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Old Guard Versus New Blood

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When something goes from one medium to another, it's because of two elements:

  1. It's popular!
  2. Producers like money!

Moving something to a new medium is a way of breathing new life into an existing product which generates two things. New revenue from the fans, and new revenue from potential fans who for one reason or another never were into it in its original medium, but might get into it here.

This is where the problem arises. Take for instance a comic book being turned into a movie. Most comics have up to 70 years of Backstory, cool sequences, and ranging from a handful to an army of cool heroes and villains. All that has to be crammed into a two-hour presentation or the longtime, diehard fans are upset. Meanwhile, it has to be perfectly understandable, and — more importantly — easy to follow, or else the new blood won't like it.

Ultimately this leads to a dangerous balancing act, one that is rarely done right, although producers appear to be getting better at it. You need to throw in enough of the classics and not change things too much or you alienate the fanbase, but at the same time you can't rely on in-jokes or backstory or you'll lose the new blood. While the fanbase may be more loyal, the new blood represents more money for the new genre, so as far as the scale goes it almost always tips to the new blood side.

Before continuing, it's important to understand two things. First of all, any examples here are at best subjective. For this reason, an example could show up in more than one location under different arguments. This is allowed. Everything has an implied "arguably" in front of it.

Secondly, an example being in any of the three categories does not necessarily indicate that it's bad. A movie that has nothing to do with the original premise can still be enjoyable, as can one that is very hard for newcomers to follow.

One common way to balance the scales is to adapt the characters and styles, while only representing the original story in broad strokes, sometimes only keeping parts of the origin story. Most Comic Book movies produced around the 2010s follow this method.

See also: In Name Only for the more extreme New Blood cases, or They Changed It, Now It Sucks! and Pandering to the Base for the more extreme Old Guard cases. Also see Newbie Boom and It's Popular, Now It Sucks!.

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    Old Guard 
  • Almost the entirety of The Flintstones movie focuses on the comedy of turning the old visual gags into live action, while following a stretched-out plot from the cartoon series. And the less said about the second movie, the better. What makes it especially old-guard are the adult subplots and Parental Bonus material, such as Fred being seduced by a woman who knows he’s married. This kind of thing was common with cynical ‘90's updates of movies and series from more "innocent" decades, as if people were unaware of the missing themes just because those themes weren't present in movies and television.
  • The Simpsons: The Simpsons Movie is heavily catered towards the Old Guard. Granted, the Simpsons fanbase is so large that they could get away with this entirely. Still, it's packed with so many in-jokes that even long-term fans had forgotten a lot of them. Of course, the first thing the movie does is draw attention to the fact that it is virtually a giant Simpsons episode, so they probably knew that. The Simpsons Game is the same way.
  • Sin City: Whether it works for it or against it is up to debate, but the movie religiously follows the comics (except when it comes to displaying nudity), to the point where the comics were literally used as storyboards.
  • The Star Wars novels, having mostly created the old guard in the first place, catered to them extensively. Some of the later books however were written with the mindset of drawing more people in, and avoided making too much reference to the older books.
  • Superman Returns, a film that, by all rights, should have been a reboot of the franchise, and yet ended up becoming a sequel to a movie that came out close to 30 years previously. Bryan Singer turned the movie into his own personal love letter to the Christopher Reeve movies. Critics and audiences who grew up with the original films showered it with praise, while new audiences were completely frozen out. The movie ultimately ended up disappointing at the box office.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie took the opposite direction from Super Mario Bros. (1993), it still has some significant Adaptation Deviation but overall it is much Truer to the Text. While much better received overall, this trope may explain at least part of the Critical Dissonance between critics and audiences, as critics were less likely to be familiar with the source material as audiences were.
  • Watchmen is in the same situation as Sin City, except instead they had to cut and compress more content for time (some re-instated in DVD), didn't keep the visual style (although keeping most of the framing intact), and deciding this time to keep the male nudity.
