Maleficent is traumatized and enraged by his betrayal, leading into the plot of the original Sleeping Beauty.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Iron Man, Obadiah Stane is a long term business partner to both Tony Stark and his father. His betrayal is what leads to the creation of Iron Man. In the comics, Stane has no connection to Tony's origin, being simply a rival arms manufacturer.
    • In The Incredible Hulk (2008), the Abomination is a soldier working under Thunderbolt Ross who gets a dose of Captain America's Super Soldier serum and then doses himself with a vial of Bruce Banner's blood obtained from Samuel Stern, rather than merely a KGB spy who bombarded himself with gamma rays. Speaking of Samuel Stern, the forgotten Sequel Hook implied that the Leader's origin would be tied to the events of this filmnote , rather than him having been a janitor who accidentally broke open a container of gamma waste.
    • In Iron Man 2, Anton Vanko also has ties to Tony's father and the past of Stark Enterprises, though this is closer to the inverse, as Stark's family is tied to the birth of Whiplash rather than Vanko being involved in the creation of Iron Man.
    • In Captain America: The First Avenger, Red Skull was a recipient of a previous version of the Super Soldier serum. In the comics, he was just a guy that Hitler trained and given a mask to be more scary. For a time, he did possess a cloned body of Cap and an accident did turn his head into a shriveled red skull looking thing, but that's not how he was in WWII.
    • In Iron Man 3, the Big Bad turns out to be Aldrich Killian, a vengeful scientist that Tony was a massive dick to in the past. Lampshaded when Tony points out that one of the major themes of the movie is how we all create our own demons.
    • Minor example in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but Brock Rumlow is introduced as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and ally of Captain America. In the comics, Rumlow is just some asshole mercenary who works for the Red Skull. The events of the movie turn him into Crossbones when he gets caught in a collapsing building trying to subdue Sam Wilson, returning for a brief moment in Captain America: Civil War under the "Crossbones" moniker.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) ties Ronan the Accuser with the origin story of Drax the Destroyer by having Ronan be a puppet of Thanos that performed the killing of Drax's family, so Drax switches targets to Thanos once Ronan is dead by film's end. In the comics, said atrocity was all Thanos' doing and he was the sole target of Drax's obsession.
    • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and The Vision are all either created or empowered by the Mind Stone. Additionally, Ultron is the creation of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, a connection that doesn't exist in the comics.
    • Each of the artifacts that turn out to be Infinity Stones in the movies have nothing to do with each other or the Infinity Gems in the comics. For example, the Space Stone is the Cosmic Cube from the Captain America comics, the Time Stone is Doctor Strange's Eye of Agamotto and the Mind Stone is the jewel in Loki's staff.
    • Ant-Man made Darren Cross into a Composite Character for this exact reason. He's introduced as the protege of Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man), and later becomes Yellowjacket, the Evil Counterpart of Scott Lang (the new Ant-Man). Edgar Wright cited the use of this trope in the first Iron Man movie as a major inspiration, arguing that the hero and villain getting their powers from the same source makes for a simpler and more coherent story.
    • In Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther's father is killed in the present day by Zemo, the film's Big Bad, and a large chunk of the story revolves around Black Panther trying to kill Bucky Barnes, who has been blamed for the deed. In a broader sense, it could be argued that Black Panther's origin is tied to the Avengers, as the whole reason he and his dad come to Europe in the first place is to address the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. His origin was fairly isolated in the comics, as his dad was killed by a Dutch scientist named Ulysses Klaw many years ago. This film also sees Iron Man taking a young Spider-Man under his wing, and later providing the boy with his trademark costume and upgraded web-shooters. In the comics, Peter's outfit was something he designed himself.
    • In Spider-Man: Homecoming, the Vulture's winged flight suit is created from leftover technology from the Chitauri invasion seen in The Avengers, and the entire reason he's a villain in the first place is because Tony Stark ruined his business. It's also revealed late in the game that the Vulture is the father of Liz Allan, Peter's love interest. Additionally, the Shocker's gauntlet is created from one of the gauntlets used by Crossbones in the above-mentioned Civil War.
    • In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Mysterio turns out to be a bitter former Stark International employee who tried to con people into thinking he was a superhero after being fired for his unstable demeanor.
    • Black Widow: Melina Vostokoff's identity as Iron Maiden (a Russian assassin unrelated to the Red Room) is excised, and she is presented as another Black Widow agent, from the generation before Natasha and Yelena. Alexei Shostakov, aka Red Guardian, is also depicted as an associate of Red Room mastermind General Dreykov. Finally, Taskmaster is shown working for the Red Room - specifically, she is Dreykov's daughter, whom Natasha thought she killed (albeit as collateral damage) in Budapest.
    • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings makes Shang-Chi the son of the Mandarin, with his martial arts training having come from the Ten Rings organization. Death Dealer, a villain with no connection to the Mandarin in the comics, is also made into a Ten Rings member and one of Shang-Chi's martial arts mentors.
  • Mortal Kombat (2021):
    • The film introduces a Meta Origin establishing that most of the superhuman special moves the fighters use in the games are actually arcanas, supernatural abilities granted to those who bear the dragon symbol that denotes a participant in the Mortal Kombat tournament. This is used to explain how ostensibly human martial artists like Liu Kang, Sub-Zero, Sonya, Kung Lao and Kabal can perform physically impossible techniques like fireballs, ice manipulation, Hand Blasts, Teleportation and Super Speed.
