Follow TV Tropes


Adaptational Superpower Change

Go To

Sometimes a superhero has a cool superpower that looks fantastic in the panels of a comic book, but when adapted to a different medium like a live action film or television show, there are budgetary restrictions that don't allow that superhero's powers to be showcased. So the writers severely water down the superpower to fit the medium, or in some cases, they just completely change the character's skill set.


There are a variety of reasons to change a superpowered character's abilities, but money is usually the main reason. Special effects are expensive, and having to show every week a flying superhero punching airplanes from the sky and firing balls of energy at bad guys can put a serious strain on the production budget. Also, the excessive use of CGI or bad special effects can fail.

Sometimes it is a matter of story: A character is given new powers to help smooth out the plot. Perhaps the powers they were given come from a different character altogether in the original work. That way the story can move along without introducing Loads and Loads of Characters that only serve one purpose in the original work. Maybe the character in the original work is a functional god and the adaptation has to dial down their skillset to something a little more believable, and not interfere with the viewer's Suspension of Disbelief.


Occasionally the change in superpowers can occur simply because a superpower that seems really cool in a comic could seem extremely silly when translated into Live-Action.

Note that this can occur in the opposite direction too. With a TV show being adapted into a comic book or movie, or if the character from the adaptation gets included in the source material, now the budgetary strain is not so prevalent, so characters are given new powers, or their old ones are expanded to be more showy.

If the change in power improves the character's fighting prowess, expect them to be an Adaptational Badass. If the superpower change results in them having less power and less effective in fighting, then consider them an Adaptational Wimp. Power Creep, Power Seep may occur when several characters from different works get together and are hit with this.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Batman's Harley Quinn had no super powers in the original animated series, but with her immigration to the comics, she got some powers from her new friend Poison Ivy. The biggest one, which is set up in the animated series, is immunity to poison.
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books, Buffy temporarily gains a host of new powers, including the ability to fly, which would've been a costly effect to shoot for a television show, but not so much for a comic book artist to draw.
  • When Charmed moved from television to comics the sisters' different witch powers evolved and became much more showy in the comics. Notably, Paige gained the power to make orb forcefields and Piper gained the power to melt and set fire to objects. Lacking the visual effects of the TV series, Piper's hands sometime glow whenever she uses her powers to clue in the reader that she is using her powers. And sometimes her power to blow stuff up looks more akin to energy beams. Same thing applies to Paige as well. Her power to 'orb' objects from place to place in the comics show her hands wreathed with magic, while in the show you just saw the effect happen on the item being moved.
  • DC Comics Bombshells:
    • In addition to her Making a Splash powers, Mera can telepathically communicate with sea life like Aquaman can.
    • In the normal comics, the Joker's Daughter (a crazy woman who has claimed to be the daughter of several supervillains, including the Joker) is just a Badass Normal. Here, she is a powerful sorceress.
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • In Ultimate X-Men Emma Frost doesn't have her psychic abilities, instead using her diamond form.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man:
      • While the Green Goblin always derived superpowers from a formula, the Ultimate version physically transforms into a green-skinned, horned creature instead of wearing a goblin costume. He can also manifest and throw fireballs where the original had to build his own bombs to throw. When Harry became the Hobgoblin, this carried over to him, being able to transform into a hulking pyrokinetic monster.
      • The Rhino is a scrawny nerd piloting a Mini-Mecha, instead of a huge bruiser with artificial skin that gives him Super Strength.
      • Jessica Drew is also changed. In 616, she has her own powers, like flight and the ability to fire venom blasts. Here, she is an Opposite-Sex Clone of Peter Parker, and has his powers, as well as ones he doesn't possess, such as the ability to generate organic webbing.
      • Kraven the Hunter had no powers initially, allowing Spidey to cream him in their first fight. Later he alters his DNA and becomes a horrific werewolf-like creature, and is arrested by the Ultimates who remove said alterations.
      • Doctor Octopus was originally presented the same as the original version was, having mechanical arms fused to his spine. Then comes the twist that his power is actually metal manipulation. He still tends to make octo-arms with this power, but now he can control his arms when he's separated from them or even make replacements on the spot from nearby scrap.
