Why Origin Stories for Comic Book Movies are Such a Problem

The origin story for any hero or villain is something that used to be pretty ironclad back when a lot of characters were first created. But throughout the years, for quite some time, in fact, the origin stories of many characters have ended up changing now and again to accommodate several varying factors that have come into play. The MCU and DC are great examples since both have seen a few of their major characters change in terms of the origin stories they’ve been given. Several have stayed the same, with minor changes here and there to keep the origins updated and able to fit into the current era, but some have changed drastically for one or more reasons. This has happened in the comics as well since many characters have been retconned, as have their entire stories, which is often done in order to bring the characters up to speed so that they can be accepted by the new fans and the old fans alike. Plus, as the years pass and the characters don’t age that often, one has to assume that retconning is going to keep happening so long as the fans want to see these characters. 

Think about it this way, there are only so many characters that can go year after year without aging that often. Immortals, characters that have accelerated healing factors that stop them from aging as quickly, and obviously many celestial and infernal characters are often beyond the ravages of time. But the other characters that don’t have this benefit are going to grow old and die if the comics follow the natural cycle of life. Many of those in the MCU and DC universes would have keeled over by now, or at the very least would be out of action due to age, no matter how well they took care of themselves. The origin stories of many characters have had to change as their tales have been retconned more than once and need to be given an extra kick here or there to make them work. In the movies, however, this can be a problem. 

People have gradually started to get over this in a lot of ways since the origins of some characters have changed quite a bit, even if they’ve kept the core elements that made one origin or another so great. But the fact is that an origin story can take a long time to develop, meaning that it might require more than one movie or a TV series that might drag on a little too much. That’s one reason why origin stories in comic book movies have been changed or eliminated completely. In the most current Spider-Man movies, the web-slinger’s origin has been omitted as the movies have focused on his exploits instead. Thor’s origin is a point of contention with many people since the comic book version is far different than the actual Norse legend he was derived from. Hawkeye’s origin isn’t exactly that well-known in the MCU, but it’s kind of easy to assume that while he might have been a bad guy, it’s also easier to assume that he was a soldier since he showed up as a SHIELD agent to start with. 

Batman’s origin story has changed a couple of times since in the 1989 movie it was the man who would eventually become the Joker that killed his parents, not Joe Chill, as it happened in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. Even Superman’s origin story changed a bit because it had to. The point is that the origin story for a hero or a villain will generally change due to the wishes of the director, the producer, the writer, anyone that has some type of input that can make such changes. Is it a bad thing? Not always, no. But it can irritate a lot of fans that happen to like the origin story that they know, which is a trifling thing really since the fans don’t make the movies, though they can make or break the movie’s reputation. All in all, an origin story in a comic book movie can be an issue if it’s not well-developed and made with many familiar moments that people can recognize and enjoy. 

Wolverine is one character whose origin story is truly irritating at times even though it’s also impressive since he has so much history behind him that things tend to get muddled every now and then and one has to remember that he’s been around for a while. Other characters have had their origins tampered with, while others have had them erased almost entirely either because they’re not a main character, or for other reasons that aren’t always disclosed. The point of an origin story is to tell how a character came to be who they are, but there are times when it’s easier to accept who they are at the moment without needing to dive into the past that much. 

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