by Brett White
Not to knock the source material, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe has accomplished the unthinkable. They've created versions of characters previously deemed too complicated or unfamiliar and made them connect with audiences in a big way. Iron Man became an A-List hero after spending decades in Spider-Man's shadow. Thor, a riff on Norse mythology tied to an impenetrable and retconned to death origin, was turned into a charismatic warrior with a surprising knack for comedy. "Marvel's the Avengers" was the franchise's crowning achievement, proving that the Hulk can be done right outside of comics in addition to creating what could go down as one of the best Avengers stories told in any medium.
With all of the success the Marvel films have had, it's no wonder the comic books have slowly started incorporating these changes, either as a reaction to or in anticipation of their big screen counterparts. Marvel Comics followed up a post-credits cameo by galactic bad guy Thanos in "Marvel's the Avengers" with two Thanos-led mini-series. Here are five more examples of Marvel's attempt to make their films and comics more simpatico.
Nick Fury Jr. and "Cheese" Coulson
Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg act as the glue holding the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe together. Initially, both of those characters had no counterparts in the main Marvel universe. The film version of Nick Fury was based on a parallel universe's iteration of the character, who rose to prominence in Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's series "The Ultimates." The character's look was modeled after Jackson, so the casting worked out quite well there. As for Agent Phil Coulson, he was first seen in "Iron Man" as a generic S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
Fast forward to 2012 and the average person aware of the Marvel movies thinks Nick Fury looks like Samuel L. Jackson and considers Agent Coulson to be a top agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Thus the mini-series "Battle Scars" was born, which introduced Marcus Johnson (a.k.a. Nick Fury Jr.) in its first issue and Agent Phil "Cheese" Coulson in its sixth and final issue. The duo currently star alongside Hawkeye and Black Widow in the series "Secret Avengers."