    • Ultimate Fantastic Four:
      • Ben Grimm eventually gains the ability to change between forms, unlike his 616 counterpart, who is stuck in the rock form. He can also morph into an ionic being similar to Wonder Man.
      • Doctor Doom gains ghastly scars on his face in the original continuity from an experiment backfiring on him, to hide these scars he wears a heavy armor. Here, Doom's entire body turns to metal and he gains cloven feet like a demon, corrosive acid breath and the ability to fire off metallic skin-shards in the same accident that gave the Four their powers.
    • The Ultimates:
      • Captain Britain's powers in the main universe are magical in nature. While the Ultimate Captain Britain has similar powers, here they are the product of genetic engineering and advanced technology.
  • In his original appearances in Justice League of America, Vibe's power was simply to project shockwaves. In the New 52's Vibe series, that's just a side effect of his real power; to breach dimensions. In the same series, Gypsy has similar powers, in addition to her pre-Flashpoint illusions.
  • When he was created for X2: X-Men United, Jason Stryker was intended to be a Composite Character of the Master of Illusion Jason Wyngarde and Reverend William Stryker's unnamed mutant child, and as such has the former's powerset. While Jason was eventually incorporated into the X-Men comics, his power was changed to his being able to produce powerful lights that could incapacitate others.
  • Wonder Woman's lasso was originally a mind control device, though she often used it to get the truth she could use it to command those wrapped in it to do her bidding, which made it even more dangerous when stolen by villains. The Post-Crisis revamp Wonder Woman (1987) solidified the lasso as the Lasso of Truth, it remains indestructible but now forces those entrapped in it to face the truth and undoes mind control and other illusions for those touching it, but cannot force anyone to do the wielder's bidding.

    Fan Works 
  • Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron: Rai's Geass in Lost Colors was like Lelouch's, only it required the person hearing the command instead of direct eye contact. Here his Geass grants him heightened senses in combat.
  • Fates Collide:
    • In addition to absorbing electricity to increase her strength, Nora Valkyrie can also fire electricity.
    • Instead of firing silver light that cripples Grimm and Maidens, Ruby Rose's Silver Eyes create a Reality Marble. It takes them to a featureless, white void, with an apparition of Ruby's mother Summer Rose. Summer wields a scythe and is almost invisible due to her white cloak. When more people visit it, it creates more apparitions based on their lost loved ones.
    • Medusa can control her stone gaze and doesn't have to wear her blindfold if she doesn't want to.
    • Instead of being able to steal Semblances, Marcus Black is immune to poison and becomes stronger whenever he is exposed to poison, including alcohol.
  • Lost to Dust: In addition to his regular abilities, Beowulf has a Feed It with Fire ability (he gets more powerful whenever he is struck) similar to Yang Xiao Long.
  • MCU Rewrites: In this rewrite of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Wanda Maximoff's telekinesis and telepathy are changed to reality warping powers more in line with her comic book counterpart. The narration even uses the terms "Chaos Magic" and "Hex Bolts".
  • A common plot in Miraculous Ladybug fics, which like to mix up who gets which Miraculous:
  • In My Hero Academia, Izuku was born Quirkless but is given “One For All” by All Might. Having him born with a Quirk, or acquire a different one, is common in fanfic (with the added bonus of someone else getting One For All instead).
    • In Waiting is worth it, he possessed the dormant source Quirk “Telekinesis.” All Might even considered giving “One For All” to Izuku in this continuity also, but decided that Izuku would make a great enough hero without it.
    • The Emerald Phoenix also has Izuku as a psychic possessing Telepathy, Telekinesis, Teleportation, and green flames that heal him (hence the title). All Might is dissuaded from giving Izuku "One For All" anyway because not only would the conflicting natures of the quirks force him to either be subpar in both or ignore one in favor of the other, but it also increases the risk of "One For All" mutating unexpectedly. Other characters also get changed powers:
      • Bakugou can detonate his explosive sweat from anywhere on his body rather than just sweat from his hands.
      • Uraraka doesn't have to touch herself to change gravity on herself and can adjust gravity rather than just negating it.