    • Jax's arms are shattered by Sub-Zero, which leads to him gaining his trademark cybernetic prosthetics.
  • The Punisher:
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spider-Man 3: Sandman is retconned as the man who kills Peter's Uncle Ben. In something of a subversion of normal expectations, Peter simply forgives him as it was an accidental mistake of a desperate man. In the comics, Sandman is simply an early enemy of Spider-Man's.
      • This is also invoked with Venom. In the comics, Eddie Brock was an Unknown Rival who lost his job at a competing newspaper due to Spider-Man's actions. In this movie, Eddie and Peter both work for the Daily Bugle, sort of compete over Gwen Stacy's affections, and Peter takes a much more pro-active approach in ending Eddie's career. Then, he becomes a super villain.
      • In Spider-Man 2, Peter was introduced to Otto Octavius (Dr. Octopus) and forms a friendship with him before he turns into a villain. In the comics, while Peter was aware of Octavius as a famous scientist, the two had never met before becoming enemies.
    • The Amazing Spider-Man. A less direct example than usual, but everything is caused by OsCorp. Everything. Peter's parents disappearing, the lab that made the spider that bit Peter, much of his Rogues Gallery, all tied into OsCorp. In the original comics, none of those things were related. In the first film, it's even implied that The Lizard had a role in Peter's parents dying.
      • Then in the sequel, Harry Osborn is introduced as Peter's childhood best friend who later turns into the Green Goblin after injecting himself with the same venom that turned Peter into Spider-Man.
      • Oh, guess what company Gwen Stacy works for, and what company Max Dillon was working for as an electrical engineer, hence the accident (involving mad science'd electric eels) that turns him into Electro? Go on, guess.
      • ASM2 showed the tech the other villains in the cancelled Sinister Six film would've used (such as the Vulture's wings, Doc Ock's tentacles and the Rhino's armor) was also being produced by Oscorp. It was joked before but now it's official: making supervillains is Oscorp's main aim, and they really are responsible for the entire Spidey Rogues Gallery.
    • James Cameron pitched an idea for a Spider-Man movie where Doctor Octopus got superpowers after being bitten by the same radioactive spider that bit Peter.
  • J. J. Abrams' Superman: Flyby concept, would have had Lex Luthor turning out to be a Kryptonian like Superman.
  • In the 1982 adaptation of Swamp Thing, Big Bad Anton Arcane is behind the attack that transforms scientist Alec Holland into a plant creature.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • X-Men: First Class: Professor X and Mystique never had a Like Brother and Sister connection in the comics. In the movie-verse, Raven Darkholme has essentially replaced Cain Marko as Xavier's non-blood-related sibling who later becomes his enemy, although Charles' relationship with Raven is a lot more positive during the 18 years that they lived together. Also, while Xavier and Magneto always had a complicated shared past in the comics, the film takes it a step further by establishing that Magneto was a founding member of the X-Men before he left to form the militant Brotherhood of Mutants instead. He's also the one responsible for Xavier being in a wheelchair in this version.
    • The Wolverine: In the comics, Yukio has no particular connection to the Yashida clan; she was simply a human mercenary hired by them. In this movie, she's a mutant orphan who Yashida took under his wing, and she grew up as a foster sister to Mariko.
    • In the comics, William Stryker was originally a wealthy televangelist who used his money to fund an anti-mutant hate group called the Purifiers. In X2: X-Men United and the ensuing X-Men Origins: Wolverine prequel, Stryker is revealed to be Wolverine's former commanding officer from the military and the one responsible for his adamantium skeleton. He also had the same procedure performed on Lady Deathstrike, in contrast to the comics, where she was given an enhanced cyborg body by Spiral.
  • In Ozma of Oz, Billina (originally called "Bill") wasn't owned by Dorothy. In Return to Oz she's called "Billina" from the start and is one of Dorothy's family hens.
  • In Superman: The Movie, General Zod is sentenced to the Phantom Zone by Jor-El on the same day that baby Kal-El is launched into space.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020): In the games, Pachacamac and the Knuckles Tribe lived 4000 years before Sonic was born. Here, they're alive when Sonic was a toddler and caused the attack that forced Sonic to Earth.
  • The Wizard of Oz actually features a rare inversion of this trope. In the book, it's explained that the Tin Woodman was once a human woodcutter who lost his heart after the Wicked Witch of the East cursed him with her magic, and he has a body of metal because she also cursed his axe to slip and cut all of his limbs off (forcing him to build tin replacements). Not only was this backstory cut from the movie, the movie's version of the Tin Woodman apparently has no connection to the Wicked Witch of the East.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), April O'Neill's father worked in a laboratory with the man who would become Shredder and Splinter and the turtles were animals they experimented on.
  • Ultraman Story, a movie based on combining together Clip Showss from the Ultra Series, does this with two of their monsters, Alien Mefilas II and Eleking II (both from Ultraman Taro). In the original series both monsters are acting independently on their own, but in the dubs Eleking II is said to be a henchman of Alien Mefilas II.