  • Fire Emblem Engage was not only a "back to basics" approach in its game mechanics, it brought back the protagonists of every previous entry as Summon Magic. These summons were given fully-voiced interactions with the entire cast, full of Mythology Gags to their home games, along with side-chapters re-creating old maps. This approach may have backfired due to timing: the game was supposed to be a 30th anniversary celebration but Covid and The Shelf of Movie Languishment pushed it back several years, by which point only itself, Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (via Switch Online) were legally playable outside Japan. Furthermore, Three Houses itself had trigged a massive (and unexpected) Newbie Boom via its radically divergent gameplay, Grey-and-Grey Morality story and extensive social sim elements, all aspects Engage lacked.

    New Blood 
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons falls firmly into the New Blood camp, as not only are its gameplay and customization options more experimental than in previous games, but the advent of content updates and encouraging of online interactions means that while the base gameplay is functionally identical to previous installments, the game's essence appeals to newcomers who were swept in by a Newbie Boom as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Meanwhile, the Old Guard has resorted to claims of They Changed It, Now It Sucks! and often feel alienated by the drastic gameplay changes and the progressive drip feeding of content.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The TV Movie, which had been intended to start a Continuity Reboot, but flopped, alters the formula to resemble then-trendy series The X-Files, gives a drastic Same Character, But Different retool to the Master, alters the Doctor's backstory and (if the reboot had been made) would have focused on remaking popular Classic stories like "Pyramids of Mars" and "The Robots of Death". The BBC had even wanted to toss out the current incumbent Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, in favour of having the more popular and recogniseable Tom Baker regenerating into Paul McGann, before FOX persuaded them not to. And yet the main criticism of the movie (apart from anger about all the kissing) is still Continuity Lock-Out.
    • When Russell T Davies soft-rebooted the series, he realised he could only do so if he did not cater to Fan Wank and aimed the show at the mainstream, as Doctor Who had been a mainstream show in its heyday in the UK, but was only regarded as a cult show in the US and during its Audience-Alienating Era. Doing this required him to reboot it in the form of a Genre-Busting drama, incorporating elements of Soap Opera, killing off the Time Lords to simplify things and provide opportunity for Mangst, and deliberately avoiding bringing up most of the show's continuity in the first season in favour of spending five episodes dripfeeding information about basic concepts like "who and what is the Doctor?" and "are those big metal pepperpots with plungers on them bad news?". There wasn't an unambiguous suggestion the revival even happened in the same continuity as the Classic series until the return of Sarah Jane and K-9 in Series 2, and the show avoids the issue of the Doctor's former selves until some drawings in a journal in Series 3, only giving it a significant scene in Series 4 when the show was leading up to the Doctor's regeneration and needed to remind audiences that Tennant had not always been the Doctor. The monsters are largely new, with only the iconic Daleks, Cybermen and the Master, and the popular Sontarans, Silurians and Macra returning. While many members of the Unpleasable Fanbase feel this occasionally turns the series into Doctor Who In Name Only, the series was successfully brought back on television in a popular and highly regarded form, despite being remembered as a cheesy Campy relic from The '70s with lots of Special Effects Failure up until that point. After RTD left, Steven Moffat's tenure as showrunner shifted the show back towards the Old Guard side of the spectrum by dropping a lot of the soap elements, adding plot-important references to the Classic Doctors and reviving old-school story formats like Gothic Horror and Base Under Siege — but also remained focused on grabbing new fans by discarding all of the Russell T. Davies-era continuity that didn't directly affect the Doctor, and only revived three Classic monsters that hadn't already been reintroduced to the series (Zygons, the Ice Warriors and the Great Intelligence).
  • Double Dragon:
    • Both the cartoon and the movie take the Double Dragon legends in different directions. The movie makes it a post-apocalyptic gang-war for a mystical medallion, whereas the cartoon turns Billy and Jimmy into ninja super heroes. Both are entertaining, but have little to do with the video games.