      • Iida's Quirk is changed from a mutation type to a transformation type and he can create different kinds of engine pipes from any part of his body.
      • Momo can further alter items she creates so long as she doesn't let go of them.
      • Jirou can produce simple sounds besides just her heartbeat, such as morse code.
      • Kaminari no longer produces electricity as an offensive weapon but instead stores and manipulate electricity (and magnetism to an extent), including using electricity to boost his healing. His weakness is also changed to having significant amounts of water shorting him out and causing painful electric shocks, even having to ground himself to take a shower. Kaminari is also not allowed inside cars lest his electricity accidentally ignite the gasoline.
    • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, several characters who were originally characters who are Quirk users in the original My Hero Academia have their abilities attributed to a Metagene, magic, or genetic mutation. This has led to some changes in their abilities, such as Present Mic having Voice Changeling abilities on top of his original powerset. Izuku doesn't fall under any of these categories because his Combo Platter Powers originate from his Kryptonian heritage.
    • In Amazing Fantasy, Izuku gets bitten by a genetically-modified spider when he decides to walk into an alleyway rather than a shady underpass one day, giving him the powers of Spider-Man.
    • In Cuckoo Bird, Izuku is a changeling, specifically half-elf and half-puca, who uses Animorphism as his official power. He also has prophetic dreams.
    • In Metallurgy, Izuku's Quirk is an orb of liquid metal he can telepathically control. His main uses for it are using it as a flying surfboard and coating parts of his body to increase his strength and defense.
    • In Raindancer, Izuku possesses a Quirk called Liquid Body, which gives him powerful water Elemental Shapeshifter abilities. Unfortunately, apart from Power-Strain Blackout, a side effect is that if he gets too excited, he ends up vomiting up a stream of water that can flood buildings.
    • In Leviathan, Izuku's Quirk is to be able to transform into a gigantic reptilian monster that has been dubbed "Leviathan". Unfortunately, this is a case of Bad Powers, Good People as not only is Izuku's Quirk sentient, but it has a desire to cause destruction. When it first surfaced when Izuku was four years old, it went on a rampage that resulted in the deaths of 32 people.
  • Since Salem and Cinder are one-in-the-same in Ruby and Nora, the former has the Fall Maiden’s abilities.
  • In The Spider, Peter Parker was a metahuman before being bitten by the radioactive spider. It's revealed his blood has an Adaptive Ability that caused him to take all the positive traits from his spider bite and no negative ones. As an unexpected bonus, Peter's blood functionally vaccinates itself against any disease or virus it encounters.
  • A good description of Paige’s situation in the Charmed fic “Charmed Alternate”; when Paige’s powers are activated at the same time as the three Halliwells’ powers (although none of them are aware of Paige’s relationship to them), instead of acquiring a modified version of Prue’s ability Paige acquires the ability to generate a powerful force-shield.
  • In Fur And Photography, there are no time-powers to be seen anywhere like in Life Is Strange. Instead, supernatural creatures are commonplace and public-knowledge, Max being an alpha werewolf here.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live Action 
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane doesn't use Venom, the ultra steroid that boosts his muscle mass and makes him an incredibly formidable physical threat. Instead, he is a badly injured man in near-constant pain and his mask gives him painkillers. That being said, he is still an incredibly formidable physical threat and pummels Batman senseless in their first encounter.
  • The Darkest Minds:
    • Unlike in the books where there was no way to tell what color psi a person was unless they were seen using their powers, the film depicts the psi’s as having their eyes glow in the color of their government classification whenever their powers are used. Also the children who died from the IAAN virus also have their eyes glow shortly before they die.
    • In the books Red psi can create and control fire, here this is changed to having them exclusively breathing fire from their mouths.
    • In the books Yellow psi can generate and control electricity, with some who have difficulty controlling this ability causing minor electrical malfunctions or creating large bursts of electricity whenever they touch an electronic object. Here all Gold psi seem to require electronic objects to channel their power through.
    • Chubs is changed from being a Blue psi (being telekinetic) in the books to a Green (having Super Intelligence) psi in the film.
  • In Dragonball Evolution the Kamehameha is given the power to heal, which it didn't have in the original series.