    Literature 
  • The Prometheus myth as repeated in The Faerie Queene identifies the Titan not as the creator of humanity, but the creator of elvenkind. This was likely done to make the story consistent with Christian anthropology while also bolstering the seriousness of the elven characters by associating them with well-respected Classical Mythology.
  • In a 100-page short story in the collection The Ultimate Spider-Man, one written by Stan Lee no less, both Spidey and Doc Ock are created during the same experiment, similar to Chapter One and predating it by a few years. Unlike that comic however, Peter doesn't get caught in the same explosion that Ock is, instead wandering out of the exhibit after the spider bites him moments before Doc Ock's experiment goes wrong.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Altered Carbon: The Netflix series turns Quelcrist Falconer into Takeshi Kovacs’ mentor and lover, while in the books they lived centuries apart and he just had an interest in her philosophy. While Reileen went from a Yakuza boss Tak had unspecified dealings with in the past to his sister.
  • Arrow:
    • Malcolm Merlyn (based on the comicbook character, Merlyn) had the Queen family yacht sabotaged, shipwrecking Oliver and his girlfriend Sara Lance, inadvertently causing the events that would shape them into The Arrow and The Canary vigilantes. Also, Deathstroke trained Oliver and helped him survive on the island.
    • Oliver was the one who influenced Helena Bertinelli into crime-fighting, eventually leading her to become The Huntress.
    • Taken further in Season 3, with the revelation that Amanda Waller and ARGUS were involved in Arrow's origin.
    • Anatoli Knyazev (known as KGBeast in the comics) is also revealed to be a part of Oliver's backstory.
    • Finally, we also learn that Emiko Queen (Red Arrow) could have prevented the sabotage of the Queen yacht but chose not to.
  • Gotham tells the origin stories of iconic Batman villains like The Penguin, The Riddler, Catwoman and Poison Ivy. These stories are all connected to the story of how Bruce Wayne's parents were murdered and how he subsequently grew up to become Batman.
  • The Flash (2014)
    • Girder is reimagined as Barry Allen's former childhood bully. This is in sharp contrast to the comics, where the two not only have no connection, but where Girder was instead an enemy of Wally West, Barry's successor (Barry having been dead at the time Girder was created).
    • And almost all of the Flash's super-powered enemies got their powers in the same freak accident that created the Flash, when in the comics they got their powers all over the place. Three of his non-metahuman enemies—Captain Cold, Heat Wave, and the Golden Glider—all got their high-tech weaponry from the Flash's teammates at S.T.A.R. Labs.
    • Eobard Thawne is responsible for empowering Barry with the Speed Force. In the comics, Eobard not only had nothing to do with Barry getting powers, but actually got his powers from a suit of Barry's. Slightly subverted, in that it's revealed that Barry would've gotten his powers anyway from Harrison Wells had Eobard not messed with the timeline.
    • Doctor Alchemy had no connection to the speedster Savitar in the comics. In the show he is possessed by him due to Savitar being a Composite Character of himself and Doctor Alchemy's split personality Alvin Desmond.
    • Savitar himself originally not only had nothing to do with Barry Allen, but was an enemy of Wally West as well. In the show, he's Barry's future time remnant.
    • Jesse Quick gets her powers from being caught in a blast when Barry attempts to recreate his incident. In the comics, she used a formula to get superspeed before just possessing it, likely through her father.
    • Doctor Alchemy is the one responsible for giving Wally West his superspeed after he was caught in the above mentioned blast. In the comics, Wally got his powers through a freak accident in Barry's lab, it later being revealed that Barry himself may have subconsciously caused the accident.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Robbie Reyes was transformed into a Ghost Rider by Johnny Blaze.
    • It's left ambiguous, but there are hints in the season finale of Jessica Jones that the car accident that granted Jessica her powers may have somehow been connected to the Super Soldier program that Will Simpson ("Nuke" in the comics) is involved with. This is confirmed in Season 2, where it is revealed that a secret genetic research clinic called IGH was responsible for both Jessica's powers and the Psycho Serum Simpson derives his strength from.
    • In Iron Fist and The Defenders, the Hand are revealed to have been founded by a group of warriors from K'un-L'un who were exiled for seeking immortality, with the various Iron Fists from throughout history having been trained to oppose them. Additionally, Colleen Wing turns out to be a member of the Hand who leaves the organization following a love-induced Heel Realization.
    • In The Punisher, Billy Russo (A.K.A Jigsaw) is Frank Castle's former friend who served alongside him in the military.
    • In Cloak And Dagger, D'Spayre gained his abilities from the same accident at the Roxxon oil rig that empowered the titular heroes.
    • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier:
      • The various Flag Smashers are empowered by a serum they got from the Power Broker (revealed in the first season finale to be Sharon Carter).
      • While John Walker did get his abilities from the Power Broker in the comics, the TV show adds in the reveal that the serum he uses was made from the blood of Isaiah Bradley, a black super soldier from the 1950s. In the finale, his black costume and U.S. Agent codename from the comics are bestowed on him by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, another connection created for the show.
    • In WandaVision, Monica Rambeau winds up getting superpowers as an inadvertent result of being exposed to the Scarlet Witch's Chaos Magic. In the comics, Monica's powers came from an accident involving a device harnessing extra-dimensional energy.