    • The comic mini-series (released by Marvel) splits the difference; making Billy and Jimmy twin super-hero ninjas powered by a mystical statue. It also features an extended cameo by Stan Lee as Billy and Jimmy's biological father.
  • Dungeons & Dragons (2000) suffers severely from conflicting ideas; they wanted to attract the Dungeons and Dragons fanbase, and at the same time alienate themselves from them for fear of being associated with "losers." As a result, the movie was written by somebody who had never played the game, and the movie has lip service to the game and nothing else: a token 5'4" dwarf, clerical magic being only accessible to elves, and beholders that don't take advantage of the fact that they can look in all directions at once are just a few of the conflicts.
  • Fallout 3 is deliberately set far away from anything related to the first two installments to allow a new team the freedom to operate without necessarily being bound by canon. This, combined with the jump to real-time and a first-person/over the shoulder view like The Elder Scrolls, completely alienated much of the existing fanbase. Bethesda realized that they weren't going to get that set of the fans on board and didn't worry about it too much, playing to their strengths and going with the basic theme of a somewhat-farcical post-nuclear setting based on an exaggeration of The '50s, while taking a few setpieces like the Brotherhood of Steel, ghouls and super-mutants and using them as they chose. The game is immensely divisive in the Fallout fandom, but made exactly the profits you'd expect from a AAA title by Bethesda.
  • Fire Emblem Warriors draws the majority of its characters and gameplay elements from Fire Emblem: Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates, the two most recent games in the series at the time of its production, and the two that caused a massive Newbie Boom.
  • Night of Dark Shadows came out in 1971 and, while Dark Shadows, the television series it was based on, had only recently gone off the air, the plot and characters bear little to no resemblance to anything on the show.
  • King's Quest: Mask of Eternity: The game falls into the New Blood camp, since it focuses more on action and stars a new character who isn't related by blood to the royal family. While many hardcore fans hated it when it was released, newcomers who hadn't played any game in the series before, and even some prior fans, liked the game.
  • Paper Mario is a rare case where the New Blood is mostly comprised of the development team rather than the fanbase. Starting with Paper Mario: Sticker Star, the series has drifted away from both the standard RPG gameplay (or in the case of Super Paper Mario, 2D platforming with RPG elements) and in-depth storytelling to become a series that prioritizes both experimental gameplay systems that try to defy standard RPG conventions and minimalist plots that focus more on telling jokes. The Old Guard barely receives anything resembling recognition, whereas the New Blood amongst the fanbase wouldn't begin to fully take root until Paper Mario: The Origami King was considered a Surprisingly Improved Sequel to Paper Mario: Color Splash.
  • Power Rangers has a surprisingly large Periphery Demographic of older fans who started watching the show when it began in 1993 and still do for the nostalgia it gives them. The powers that be have acknowledged this and started slipping in older references that the under-12 set simply won't get (the pilot episode of Power Rangers Megaforce is almost "Day of the Dumpster" all over again). However, they also have said that, while they appreciate the older fans, they have to realize that the target demographic (and biggest toy-buying market) is still young children, and that's something they simply have to deal with. For the most part, older fans are fine with this (as it's the show's campiness that they enjoy); they only really get upset if the Powers That Be use the fact that the show is 1) Merchandise-Driven and 2) For Kids as an excuse to be lazy and do the show badlynote .
  • Splatoon 3, overall, falls more heavily on the New Blood side. It's set in a completely different city from the previous two Splatoon games and features a mostly new cast outside of several series mainstays. It only loosely references the events of previous games, most infamously by sending Off the Hook on a world tour (information that is only revealed if you find a non-essential item). Gameplay, in general, skews in a more casual direction against the wishes of the game's competitive audience, with flatter, more open maps encouraging the use of long-range weapons. The game's higher ranks are generally easier to attain, with ranks for all modes being merged once again and making it possible to stay in a good group in Anarchy Battle (Series) or grind ranks in Anarchy Battle (Open) and "be carried" (instead of it always shuffling players for ranked battles) and once reached, they lack any mechanic to rank down, not even in S+/X Battle. There's also a number of standing balance and connection issues from previous games left unaddressed. Return of the Mammalians, in particular, feels like it was aimed at people who had never played Octo Expansion in Splatoon 2; it has very similar level design, plot structure, difficulty, even the finale is extremely familiar. The game's Downloadable Content, meanwhile, is focused strictly on the Old Guard, allowing players to return to Inkopolis Plaza and Inkopolis Square alongside bringing back Off the Hook to star in Side Order. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the complaints about Splatoon 3 come from the Old Guard — meanwhile, New Blood players, who don't have experience with older Splatoon games and are the target audience of the more casual direction, have much nicer things to say about it.