  • Fantastic Four adaptations make it so Doctor Doom gets powers in the same accident that empowered the Four. In the comics, he has no innate powers but wears Powered Armor and has vast knowledge in sorcery. In the 2005 movie, his body is transformed into metal, giving him lightning powers. The Ultimate Fantastic Four comics, mentioned above, also turn his body to metal, but instead of lightning he can fire off metallic shards and breathe acid breath. The 2015 movie gives him very vague, near god-like powers that resemble telekinesis.
    • Also in the 2015 movie, an odd, purely superficial change occurs to Mr. Fantastic's elastic ability. According to the creators Reed isn't stretching himself when he seemingly extends his limbs, but he is manipulating local spacetime due to micro-blackholes integrated with his body. The effect has it so he still looks like he is super-elastic anyway.
  • Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance: In the comics, Blackout suppresses light sources in his presence and has fangs and is sensitive to light like a vampire. In the film, Blackout simply makes people hallucinate they are in darkness and his main power is to Make Them Rot.
  • In The Film of the Book for I Am Number Four, Number Four's fire-resistance has been removed and instead given to Number Six. Number Six' invisibility has also become Flash Step.
  • In Kim Possible, early supplementary for season 1 notes that Shego's plasma powers come from her gloves, however this was never shown in-series. "Go Team Go" retconned Shego into a metahuman whose powers and green skin come from a comet hitting her family as a child. In the 2019 film, Shego's powers aren't natural anymore. They come from energy gauntlets on her wrists.
  • In The Last Airbender the firebenders require a source of fire to bend. In the series, they don't. The reasoning behind this was because the director felt that the firebenders were too overpowered when compared to the other elemental benders in the show. However, the effect of this change lead to all other benders in the film version as seemingly much more pathetic and weak because they were conquered by a nation whose abilities are rather easily suppressed.
  • In the Spider-Man Trilogy, Spider-Man has the ability to shoot organic webs, whereas up until that point, his comic-book counterpart used web-shooters.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Traditional magic users Loki from the Thor movies and the reality warping Scarlet Witch from Avengers: Age of Ultron, have had their powers altered in such a way that they're not using their godlike powers to the point of negating narrative suspense - for instance, Wanda's have been scaled back to telekinesis and mind manipulation. Also, at least in the case for Loki, he sometimes uses his powers in ridiculous ways in the comics, such as transforming an entire street into ice cream. Effects such as this might not translate well to the big screen. The powers are also described in pseudo-scientific terms instead of mystical ones in order to not break disbelief, though Thor makes clear in his first film that "magic" is just another name for the same things.
    • Iron Man's foe the Mandarin is usually known for wearing ten Rings of Power. In Iron Man 3, the apparent Mandarin is only an actor and completely powerless; while the film's mastermind and "real" Mandarin, Aldritch Killian, has heat powers and a healing factor thanks to Extremis. However, a short film makes the claim that a true Mandarin exists and that Killian stole his identity for the actor to use; so the possibility is there that he does have the rings of his comic counterpart, especially since this real Mandarin is confirmed to be the Big Bad of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
    • The Falcon, being a more grounded, realistic character in the MCU than in the comics, lacks a telepathic connection with birds. Instead of having a pet bird named Redwing that he has such a bond with, Redwing is a remote-controlled birdlike robotic drone as of Civil War.
    • The MCU incarnation of The Vision adds Super Toughness to his powerset, with vibranium incorporated into the 3-D-printed cells of his body. The laser beam he projects from his forehead gem has also ramped up in power, since the jewel is an Infinity Stone here.
    • In the comics, Star-Lord is essentially a normal human who uses various bits of alien gear that he's picked up. The movies mostly follow suit, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 shows that as the son of Ego the Living Planet (itself an Adaptation Species Change for Star-Lord), he can channel Ego's powers including matter-manipulation and immortality. However, Ego is dead by the end of the film, leaving Star-Lord a baseline human once more as there's no longer a power source to draw from.