    • Hawkeye:
      • The events that lead to Kate Bishop being drawn into the plot and eventually becoming a superhero ultimately lead back to The Kingpin, who is her mother's criminal associate and implicitly the one who had the Tracksuits crash the auction and steal Clint's watch in the first episode.
      • Maya Lopez, a.k.a. Echo, is introduced as the vengeful daughter of a gangster that Clint killed back during his time as Ronin.
    • In Moon Knight, Arthur Harrow is a former avatar of Khonshu who wore the mantle of Moon Knight before Marc Spector.
  • Poirot frequently gives the titular detective a more personal connection to the cases by establishing a relationship with the victim or suspects.
    • In Cat Among the Pigeons, Poirot did not even appear until the final third of the book, when one of the students found a secret related to the murders and decided to consult the great detective. In the adaptation, he stayed as a guest from the very start, being an old friend of headmistress Bulstrode.
    • Poirot was shown to be good friends with the titular victim in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, which gives him a more personal reason to quit retirement and return to his detective work.
    • In Sad Cypress, Poirot was hired by Dr Peter Lord to clear Elinor's name, but he only agrees to his request to humour him because the doctor was so damn persistent about it (Poirot himself initially believed Elinor to be guilty of the crime she was accused of). Dr Lord is Poirot's good friend in the TV, and the former had told Poirot about the anonymous letter sent to Elinor and Roddy in the beginning of the story, making his involvement in the case more believable.
  • In Spartacus, the title character and his wife were sold into slavery by Gaius Claudius Glaber after a falling out in a campaign. In Real Life, Spartacus and Glaber were merely enemies. The plot was based from rumors that Spartacus was a conscripted soldier before being Made a Slave. And while details regarding his captivity under Batiatus are unclear, the latter's manipulations and schemes are what also ultimately pushes Spartacus and his slave brothers to revolt against Rome.
  • Stargirl (2020)
    • In the Infinity, Inc. comics, most of the various second generation members of the JSA lived in different cities and had no connection to one another before becoming superheroes. In the TV show, the teenagers who become Stargirl, Wildcat, Doctor Mid-Nite and Hourman all live in Blue Valley and attend high school together before they get their powers.
    • Jakeem Williams also lives in Blue Valley, and is the friend and coworker of Courtney's younger brother Mike before he gets the Thunderbolt and becomes Jakeem Thunder.
    • Paul Deisinger is turned into Paintball by Cindy Burman and Eclipso, while in the comics he worked for Dragon King.
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • Martian Manhunter's Story Arc is closely connected to the title character's adoptive father and Hank Henshaw. He's been impersonating the latter after the former saved his life from the real Henshaw.
    • Non is reimagined as the title character's uncle by marriage (to her mother's twin sister). He and his wife hold a grudge with title character's mother for imprisoning them to Fort Rozz.
    • Brainiac 8 aka "Indigo" was the one who freed (under her own agenda, of course) the title character from the Phantom Zone and was also the one who programmed her escape pod to go to Earth along with Fort Rozz.
    • Leslie Willis becomes the supervillain Livewire after she was struck by lightning with the title character. This happened because Cat Grant demoted her from being her radio's premiere jock to "helicopter news duties". Her original Origin Story is actually closer to the show's version, except the accident happened with Superman.
    • Siobhan Smythe was also the title character's co-worker under Cat Grant before becoming the supervillain Silver Banshee.
    • Maxwell Lord is the one who creates Bizarro.
    • Red Tornado was created under General Sam Lane's project.
  • Khalil Payne of Black Lightning (2018) appeared to be a Canon Foreigner to the Black Lightning mythos, but when he became a paraplegic and is enticed by Big Bad Tobias Whale to walk again, he accepts, receiving reconstructive spinal surgery that grants him his legs back, but also Super Strength. Khalil's new Dreadlock Warrior look, alongside forearm bracers firing anethestic syringes, due to the surgery also giving him a paralytic poison, he turns into Black Lightning Rogues Gallery member Painkiller.
  • Swamp Thing (2019):
    • The entity responsible for Daniel Cassidy's transformation into the Blue Devil is revealed to be the Phantom Stranger.
    • Jason Woodrue's transformation into the Floronic Man occurs after he eats Swamp Thing's heart.
  • Titans:
    • Starfire's whole reason for coming to Earth in Season 1 is to kill the offspring of Trigon, who turns out to be Raven.
    • Dick Grayson's eventual transformation into Nightwing is done courtesy of Deathstroke the Terminator, who tries to murder the Titans after they are reformed. It turns out that, many years ago, Deathstroke killed Garth when trying to assassinate Donna Troy's mentor, and the Titans tried to recruit his son Jericho to help them find his father. When Jericho learns the truth by meeting with his father, a scuffle between him and Robin leads to Deathstroke accidentally killing Jericho, causing the Titans to disband when Dick reveals most of what happened. Deathstroke subsequently causes the Titans to split again by guilting Dick into revealing the whole story, and a guilty Grayson gets himself arrested to prevent the disbanded team from being targeted. However, this, combined with the dealings of Project Cadmus, spurns Dick to make up for his mistake by becoming Nightwing and taking down Deathstroke for good.
    • In the third season, Jason Todd's transformation into the Red Hood comes about due to the youth falling under the sway of The Scarecrow.