  • The Super Mario Bros. (1993) movie has plumbers, mushrooms (sorta), a princess, and a dinosaur, but other than that has nothing to do with the games. The Bob-omb was its selling point.
  • The main crux behind the increasing divisiveness over Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 Bloopers' direction since 2016 comes down to Old Guard Versus New Blood. The Old Guard wish that the series would stay how it was during the days of old when characters could say or do anything without any lasting consequences, SM64 elements were prominent and the plots and characters were more parodic in nature. The New Guard are considered fans who came after 2016, when the formula began to shift toward the modern elements, and prefer the use of trending topics, stable continuity, the more generally toned down meme-based humor, and the inclusion of more fleshed out Original Generation characters and lore. With these drastically different styles, both guards are constantly at war with each over what direction the series "should be" taking, with the New Guard feeling the old era's elements are simply inferior, outdated and obsolete, while the Old Guard decries the modern elements as going against everything that made the series entertaining in the first place and alienating them as a result. The series itself leans more toward the New Guard, utilizing most of the aspects of the new era while at times bringing back elements that appeal to the Old Guard.
  • Underdog: Instead of being about a shoe-shine boy in a city of anthropomorphs, it's about a pet talking dog with Green Rocks.

    Balanced Scales 
  • With The Batman starring Robert Pattinson, it seemed like Warner Bros. and DC Films wanted to completely reboot the Dark Knight on film yet again, and a bit too freshly at that to some after Ben Affleck seemingly left the role in 2019. Then Zack Snyder's Justice League happened, Affleck was allowed to appear in new scenes for this version of Justice League and he was later confirmed to appear in The Flash, which means that this incarnation of Batman hasn't been completely forgotten/shelved by WB and DC Films (provided that The Flash isn't a Wrap It Up for him).
  • Fanboys and regular moviegoers alike love The Dark Knight Trilogy. Note that regular folks reacted to Batman Begins being made with "Batman? With the rubber nipples and terrible, campy villains? Why are you going back to that again?" and fanboys reacted to Heath Ledger being cast as The Joker in The Dark Knight with, "That Brokeback prettyboy as the Joker? This is gonna SUCK!" Note further that both sides have since been forced to eat their own words in dramatic fashion.
  • Fallout: New Vegas was intentionally made to bridge the gap between the Fallout old guard and new blood, starting by bringing in one of the successor studios of the series' creator Black Isle to do the game back on the West Coast, but doing it with the updated engine and SPECIAL system from 3 and continuing to innovate in storytelling and setting lore. The result is a game that both old-school Fallout 2 purists and Fallout 3 fans agree is an excellent entry in the series.
  • House of Dark Shadows, the 1970 film based on the cult hit soap opera Dark Shadows. It was not only filmed and released while the series was still on the air, but actually retold one of the show's early story arcs, albeit with a "new" (though Word of God says this was the original plan) twist on the ending of said arc.
  • Magic: The Gathering's power-creep is pretty damn noticeable, which makes older players cringe, and the younger Yu-Gi-Oh!-influenced generation squeal; however, the bar-none best cards are still those from well over 10 years ago, and the costs of these cards, whether the originals or in special reprint sets & decks, can easily run 40 bucks for a playset (4), making "veteran" formats like Legacy a nightmare for newer players to compete in. Let's just say that Magic is "balanced" in that it manages to delight and piss off both sides equally.