    • Ant-Man and the Wasp:
      • Janet Van Dyne, the first Wasp, started as an ordinary human who used a special suit that allowed her to shrink and fire energy blasts, before later being genetically augmented so that those powers were now internalized within her own body. In the movies, Janet never had the energy projectile abilities and her shrinking always came from the suit, as she didn't undergo the procedures to receive actual superpowers. Instead, she later gained vague, quantum-related powers that involve Healing Hands and Telepathy as a result of having been trapped the Quantum Realm for decades.
      • Another change: Janet's wings are part of her body in the comics, and have been that way from the beginning, even back when she needed Hank's technology to change size and fire projectiles. In the movies, Janet's wings were instead built into her suit, and the same goes for her daughter, Hope.
      • Ghost in the comics is a baseline human who gains ghost-like abilities via a special suit. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, his Gender-Flipped counterpart got these powers via an accident, and thus can use them freely of the suit (which helps keep her stable but isn't completely needed) albeit at the cost of the powers slowly killing her.
    • In Captain Marvel, a major character is the Skrull warrior Talos. In the comics, Talos was born with a defect that deprived him of his species' ability to shapeshift. In Captain Marvel, however, this is not the case, as he not only has these abilities, but uses them to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.. This reimagining of the character was due to the notion that Talos' character arc from the comics would be hard to pitch to film audiences, since the Skrulls are a race whose entire gimmick is their Shapeshifting. It also gives his actor, Ben Mendelsohn, more face time.
  • In The Maze Runner books Thomas and Teresa could communicate with each other telepathically, with Aris and Posthumous Character Rachel sharing the same ability between themselves and the aforementioned twosome. This was revealed in The Death Cure to be the result of a chip implanted in their heads by WICKED, which could also be used to control them and the other Gladers, who were also implanted. In The Maze Runner Series, all four characters lack this ability and whilst Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials reveals that the Gladers do have chips implanted in their bodies, it’s in their necks and merely functions as a tracking beacon.
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children:
    • In the books Emma’s peculiarity was the ability to create and control fire, whilst Olive’s was being lighter than air. Here their powers are switched with Olive being the pyrokinetic and Emma an aerokinetic with uncontrollable levitation as just one aspect of her powers.
    • In addition to the Prophetic Dream ability he has in the books, the film version of Horace can project the images from his dreams into the air through his right eye using a special lens.
    • At one point in the book whilst explaining to Jacob about Wights, Miss Peregrine states they don’t have any peculiarities. In contrast the Wights shown in the film still have their powers from when they were Peculiars; specifically Mr Barron is a Shapeshifter and two Canon Foreigner Wights include a Cryo-kinetic man and a half-rat woman.
    • The method by which the Hollows become Wights is different. In the books it’s achieved by absorbing a Peculiars’ soul, in the film it’s by consuming a Peculiars’ eyes.
  • X-Men Film Series changes a lot of the characters' powers:
    • X-Men: The Last Stand:
      • To streamline the story, the Phoenix is just an aspect of Jean Grey's mind and superpowers and not a cosmic entity. Technically, this can qualify as an odd case of Composite Character, too.
      • Callisto is given the powers of super-speed and a mutant tracking sense that she does not have in the comics.
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Sebastian Shaw's power in the comics is the ability to absorb energy to boost his personal strength and stamina. His film counterpart is able to absorb energy and then repurpose it in seemingly any way he wants, up to and including keeping himself eternally young and causing devastating explosions.
      • Azazel is an immortal mutant, in the comics, with an assortment of near god-like powers. In the movie, he just has Nightcrawler's teleportation powers.
      • Riptide in the comics created whirlwinds by spinning his whole body, and he could also fling calcified projectiles from his body like shuriken or spikes. The movie version is missing the latter ability.
    • The Wolverine: Both Yukio and Viper are normal humans in the comics, but in the film, Yukio is given the mutant power to see into the future, while Viper is given snake-like abilities. Interestingly, Harada, who is a mutant in the comics, is turned into a normal human in this movie. Note that this technically also qualifies as Adaptation Species Change because frequently in the X-Men world humans (homo sapiens) and mutants (homo superior) are different species.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Kitty Pryde, resident intangible girl of the X-Men inexplicably gains the power to project people's consciousness backwards through time in this movie. This is because her role is combined with that of Rachel Summers from the comics, who does not have a film counterpart, seeing as both her parents are dead in that continuity. Also, the creators were hesitant to just create a new character with time travel powers because 1) They wanted to honor the original ''Days Of Future Past'' storyline by including Kitty Pryde in the story with an important role, and 2) The movie already has a rather large cast, and introducing another character would've put narrative strain on the plot.
