This week, Marvel Comics big event comic, “Axis”, changed a long-term point of Marvel continuity, seemingly in order to bring the universe in line with the movie world of The Avengers.  (I won’t spoil it here, but I will say that it is a long-held piece of Avengers lore.)  While it’s clear that the movies have a MUCH larger and broader audience, comics fans have voice loud irritations over the change, which was itself a retconned storyline back in the 1980s.  For my part, I have a similar problem when the Johnny Blaze version of Ghost Rider is given the chain and penance stare of the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider, simply because those powers were part of the film version of the character, rather than Johnny’s abilities during his original tenure.  It’s somewhat disconcerting to have spinoff material rewrite the fabric of the source media, which leads us to today’s query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) only really hates it when it invalidates an entire other character, such as Mockingbird’s debut in ‘Agents of SHIELD’, asking: Does it bother you when obvious changes are made to bring comics in line with TV/movie continuity?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. It only bothers me if change feels tacky or is handled otherwise poorly. they need to handle things like this straightforward and not some silly storyline erasing all the past, insulting history and readers intelligence on the same go.

  2. Once again, I’ll say it depends. In and of itself, the idea of changing a comic to fit another medium continuity isn’t bad. If they bring it about organically, rather than trying to hastily tack it on or retcon, then I’m usually okay with it. It is when they try to tack stuff on or retcon in a way that doesn’t feel right for the character/title/etc that I get annoyed.

    There are exceptions, but for the most part as long as they handle it in a way that feels fitting, then I’ll give it a chance.

  3. Ghost Rider specifically was very much in flow during pretty much his whole run. And he is a supernatural character. It makes sense that his powers may fluctuate with little in the way of an explanation or justification.

  4. I think a couple of the most obvious occasions were in novels. The movie 2001 was rather simplified for the viewer’s taste, and for some reason the destination was changed from Saturn (in the novel) to Jupiter (in the movie). When Arthur C. Clarke wrote the follow-up 2010, 2065, 3010, etc., he chose to follow the movie continuity. This did not bother me. On the other hand, I am grateful that The Incredible Hulk comic did NOT change its continuity to the TV show, and change Bruce Banner’s name to “David” – WTF was up with that? And I am amused whenever a Batman movie comes out and the comic changes the Batmobile to something similar to what was used in the movie (though in my personal opinion, nothing that has come since even approaches the Lincoln Futura Batmobile for just plain cool) and the sad fact is that most comic book artists fail miserably at drawing whichever Batmobile they are trying to imitate. In fact, Herge, of Tintin fame, was about the only artist in comics who has ever been able to draw vehicles worth a darned. Since I don’t read Avengers comics or Ghost Rider, the changes you refer to in those comics don’t annoy me – but if, for example, they had Toby Maguired Peter Parker and had him shoot webbing out of his wrists, that would have annoyed me, and if they had changed the comics to be in line with the Andrew Garfield movie where Parker stole the web fluid from Oscorp Labs instead of inventing the webshooters and formulating the fluid himself, like in the original comics, that would have annoyed me also, because I care about SpiderMan, being a long time fan of the comic.

    • I’m not sure if this is true or just urban legend, but what I’ve seen behind the name change from Bruce Banner to David Bruce Banner was that some TV execs thought that “Bruce” sounded feminine. I really don’t see it.

      And they actually did give Spidey organic webs for a short while, which really bothered me, but it was thankfully retconned back to normal not long after that. Personally, I think the fact Peter created the web shooters himself is an important aspect of the origin of Spidey.

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