  • The Mortal Kombat movie is enjoyed by fans for being a faithful adaptation, and moviegoers and critics enjoyed it for being a coherent action movie.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) requires no prior knowledge of the cartoon it's based on, nor does it require being a Brony to fully appreciate; however, it still has plenty of bonuses for the former two.
  • Later Radiohead albums try to strike this sort of balance; In Rainbows successfully, Hail to the Thief less so.
  • Serenity tries to present a self-contained story, and enough back history on the Firefly verse to be accessible to newbies, with enough nods to the series to please the hardcore fans. Ultimately, though, the amount of people who even knew what Firefly was at the time, much less get interested enough to go see it, was just a little bit low.
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut makes sense if one hasn't seen the show, while still serving as a good episode of it.
  • The J. J. Abrams Star Trek (2009) films seem, to a neutral outside observer, to be pretty balanced — perfectly comprehensible to a newbie, with enough Shout Outs to the Prime 'verse to satisfy even the most die-hard Trekkie. Indeed, the films were praised by critics and loved by fans new and old alike. Within the fandom itself, it is either a wonderful and necessary revitalization of the franchise or a travesty that has ruined Trek forever and brought a legion of godawful newbies down upon the heads of "real fans".
  • Super Robot Wars tends to have a good mix of older series and newer (at least new at the time of production) series in the non-Original Generation games. Traditionally, there will be a representative of the so-called "Holy Trinity": Mazinger, Getter Robo and Gundam, and there are many games where the original pilots of those series (i.e. Koji Kabuto for Mazinger Z, the Getter Team for Getter Robo and Amuro Ray for Gundam) would represent the "old guard". What constitutes an "old" or "new" series naturally depends on when a particular game is made: in the second ever game (made in 1992), Gundam F91 (released in 1991) was the "new" series. By Impact (released in 2002), F91 would be an 'older' series.
    • The series being split into multiple sub-series also means that different games tend to go in different directions. While the "main" games like the Alpha trilogy, the Z trilogy, and the V X T trilogy generally try to strike a balance, games like the COMPACT subseries and GC had a majority of their participating series be over a decade old at time of release, while most of the DS and 3DS entries have lineups made up of new anime (although there are exceptions).
  • 2007's Transformers Live-Action Adaptation majorly rewrites the storyline, bringing in the US military and making it easier to follow. To appeal to the older fans, Peter Cullen was brought in (this in fact being the origin of the And the Fandom Rejoiced trope under the name Casting Cullen), and several quotes from older series were thrown in.
    • The later films became less well received as time went on, for reasons ranging from Flat Character in regards to the Decepticons (they spend most of their screentime snarling and growling like animals), hitting some characters with In Name Only note , making the Transformers themselves Out of Focus in favour of the human characters note  and an apparent lack of continuity note . Up until the financial disappointment that was The Last Knight, Paramount wasn't too concerned about any Old Guard complaints because enough casual viewers and New Blood came in to make those complaints irrelevant.
    • While the live action films petered out as they went on (with Transformers: The Last Knight being a financial disappointment due to making money but not enough to recoup its monstrous budget), Bumblebee appeals to the older fans with redesigned Transformers who closer resemble the old G1 designs as well as mythology gags and fanservice, while appealing to new fans with an emphasis on the friendship between new human friend Charley and Bumblebee. Despite easily being the lowest grossing of the live action films, fan and critic review was so positive that there was talk that the Bumblebee film could serve as a soft reboot of the live action series.
  • Transformers: Animated brought a new art style to the cartoon and placed more emphasis on human supervillains to keep the Decepticons from looking ineffective, winning over a lot of converts in short order via strong writing and good use of the Mythology Gag.
  • V for Vendetta stands about in the middle here. It updates the political context and generally makes it a bit more Hollywood-esque (stronger female protagonist, more action scenes, less moral ambiguity), while keeping a lot of dialogue, visuals and themes from the comic. On the other hand, the changes to the politics and moral ambiguity make it essentially a completely different story, leading to the creator disowning it.
  • X-Men: Evolution overhauled the art style and featured a completely new set of storylines while keeping as many old characters as they could. Their main new character, Spyke, failed testing and was written out (and a version of him is even executed by Wolverine in the unrelated X3 in a cool, but one-sided fight). X23, on the other side, became popular enough with only two episodes worth of screening to be ported into the comics.
    • The original animated series also balances quite well, even keeping some of the original storylines and adapting them to the format of the show.

  • Battle for Dream Island: Fans who started watching the show before Battle for BFDI and fans who started watching after BFB tend to be at odds with each other regarding what sort of direction the writing should take. Pre-BFB fans often prefer the writing styles of Cary Huang, Michael Huang, and to a lesser extent, Sam Thornbury, for being more off the walls, unpredictable, and overall fun. Post-BFB fans, on the other hand, are more keen to Satomi Hinatsu and Pokey Soda's writing styles for giving each individual character their own development and story arcs, as well as seeing some characters and teams as more deserving of screentime than others. Pre-split BFB and the first two episodes of The Power of Two favored the New Blood, whereas post-split BFB and TPOT following the mass layoffs favor the Old Guard.
  • DC Comics: The 2010-2020 period has seen a bit of a roller coaster for this.
    • New 52: A Continuity Reboot of the DC Universe that was aimed almost exclusively at getting new readership. It dialled back on concepts like Legacy Character heroes and focused almost exclusively on heroes who were introduced in the Silver Age or in the last few years by the then-current editing and writing staff. It also erased most of their history and continuity to reset everyone to an approachable status quo (with a 'rule' in place that no continuity went back further than five years), with exceptions being made to writers who were given Protection from Editors and franchises Adored by the Network. It failed spectacularly; though it caused enough of a Newbie Boom to endear a sizeable fanbase who liked the Ultimate-style universe, it alienated the existing fanbase thanks to the Darker and Edgier writing style enforced by the editors, as well as a feeling of Running the Asylum, so much that readership quickly dropped and never recovered.
    • Subsequently, DC Rebirth did the opposite of that, attempting to bring back the fans they lost. It restored several Legacy Characters, retconned in many abandoned aspects of the old continuity, and had a Myth Arc about what happened to the universe to make it so different in the first place. Sales massively improved and fan approval with it, though resulted in a Broken Base thanks to fans of the New 52 feeling that they were being sidelined to appeal to older fans.
    • Unfortunately, Rebirth was plagued by the fact the people behind the New 52 were still in charge, and in some cases, weren't happy with how the New 52 was received. As a result, when Geoff Johns (who had kickstarted the Rebirth initiative after being promoted and regretted the New 52) stepped down from being Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment to focus on writing, it was scrapped and the problems of the New 52 resurfaced immediately, with Darker and Edgier storylines once again taking over, and Wally West, the Legacy Character at the heart of the Rebirth initiative, being put in a storyline designed to make them untouchable. Sales took a nosedive and got so bad that it likely played a major part behind the major layoffs that came during 2020. Unsurprisingly, the relaunch for 2021, DC Infinite Frontier is aimed at restoring faith in the line and doing better by the characters.
    • Outside of comics, this has been a major issue with DC's attempts at live action properties.
      • The early DC Extended Universe films under the lead of Zack Snyder suffered from this majorly as they tried to take characters like Superman in a completely different direction than had been done on film, depicting the character in a heavily deconstructed narrative that played the character as a somber, troubled, Classical Anti-Hero. Subsequently, Batman was played as an unstable Fallen Hero who has lost his way, inspired by The Dark Knight Returns, while everything/everyone else took after the aforementioned New 52. The results have been heavily mixed, as while it brought on new fans and appealed to people who dislike the MCU's approach to the genre, it has alienated a good part of the comic fandom (though Zack Snyder's Justice League later corrected that to great effect, only this time, Warner Bros. and DC Films are reportedly not willing to continue from there).
      • Similarly, CW's Arrowverse line of shows have been largely aimed at adapting the New 52-era incarnations of the characters, albeit written with the CW's demographics as the intended audience. This saw characters being Younger and Hipper and Hotter and Sexier (except for characters who were introduced as young teens, being made college-aged and re-written as younger brother figures rather than surrogate children), written with a lot of angst and romantic drama, and given a Seasonal Big Bad arc every year, not unlike how many of the CW's other famous long-lasting shows worked. While it worked to introduce newer fans to these characters, it was quickly very alienating to the comic audience, and caused a massive Fandom Rivalry between the two groups.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has been in every major media type in the world. It started on the radio, then it was a series of novels, then a TV show, a text-based adventure game, a movie, a stage play, a comic book, a towel, it's been released on LP, CD, and cassette. About the only thing there isn't is a Hitchhiker's ballet. But every single re-release is different from all the others. Invariably, of course, people start to complain about the things that were added and the things that were left out, with nobody being able to say which is the definitive version or which version is pandering to whom.
    • You can be certain that Douglas Adams himself found that fact very funny.
      • "The book is, as the title suggests, a collection of all the radio scripts, as broadcast, and it is therefore the only example of one Hitchhiker publication accurately and consistently reflecting another. I feel a little uncomfortable with this — which is why the introduction to that book was written after the final and definitive one you are now reading and, of course, flatly contradicts it." —Douglas Adams, The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, Introduction, referring to a recently published book of the complete scripts of the radio version
      • This got to the point where, when asked exactly how much material was going into the film version — would it be closer to the radio series or the books? Would it collect the whole story or just the first installment? Adams answered that the film would "directly contradict only the first book".
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Marvel's Ultimate line was an attempt to bring casual and new fans into the fold by reimagining their most popular characters and teams including Spider-Man, the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and The Avengers from the ground up. Although almost all villains and heroes are generally familiar, they all received major makeovers and had their backstories retooled and modernized. Unfortunately, as time went on, the Ultimate universe was perceived as going through an Audience-Alienating Era, with many criticizing how multiple characters underwent Adaptational Jerkass note  or even Adaptational Villainynote . A feeling of Too Bleak, Stopped Caring set in with the Ultimatum event and its aftermath (which killed off many characters in gruesome if not spiteful ways, many of them offscreen). As readership dwindled, the Ultimate universe was eventually destroyed in a Crisis Crossover, with some elements shifting over to the "main" Marvel universe.
    • The Marvel Cinematic Universe is generally seen as performing an admirable job of appealing both to New Blood and Old Guard, streamlining decades of history to make the characters appealing to newcomers while including enough nods to the source material to keep older fans happy. However, some cases (usually where major changes were applied) had divisions.
      • Iron Man, fittingly enough for the first MCU film, is a good example. It moves the events that lead to Tony Stark building the first Iron Man armor from the Far East to the Middle East (in the original comics, this was due to the Vietnam War), Obadiah Stane is a corrupt businessman who opposes Tony in his own, more powerful version of Iron Man's armor (except instead of being a business rival, he's one of Tony's own employees) and skips the many versions of Iron Man's armor he's worn over the years (from the original to the gold version to the famous "horned" helmet to the Centurion armor to the... you get the idea) to get to one of the sleeker modern versions.
      • Captain America: Civil War is likewise well regarded for adapting a divisive Crisis Crossover event into a more enjoyable story, maintaining the key clash between Iron Man's Pro-Registration and Cap's Anti-Registration sides while making it much easier to agree both sides have a point. In one of the most important deviations from the source material, Iron Man does not resort to recruiting supervillains into hunting down his own friends.