    • Deadpool (2016): In the comics, Negasonic Teenage Warhead has Psychic Powers and her name is a music Shout-Out. The movie version gets a "warhead" power to cause explosions instead. Essentially, she's a Composite Character with Cannonball, who held her role in previous drafts of the script. The reason for all of this? They really wanted her in the movie just so that Deadpool could react to the name "Negasonic Teenage Warhead". Interestingly, this portrayal gained enough approval in the fandom that the comic counterpart was revived (literally, as she had been killed off with little fanfare shortly after appearing) and retooled with her movie powers. Essentially a Rescued from the Scrappy Heap by way of recursive Adaptational Superpower Change.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • In the comics, the purple energy blade Psylocke projects from her hand is simply a manifestation of her telepathic powers, and it can't do any physical damage, only mental damage. In the movie, the blade cuts through steel and concrete, and Psylocke can also morph it into a whip. She also doesn't appear to have telepathy at all, given how much importance Apocalypse places on stealing Xavier's powers, although she may have just not told him about it.
      • One of the comic book Apocalypse's main powers is total control over every molecule in his body, which means he can't be hurt by mere physical force. In the film, he doesn't seem to have this power, as evidenced by the way he dies.
    • Deadpool 2 sees the aforementioned Yukio as a mutant again—but unlike the precognition she had in The Wolverine, she now has electrical abilities.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Agent Carter, Whitney Frost has the ability to turn people into shadow energy called "Darkforce" and absorb it. Her comics counterpart Madame Masque has no actual powers.
  • Arrow: Damien Darhk doesn't even have powers in the comics, but in the show, he has extremely powerful dark magic.
  • In Charmed (1998), Phoebe had the power of Psychometry, usually seeing visions of the future. In Charmed (2018) her rough equivalent, Maggie, has Mind Reading instead.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • In the comics, the Mist can become a white gas that can hypnotize opponents that breath it in. In the show, the Mist (aka Kyle Nimbus) can become a green gas that poisons those who inhale it.
    • Downplayed with Tony Woodward/Girder. In the comics, his skin is permanently made of metal, but his television version allows him to activate metallic skin at will.
    • In the comics, Roy Bivolo/Rainbow Raider had goggles that could project light blasts. In the show, he can make people become impossibly angry, causing them to kill the next person they see.
    • In the comics, Hartley Rathaway/Pied Piper has a flute that can hypnotize people. In the show, he has gauntlets that can shoot sonic blasts.
    • In the comics, Lisa Snart/Golden Glider wears ice skates that generate ice, allowing her to skate on any surface and even in midair. The show's version wields a ray gun that turns whatever it zaps into a gold-like substance.
    • In the comics, Hunter Zolomon/Zoom has the power to slow down time for everyone but himself, making others perceive him as having Super Speed while he's really moving normally. The show's version of Zoom has the same powers from the Speed Force the Flash has.
    • The Turtle, in the comics, has slowness as his gimmick, but rather than anything motion-related, he would, with carefully planning, arrange for the Flash to take himself out while the Turtle moved slowly, the slowest man alive beating the fastest with trickery and doing the unexpected. In the show, he's more as comic Zoom is described - though it's by sapping people's kinetic energy rather than time manipulation, he slows everyone else around him down, seeming fast while moving at normal speed.
    • In the comics, Dr. Alchemy uses his Philosopher's Stone to transmute matter. The show's version uses his Philosopher's Stone to fire energy blasts and give people back the powers they had in the Flashpoint timeline.
    • In the comics, The Top can spin at super speed. The show's version causes people to become dizzy and lose their balance.
    • In the comics, Gypsy could create illusions, turn invisible, and see the future. The show's version has identical dimensional travelling and vibration powers as Vibe.