    Podcasts 
  • Several examples in Wolverine:
    • Jason Wyngarde, a.k.a. Mastermind, is another former (unwilling) Weapon X operative like Logan.
    • The Sentinels were developed as part of Weapon X.

    Theatre 
  • Swarm, Electro, Carnage, the Lizard, and Kraven the Hunter were all independent villains with their own backstories in the comics, but the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark made it so that they were five of six ex-employees of OsCorp that the Green Goblin mutated into superhuman freaks to form the Sinister Six.
  • The unproduced Batman The Musical was to follow the 1989 film's twist of the Joker being the one to have orphaned Bruce Wayne before the chemical accident that turned him in the Clown Prince of Crime and also would have established that Catwoman was an orphan who witnessed the Waynes getting shot.

    Video Games 
  • According to the interview tapes for both the Joker and Two-Face in Batman: Arkham City, the Batman: Arkham Series version of Carmine Falcone has ties to both of them as he took Sal Maroni's role in Two-Face's origin and was the power behind the Red Hood Gang, meaning he's tied to the Joker's origin.
  • Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 2 has the player-determinant event of Oswald "Penguin" Cobblepot being responsible for scarring Harvey Dent for his transformation into Two-Face.
    • In Season 2, depending on Bruce's actions, once John finally takes up the Joker mantle, he will either become the usual unrepentant villainous variety, or tries to become a heroic vigilante like his good buddy Batman, but ultimately fails since he's unable to fully reign in his Ax-Crazy tendencies.
  • Final Fantasy VII: An odd example happens with minor recurring NPC, Johnny. In the Japanese release, Johnny recounts Cloud's past from what he's heard from various people; a Childhood friend of Tifa, a member of SOLDIER, a playboy, and a Murderer. In the overseas release, Johnny says that he and Cloud were childhood friends with Tifa and members of SOLDIER, saying that Cloud was always a playboy. This is probably a translation error.
  • The opening scene of Injustice 2 reveals that Brainiac was responsible for the destruction of Superman's home planet of Krypton, and that Supergirl witnessed his drones kill her mother.
  • The Punisher (THQ): While Jigsaw was already connected to the mob family that killed Frank Castle's wife and children in the comics, the 2004 video game based on the movie from the same year takes it a step further by having him be John Saint, one of the assassins who actually took part in the massacre.
  • Happens in Red Dead Redemption II, although with a prequel instead of an adaptation:
    • Uncle is established to be a former member of Dutch's gang, while the first game never revealed anything about him and implied he's just a random farmhand with whom John was drinking buddies with. This raises some awkwardness as Jack in RDR1 asks how John knows him despite growing with the gang, although it doesn't quite go into retcon territory.
    • The 1899 Blackwater massacre was a mere background detail and had no ties to Heidi MacCourt or Dutch's gang, and existed mostly to give a reason why Landon Ricketts was in Mexico. This game establishes that Dutch's Boys were behind it and Heidi's murder triggered it.
    • An inversion also happens: The heist during which John Marston got shot and left for dead was not the ferry job as was implied in I, but the robbery does happen at the beginning of the game and Marston gets wounded during it. Instead he is left behind after being shot off a train.
    • Edgar Ross was a Pinkerton Agent who has pursued the Van Der Linde Gang during their active years. It's also shown that it gets personal with the Marstons since Abigail ends up being the one to kill his partner Milton.
  • Metal Slug Code J, a 3D-remake of Metal Slug which compresses together various games of the franchise into one, implies that the Black Hound is created by General Morden's Rebel Army, showing up defending Morden's bases, as it's original creators, the Ptolemaic Army, is nowhere present at the time.
  • In Spider-Man (PS4):
    • Otto Octavius is introduced as Peter Parker's boss and mentor, and it's the prosthetics project the two of them are working on that eventually leads to Otto becoming Doctor Octopus.
      • Octavius is also tied to Norman Osborn in this universe, the two having been former colleagues and business partners until it went south and turned Octavius bitter against Osborn. His transformation into a villain is driven almost entirely by desire to revenge himself against Osborn, twisted by the effect the tentacles are having on his mind.
    • In this continuity, Martin Li developed his Mister Negative powers and personality due to a botched experiment performed by Norman Osborn. The same experiment also killed Martin's parents, causing him to become a supervillain so that he could one day get his revenge on Osborn.
  • In the sequel, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the Tinkerer turns out to be Miles' childhood friend Phin Mason. In the comics, the two have no connection whatsoever.
  • Marvel's Avengers: In this continuity, Kamala Khan's origin is more directly tied to the Avengers than in the comics. She was present at the A-Day celebration for the team due to having been a finalist in a Fan Fiction writing contest, and gained superpowers after being exposed to gas from the Terrigen crystal that Tony Stark and Bruce Banner had been using as an experimental energy source.
  • In X-Men: The Official Game (the prequel to X-Men: The Last Stand), the Silver Samurai, HYDRA and William Stryker are all revealed to have been involved in the creation of Master Mold and the Sentinels.

    Western Animation 
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!:
    • The scientific accident that transformed Franklin Hall into Graviton occurred while he was trying to recreate the Super Serum that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America.
    • Tony Stark helped Hank Pym design Ultron, intending to sell it to the military as a weapon. Tony is also the reason why Ultron has built-in offensive weaponry in the first place, as this version of Pym is a pacifist who only intended for Ultron to be a nonlethal peacekeeping robot.
  • DC Animated Universe
    • In The New Batman Adventures, reporter Jack Ryder is transformed into the Creeper after The Joker exposes him to Joker Venom and then pushes him into a vat of chemicals.
    • Superman: The Animated Series:
      • The show blames the failure to evacuate Krypton on Brainiac's deliberate suppression of Jor-El's theories, making the comic-book Coluan robot into a Kryptonian example of A.I. Is a Crapshoot. As such, Brainiac is responsible for Superman's status as (initially) the Last of His Kind. Brainiac goes on to be one of the series' Big Bads alongside Lex Luthor and Darkseid.
      • In "Monkey Fun," Titanos the Super-Ape is made Lois Lane's former pet from when she was a child.
      • The episode "In Brightest Day" makes it so that Kyle Rayner is a co-worker of Clark Kent to explain his presence in Metropolis and also has him become a Green Lantern from inheriting Abin Sur's ring due to being a Composite Character with Hal Jordan in addition to Sinestro being responsible for Abin Sur's death in the first place. In the comics, Kyle Rayner was given a ring by Ganthet during a time where the Green Lantern Corps was disbanded and Sinestro had no involvement whatsoever in Abin Sur's death (even established later on to consider Abin Sur a friend).
    • In Justice League, Gorilla Grodd was inadvertently given his trademark psychic powers when Wally West foiled his first attempt to brainwash the human race.
  • The Batman:
    • Poison Ivy is Batgirl's former best friend.
    • In "Vertigo", Count Vertigo was an ex-employee of Queen industries and the cause of Oliver being stranded on an island, leading him to become the Green Arrow, rather than an accident like the comics.
    • "Attack of the Terrible Trio" sees the titular trio use versions of the serum Kirk Langstrom used to make himself Man-Bat, as opposed to be normal people in the costumes as in the comics. They also happen to be classmates of Batgirl.
  • The spider that bites Peter in the The Spectacular Spider-Man series was from a laboratory run by Curt Conners AKA The Lizard and funded by Oscorp. Also, Uncle Ben was killed by Black Cat's father. The series also incorporates the Ultimate Universe's idea that prior to becoming Venom, Eddie Brock was Peter's childhood best friend.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series:
    • Similar to The Amazing Spider-Man and The Spectacular Spider-Man, the spider that bit Peter in the show was tied into the research of Curt Connors, the Lizard. The same neogenetics research later resulted in the creation of the Scorpion and Morbius, and both Vulture and Silvermane showed interest in Connors's work.
    • The crooked businessman responsible for the toxic waste accident that blinded Matt Murdock and gave him his Super Senses was The Kingpin. Additionally, Matt's dad was murdered while trying to expose the Kingpin's illegal activities to the police, which led to Matt becoming the vigilante Daredevil as an adult.
    • Felicia Hardy becomes Black Cat after Evilutionary Biologist Herbert Landon doses her with a recreation of Captain America's Super Serum.
    • Also, the accident that turned Otto Octavius into Doctor Octopus occurred because Felicia's family cut off his funding. As a result, he hates the Hardy family, and kidnaps Felicia in his very first appearance. Octavius was also Peter Parker's childhood mentor in this continuity, whereas the comic versions of Peter and Octavius did not know one another until later in life.
    • Cletus Kasaday was given the Carnage symbiote by the Doctor Strange villains Dormammu and Baron Mordo as part of a plot to bring the former into the human realm.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man:
    • Like the comic the series shares a name with, "The Iron Octopus" reveals that the spider bite that gave Peter his powers happened at Oscorp.
    • The Lizard, the Rhino and the Vulture get their powers from animal serums created by Doc Ock. Ock is also responsible for creating the Venom symbiote from a sample of Peter’s blood.
    • Deadpool is Nick Fury's rogue former protege.
    • Scorpion is Iron Fist's bitter former rival from K'un-Lun.
    • Kraven the Hunter is the man who killed White Tiger's father.
  • Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes:
    • Before becoming Doctor Doom, Victor Von Doom was part of the fateful space mission with Reed, Sue, Ben and Johnny. It was his interference that caused the space station's shields to fail during the cosmic storm, which ended up disfiguring his face and giving Reed and the others superpowers.
    • Kl'rt the Super-Skrull got his powers from Ronan the Accuser's Kree genetic engineering. This also explains why the Skrulls never simply repeated this procedure to create an army of Super-Skrulls, as their hatred of all things Kree meant that Kl'rt had to keep the true origin of his abilities a secret.
  • Iron Man:
    • The Mandarin is the one who captures Tony Stark and Yinsen in this continuity, which results in the creation of the Iron Man armor.
    • Unlike in the comics (where he was created by A.I.M.), M.O.D.O.K.'s mutation was caused by the Red Ghost, an old Fantastic Four villain. It's also mentioned in passing that Red Ghost was responsible for the creation of Titanium Man, another unrelated villain from the comics.
    • Samuel Sterns is Bruce Banner's former lab assistant, and the nuclear waste accident that mutated him into the Leader occurred while he was performing cleanup duties at the site of the G-Bomb test that transformed Banner into The Incredible Hulk.
  • In X-Men: The Animated Series, Lady Deathstrike is Wolverine's former lover, and her father was one of the Weapon X scientists responsible for Logan's adamantium skeleton. Additionally, her cyborg enhancements came from the Reavers in this continuity.
  • In X-Men: Evolution, Kitty Pryde and Avalanche attended the same high school before being recruited by the X-Men and the Brotherhood, respectively.
  • In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, it is implied that the designs for Doctor Doom's armor were based on the same alien technology that created the Mandarin's ten rings.
  • The Incredible Hulk (1996):
    • In a non-villainous example, the series established that Tony Stark provided Bruce Banner with the materials to build the gamma reactor that eventually transformed him into the Hulk. Because of this, he feels some measure of responsibility for the accident, and tries to help cure Bruce.
    • In the comics, Jennifer Walters was transformed into She-Hulk when Bruce gave her an emergency blood transfusion to save her life after she was shot by some criminals. In the cartoon, Bruce gives Jennifer the life-saving transfusion after she's severely wounded by Doctor Doom, who'd kidnapped her as part of a plan to force the Hulk to work for him.
  • In Silver Surfer, Frankie Raye has latent genetic abilities that are fully unlocked after the Silver Surfer uses some of his power cosmic to save her life. This in turn leads to Galactus deciding to make Frankie his new herald after realizing that her powers can be used to find suitable planets for him to devour. In the comics, Frankie's origin story had nothing to do with the Silver Surfer, and she instead volunteered to become the new herald of Galactus because she wanted to explore the universe.
  • In Spider-Man Unlimited, the High Evolutionary is shown using drones in addition to the Knights of Wundagore, one of whom becomes the series' incarnation of X-51. In part, this might be due to rights issues, as the original Machine Man's origin was tied to the comic adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Additionally, the High Evolutionary experimented on John Jameson when he arrived on Counter-Earth, resulting in John's Man-Wolf form in this series.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold:
    • Most of Plastic Man's origins in the comics follow the same basic setup, with Eel O'Brien depicted as a criminal who became a superhero after being exposed to mutagenic chemicals during a botched heist. The Brave and the Bold changes things up so that O'Brien was actually a costumed henchman working for the Batman villain Kite Man, and the accident that gave him his powers occurred when Batman knocked him into a chemical vat. Feeling immense guilt over the incident, Batman subsequently got O'Brien released from prison on parole, and oversaw his rehabilitation and eventual transformation into a superhero.
    • "Return of the Fearsome Fangs!" has flashbacks that depict Bruce Wayne training alongside Bronze Tiger and the Terrible Trio prior Bruce to becoming Batman. While Bronze Tiger is himself a martial artist, there's no sign that Ben Turner ever trained with Bruce and the Terrible Trio aren't martial artists in the comics.
  • Spider-Man: The New Animated Series:
    • The origin of the Lizard is tied into the Green Goblin as Curt Connors lost his arm thanks to Oscorp testing an explosive that's implied to be the prototype of the Green Goblin's pumpkin bomb.
    • Max Dillon is introduced as Peter's friend and classmate before an accident turns him into Electro.
  • Marvel's Spider-Man:
    • The Jackal is the one who created the spider that gave Peter Parker his powers, as well as the ones that later empower Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy and Anya Corazón.
    • The young man who becomes the Rhino is one of Peter's classmates at Horizon High, and his transformation is also the work of the Jackal.
    • Doctor Octopus is initially introduced as one of Peter's teachers at Horizon High.
    • The crossover with Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) reveals that the one who weaponized the Klyntar symbiotes (including Venom and Carnage) many years ago was Thanos.
    • The Shocker and Clash are best friends who developed their respective technology together.
    • Cloak and Dagger were experimented on by Tiberius Stone and the Alchemax Corporation.
  • Beware the Batman:
    • Ra's al Ghul is involved in Alfred and Katana's past, being the one responsible for the latter's father's death and for the entire Soultaker Sword subplot to take place.
    • Professor Pyg and Mister Toad are the ones that modify Kirk Langstrom's serum and force him to become Man-Bat, instead of Langstrom's own recklessness turning him into a monster.
  • Justice League Action: In "Harley Goes Ape", it's revealed that Dr. Harleen Quinzell tended to Titano before she worked at Arkham Asylum and became Harley Quinn.
  • In Ben 10 (2016): Gwen's arch-enemy Charmcaster has a new origin that Gwen is in part responsible for, as she gains magic powers from Hex's spellbook, which was put on the market when Gwen helped defeat him in a previous episode.
  • In Teen Titans (2003), the Fearsome Five are students at the H.I.V.E. Academy. In the comics, the Fearsome Five and H.I.V.E. are two separate criminal factions.
  • Young Justice (2010):
    • Miss Martian/M'gann M'orzz bases her personality on the main character of "Hello, Megan!", who is played by Marie Logan, the mother of Garfield Logan. Later when Garfield falls ill, he receives a blood transfusion from M'gann, which turns him into Beast Boy. Also, an Easter Egg reveals that Rita Farr, the civilian identity of Elastgirl (a teammate of Beast Boy in the Doom Patrol), is a co-actress on "Hello, Megan!"
    • The origins of the Golden Age Flash and the Silver Age Flash are for the most part independent, with Jay Garrick obtaining his speed from breathing heavy water while Barry Allen gained his when a lightning bolt struck the chemicals in his lab, and the latter later taking the name from the older Flash who he read in a comic note . In the comic adaptation of Young Justice, Wally explained that Jay obtained his powers from a lab accident, and later explained the incident to Barry years later. Barry recreated the same incident to grant himself superspeed to become the next Flash, and Wally deliberately recreated that in turn with school equipment.
    • Karen Beecher studied under Dr. Ray Palmer (a.k.a. The Atom), and Word of God confirms that her Bumblebee suit uses the same shrinking tech as Palmer's belt.
    • Static is a member of a group of runaway kids who were experimented on by the Reach, this group being based on the Canon Foreigner characters from Super Friends. Once he officially becomes a costumed superhero, Static is mentored by Black Lightning.
    • In the comics, Halo was the result of a fusion between the energy being known as an Aurakle and the body of a sociopathic human Harper in America. In the third season of Young Justice, it was revealed that Quaraci refuge Gabrielle Daou was experimented for the Meta-Gene by Baron Delamb and Doctor Jace (who is responsible for both Geo-Force's and Terra's powers in both materials). When it turned out she didn't have a meta-gene, Jace euthanized her, leaving her body to be taken over by the soul of a destroyed Mother Box.
    • As mentioned above, the third season revolves around a metahuman trafficking ring organized by the Light (The Secret Society of Supervillains in the comics). In addition to the aforementioned Geo-Force and Terra, the Light's trafficking network is responsible for Dolphin, Holocaust, Windfall, Plasmus, Plasma, Livewire, and Mist all getting superpowers.
    • Similar to the Bumblebee and Static examples, the show makes Traci 13 the teenage protege of Zatanna.
    • In the comics, Barbara Gordon and Cassandra Cain had separate origins that brought them into the Batfamily. Barbara was also paralyzed in the comics by the Joker, leading her to retire as Batgirl and become Oracle. The fourth season reveals that Cassandra was originally a League of Shadows operative under her mother Lady Shiva, and sent to assassinate the Joker when he threatens to kill the United Nations. Batgirl gets between Cassandra and Joker, leading Cassandra to unintentionally harm the former. Batgirl then tells Cassandra that she acted to save Cassandra and keep her from becoming a killer. This lead Cassandra to defect from the League of Shadows and join the heroes as Orphan.
    • Season 4 reveals that Atlantis was originally founded by Vandal Savage in the distant past before being sunk by Klarion the Witch Boy.
    • The Legion of Super-Heroes' origin is changed to them forming to defeat General Zod, with Conner Kent being the Superboy that inspired them rather than a teenage Superman.
  • The ThunderCats remake has the population of Third Earth descend from Mumm-Ra's interstellar conqueror army, with Lion-O himself a descendant of Mumm-Ra's second in command and The Mole.
  • DuckTales (2017):
    • In the original Darkwing Duck, Darkwing was spurned into action on his own, with Negaduck simply being his evil counterpart from another universe. In this universe, which treats Darkwing as a Show Within a Show, it was the actions of the original actor, Jim Starling, that led Drake Mallard into taking on the identity of the character for real, after Starling goes mad with jealousy and tries to destroy an entire movie studio when they reboot the series without his involvement. Drake, though devastated by his hero's demise, becomes the real Darkwing in his honor (with Launchpad's encouragement), unaware that Starling survived, but has been Driven To Insanity and becomes Negaduck.
    • Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera personally built Darkwing's equipment and lair himself (with Darkwing unaware that Fenton is Gizmoduck), in contrast to the original show, where Darkwing built his equipment himself.
    • It's played with in regards to Taurus Bulba. The original series showed him as a member of F.O.W.L. only after he had been rebuilt as a cyborg under their instruction, and rebelled against them. Here, he is already a proud F.O.W.L. member who betrays the group after their leader, Bradford Buzzard, explicitly tries to shut down his grand scheme.
      • This also showcases Bulba having a connection to the Fearsome Four as their leader and primary recruiter, where the original never interacted with them.
      • There was absolutely no connection between Taurus Bulba and Solego on the original show, as Solego was originally a Canon Foreigner who only appeared in the Disney Adventures comic The Legend of the Chaos God (which Bulba wasn't included in). Here, Solego is a "mad thinker" who invented a circuit that Bulba copies and uses in the Ramrod.
    • F.O.W.L. scientist Black Heron was responsible for the creation of a certain group of tiny heroes, whereas they simply existed beforehand.
    • Magica de Spell was responsible for creating The Phantom Blot, having destroyed his village simply For the Evulz, leading him to eliminate all forms of magic he could out of revenge. The Blot and de Spell had no connection prior to this.
    • F.O.W.L. was originally shown as a rival organization to S.H.U.S.H., with no connection beyond the villains trying to outwit the heroes. Here, it was revealed that S.H.U.S.H. inadvertently created F.O.W.L. when their leader, Ludwig Von Drake, rejected accountant Bradford Buzzard's suggestion of using the organization to conquer the world and reign in the chaos outside, suggesting that Buzzard not focus on such supervillainous antics. This only spurs Bradford to ally himself with Black Heron.

Alternative Title(s): Adaptational Origin Connection

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