      • One of the major flies in the ointment is the characterization of Spider-Man post Civil War in both his solo films (Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home) as well as his appearances in the Avengers films Infinity War and Endgame, specifically how he is closely tied to Tony Stark. Older fans who recall Spidey as primarily being a solo hero for much of his career dislike how he is portrayed as an inexperienced youngster who looks up to Iron Man as a mentor (especially since Spider-Man was specifically imagined by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko as a teenage hero who didn't have a mentor). Newer fans feel it makes sense for someone as dirt poor as Peter Parker to happily accept mentorship and aid from the much wiser, experienced, and wealthier Tony Stark. note 
      • Even more divisive was Captain Marvel. A big part of the clash between New Blood and Old Guard in that case is that unlike every other MCU film up to that point, it was perceived that there wasn't even an attempt to pay homage to the comics. Among other things, the Skrulls were reimagined as a defeated, peaceful people trying to escape the warmongering Kree (whereas in the comics, the Skrull and Kree Empires were in a Forever War, and famously invaded Earth using Skrulls disguised as various heroes and villains). Worse, in the comics Carol Danvers was the fifth Captain Marvel, but of her predecessors, the original Captain Marvel (Captain Mar-Vell of the Kree Empire) was genderswapped and casually killed off, Monica Rambeau was reimagined as the daughter of Carol's close friend and acted as a surrogate daughter and fangirl (instead of being a contemporary and experienced hero in her own right) and both Genis-Vell and Phylla-Vell (children of Mar-Vell) don't even exist. New Bloods point out that MCU Captain Marvel isn't the comics version and so shouldn't be beholden to the comics version, and furthermore, Mar-Vell is a non-entity only notable for dying of cancer. The Old Guard point out that transforming the Skrulls into a race of peaceful downtrodden refugees removes several notable villains from the MCU (which already has a dearth of villains) and that Mar-Vell was considered a Worthy Opponent by Thanos even decades after his death, so simply flipping the MCU's version into a woman and then killing her off without even a hint of the comic version's history came off as lazy.
    • The success of the MCU is also a bit of a bone of contention, as while the Old Guard acknowledge it's a fine product and appreciate how it brought a great deal of success and recognition to the Marvel Universe, a large part of said Old Guard resent how a lot of modern Marvel media is taking and incorporating elements from the MCU. This has led to complaints that everything Marvel is making has become cookie-cutter. For example, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes began the series with a comic-accurate line-up (Hank Pym as Ant-Man, Janet Van Dyne as the Wasp, the Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man, with Captain America joining not long after the series began). Since then, big-name projects like Avengers Assemble and Marvel's Avengers (or even smaller projects like the Marvel Strike Force mobile game) use the MCU lineup of Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man.
    • The All-New, All-Different Marvel initiative of 2015 was meant to help draw in new readers by replacing many of Marvel's most iconic heroes with younger and/or more modern versions. Among others, Steve Rogers passed the shield and mantle of Captain America to longtime friend and partner Sam Wilson (aka, the Falcon), Peter Parker became the head of an international corporation and left Miles Morales to act as Spider-Man (though Peter would also put the webs back on when necessary), Wolverine was killed and his codename taken up by his Opposite-Sex Clone X-23, and Jane Foster became a new female Thor. While there was indeed an influx of new readers, many older fans were upset at such a dramatic change in the status quo. At least part of this can be explained by the fact that Marvel doesn't have as many legacy heroes as DC (e.g. while in DC there are some readers who grew up with the Barry Allen Flash, others the Wally West Flash, and others still maybe even the Jay Garrick Flash, whereas in Marvel, Steve Rogers has always been Captain America note ).
      Worse still, while there was an influx of new readers, actually retaining them after the initial gimmick wore off was a different story. Sales dropped as the new readers left, and coupled with the loss of many of the older readers, things were dire enough that in 2017, Marvel's Vice President of Sales at the time observed that based on what Marvel was hearing from retailers (e.g. comic book shops), there just didn't seem to be much of an interest in the diversity initiative. Of course, the fact that several divisive Crisis Crossover events had taken place in that period (including 2016's Civil War II and 2017's Secret Empire, the latter of which introduced the infamous Captain America-as-a-secret-Hydra-agent angle) also played into the inability to gain and retain new readers while also driving away older ones.