    • In his origin, Music Meister can hypnotize people by singing high enough. In the show, he can put people into comas, teleport, force people into mental worlds (such as putting the Flash and Supergirl into a musical-themed world for most of the episode) and steal the abilities of other people - though as an extradimensional being comparable to Mr. Mxyzptlk, it's more likely that he was simulating others' powers because he can do practically anything. It's fair to say that he took a level in badass.
    • Clifford DeVoe has the same Super Intelligence his comic counterpart had, but he can also use his Cool Chair to transfer his consciousness into the bodies of other metahumans. Through this, he can steal whatever powers they have. He currently has telepathy, technopathy, luck manipulation, effigy manipulation, size alteration and control over soundwaves.
    • In the comics, the Fiddler can hypnotize people with his violin. In the show, she can project harmful soundwaves that she can focus with her violin.
    • The comicbook Folded Man has the power to shift into a 2D form that is totally flat and a 4D form that lets him see everything and appear anywhere. The tv version simplifies this into a teleporter who can step into a Pocket Dimension.
    • Comicbook Dwarfstar was The Atom's Evil Counterpart, with the same Incredible Shrinking Man powers. In the series, he has a Shrink Ray ability and is never shown shrinking himself.
    • In the comics Spin was a media mogul who imprisoned a Reality Warper who could turn people's fears into reality. The series version of Spin has a smartphone with the power to hypnotize people through her news posts.
    • Hazard does not have psionic abilities and special dice that allow her to alter probability, and instead emits an invisible "probability field" that constantly brings her good luck while causing those around her to experience bad luck.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Daenerys is completely and consistently immune to fire in the show, whereas the books treat the pyre as a one-time thing (and even then her hair burns off) and when she mounts Drogon for the first time she's left hairless with burns on her hands.
    • The show depicts the Children of the Forest having Playing with Fire powers never seen in the books, though there are in-universe myths of them channelling the elements.
    • In addition to the prophetic visions, Living Shadow, and Glamour powers seen in the show, Melisandre can also manipulate fire and possibly influence the wind in the books.
    • In the books, Bran's visions of the past are limited to things seen by the carved eyes of weirwood trees. In the show, he can stroll around in a Pensieve Flashback unlimited by time or space, allowing him to witness events at the Tower of Joy and butt-dial the Night King.
    • In the show, Jojen Reed is a Fainting Seer whose visions come hand-in-hand with seizures. In the books, he's just naturally small and frail, even for a crannogman, and the harsh conditions beyond the Wall are what compromises his health negatively, not his dreams (except emotionally).
    • The warlock Pyat Pree has the power to create copies of himself in the show rather than practising unspecified dark magic and constantly ingesting prophetic drugs.
    • The Faceless Men's method of applying faces is quite vague in the books but involves complex Blood Magic, a touch of Ghost in the Machine, and is limited by size and gender. By contrast, the show makes it as mundane as wearing a mask since Arya simply steals one and uses it without any training and Jaqen and the Waif are shown swapping identities in "Mother's Mercy".
    • The Faceless Men can also apparently blind someone at will without touching them, something that's caused by a potion that must be re-administered daily in the books.
  • The made-for-TV Generation X movie has several examples, most of which are owed to the film's low budget:
    • The opening scene has Emma Frost, the team's telepath, seemingly create wind and lightning to intimidate some doctors. However, it's unclear if she's actually doing this, or merely using her mental powers to cause her victims to think it's happening. Regardless, she never does this at any other point in the movie, which only adds to the oddity.
    • In the comics, Skin's power was having six extra feet of skin that he could stretch and manipulate in various ways. The movie just made him a generic Rubber Man in the vein of Reed Richards or Plastic Man, and got rid of his physical deformity to boot.
    • Mondo's powers were changed from being able to take on the properties and size of whatever matter he's touching to simply replicating the matter's solidity and durability. Also, his physical appearance no longer changes to match the characteristics of the substance he's mimicking.
    • Monet St. Croix describes herself as physically "perfect," with a myriad of abilities that include super intelligence, near-invincibility and Ideal Illness Immunity. She does not, however, possess the telepathic or Flying Brick powers she has in the comics.
    • Husk was replaced with an Expy / Suspiciously Similar Substitute called Buff. Thus, Husk's ability to tear away her skin to reveal a new layer made of any material she can think of was changed to generic Super Strength and Super Speed.
    • Likewise, Chamber was rewritten into a new character called Refrax, with Chamber's physical deformities and psionic energy powers ditched in favor of Eye Beams and X-Ray Vision.
  • The Incredible Hulk Returns: The first Reunion Show bringing back the Hulk, also stars Dr. Don Blake and The Mighty Thor - but instead of them both inhabiting the same body, in Returns they are two different people. Thor is a Norse warrior who Blake summons by holding Thor's hammer and shouting "Odin!" Blake is still around when Thor is in the world.
  • Inhumans:
  • Jessica Jones (2015):
    • The titular character is not a Flying Brick here. Instead, she starts out with Super Strength and learns how to perform powerful jumps with it.
    • In the comics, Nuke has pills that serve as placebos; they give him the illusion of increased adrenaline and therefore increase his power. The pills on the show do genuinely grant superhuman power for a time, as shown when Trish steals one and beats Nuke into submission.
  • Legends of Tomorrow:
    • In Justice Society of America comics, Nathan Heywood has no way of deactivating his metal skin. Similar to the alteration made to Girder in Flash, the TV version can turn it on or off at will (mostly, and when there's a problem it's usually turning it on.) His grandfather, Henry Heywood/Commander Steel, appears to be a Badass Normal rather than a cyborg.
    • To the extent that Zari is a version of Isis, her powers have been considerably nerfed. The original TV Isis had control over all the elements, plus Friend to All Living Things, Psychic Powers and Green Thumb. The comic book version had most of those plus, as a member of the Dark Shazam family, was a Flying Brick. Zari just has Blow You Away, with the other elements going to other amulets.
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • In the comics, Irma Ardeen/Saturn Girl is a telepath. In the show, she has telekinesis. She may also have super strength, as in one scene, she punches Mon-El (a Daxamite, a being similar to a Kryptonian) in the gut and it hurts him.
    • Manchester Black, also a telepath in the comics, doesn't appear to have powers at all.
  • The Umbrella Academy alters most of the main characters' powers from what they originally were in the comics:
    • In the comics, Diego's power was to hold his breath forever underwater. In the series, his power is Improbable Aiming Skills, particularly with knives.
    • In the comics, Allison's Compelling Voice could warp the fabric of reality - whatever she said would automatically occur, whether or not she directed it towards someone. Here, it only works as Mind Control.
    • The series takes away Klaus' powers of levitation and telekinesis from the comics; here, he can only see spirits and make them corporeal. He also loses his weakness from the comics of only being able to use his powers while barefoot.
    • In the comics, Number Five only had the power to time travel; he later figured out how to "teleport" by performing microjumps forward in time. In the series, both time travel and teleportation are officially his powers.
  • Titans (2018):
  • Watchmen (2019) sees Cal Abar, a seemingly normal black man, turn out to be Dr. Manhattan. However, while it's a sequel in another media to the comics, among the powers Dr. Manhattan, who looked like a white man with glowing blue skin, displayed in the source material, including changing his size and how bright he glowed, there was no sign he was capable of actual shapeshifting.

  • Multiple characters receive a drastic change in superpowers between Dawn Of A New Age and its Continuity Reboot, Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Amy originally had a superpower inspired by Toad from the X-Men Film Series, which gave her the physical appearance and abilities of an amphibian. In Oldport Blues, she's instead transformed into a form of data consciousness that uploads itself onto her phone and can then transfer between electronic devices.
    • Benedict used to have Deadpool's Healing Factor and medium aware inner voices. Oldport Blues instead gives him Super Intelligence to match his haughty personality.
    • Benjy originally had Reality Warping powers he inherited from the Scarlet Witch. Because so few students in Oldport Blues had superpowers that drastically changed their physical appearance, Benjy's power was changed so that he became a giant bug monster.
    • Michal was a player character in DONA who had the Blue Beetle attached to him. In Oldport Blues he's downgraded to an NPC, and instead gets the ability to control fire in accordance with his impulsive character.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: