The following is an overview of the storylines from the pages of Marvel Comics to be adapted in live-action films.

Born Again[]

Main article: Daredevil: Born Again

A sequel to the Daredevil film is in development, and is expected to use the Daredevil: Born Again storyline. Director Mark Steven Johnson showed interest in returning to direct with the Born Again storyline. Michael Clarke Duncan stated strong interest in reprising his role as the Kingpin. Johnson stated that villains Mr. Fear or The Owl are strong possibilities to appear for the sequel.[1]

The Dark Phoenix Saga[]

Main articles: The Dark Phoenix Saga and Phoenix Force (comics)

It was alluded to in the movie X2: X-Men United. A third movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, released in 2006, contains further elements from the saga.

  • Famke Janssen plays Jean Grey in three movies, beginning with X-Men. During the film, Jean uses Cerebro for the first time, which causes strain on her mind and abilities. Later, she is affected by Magneto's machine which enhances the mutant gene in humans.
  • In the second film, X2: X-Men United, Jean Grey's powers have been evolving since the Liberty Island incident in the first movie. As Jean Grey uses her powers, a fiery aura appears in her eyes. In the climax of the movie, she is engulfed in a fiery aura as she holds back a tsunami of water from a burst dam to save the other X-Men. In the final scene, a giant flying fiery bird can be seen reflected in the water.
  • In the third X-Men movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, Jean "becomes" Phoenix. Jean is the only known class five mutant. At a young age, Xavier locked some of Jean's powers away as she could not control her near-infinite abilities. This causes a split in Jean's psyche—between Jean Grey and the Phoenix (what her split-personality calls itself)—and drives her to insanity. During the movie, Jean and Phoenix battle for dominance. Jean tells Wolverine she thinks she killed Scott, although this is never confirmed. Phoenix destroys Xavier and joins Magneto. Jean/Phoenix abstains from a battle on Alcatraz until the military reinforcements show up and try to shoot her; Phoenix then gains full control and demolishes the island, ripping it and everything on it apart on the molecular level. Wolverine climbs his way to Jean's side while his flesh is peeled from his Adamantium covered bones, his healing factor being the only thing keeping him alive. He calls to Jean, but there is only the Phoenix and it does not understand his actions. Logan tells Jean that he would die for her and that he loves her. His heartfelt words pull Jean to the fore; she asks him to save her. He stabs her with his claws, killing her and ending the destruction. Jean's tombstone lies on the X-Mansion ground, besides the markers of Scott and Xavier. Although in X2: X-Men United Jean demonstrates pyrokinetic powers similar to the comic book Phoenix's, such as her fiery aura and the iconic Phoenix raptor, these powers are totally disregarded in X-Men: The Last Stand for completely different powers such as dominance on a molecular level. And despite the fact that the movie draws on the Phoenix storylines of the comics Jean is never once referred to, either by herself or by others, as the Phoenix, let alone the Dark Phoenix. The only time the word Phoenix is ever stated in the film is when Xavier informs Logan that Phoenix was an alter-ego persona Jean had in their sessions but never does he, Jean, the X-Men, or even Magneto's team of Omegas, refer to her by such a title as if it were her name, contrary to the comic book.

Demon in a Bottle[]

Main article: Demon in a Bottle

Jon Favreau, director of the 2008 Iron Man film, said: "Stark has issues with booze. That's part of who he is."[2] Favreau said that elements of the story would be used in future Iron Man sequels: "I don't think we'll ever do the Leaving Las Vegas version, but it will be dealt with."[2]


Main article: Extremis (comics)

The origin and armor of Iron Man used in the 2008 film Iron Man closely resemble those introduced in "Extremis." Based on his work on "Extremis," artist Adi Granov was brought on as a producer for the film,[3] and he created the final designs for Iron Man's armor.[4] On the DVD of Iron Man, "Extremis and Beyond" is included as a special feature.[5] In other featurettes, Adi Granov and Warren Ellis were interviewed on the origin, the suits, John Pillinger (the interviewer), and the suit being on a crate, not a briefcase.

The Galactus Trilogy[]

Main article: The Galactus Trilogy

"The Galactus Trilogy" served as a primary inspiration for the 2007 film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.


Main article: Astonishing_X-Men#.22Gifted.22_.28Issues_1-6.29

The "mutant cure" plot was base of the X-Men: The Last Stand movie plot.

God Loves, Man Kills[]

Main article: X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills

Several elements of the novel's plot — most notably the name of the villain, William Stryker; the fact that the X-Men team-up with Magneto, their arch-rival; the kidnapping of Professor X and some of his X-Men; and the use of Professor X to mentally kill all the mutants on earth — were used in the second X-Men film, X2.[6]

There are also differences in the storyline, however. Some of the main differences are:

  • William Stryker in the movie is a military scientist rather than a minister. The comic's Stryker was once involved in the military at one point in his life, but left that to become a preacher long before the events of the novel.
  • Both versions of Stryker have a mutant child, though in the novel, the child had already died prior to the events of the novel. In the movie, his child is still alive.
  • In the film, Stryker is responsible for Wolverine receiving his adamantium bones and claws; in the comic, they had never met prior to the events of the novel.
  • In the novel, Stryker and his men are able to kidnap Professor X, Cyclops, and Storm. In the movie, only the first two are kidnapped.

Guardian Devil[]

Main article: Guardian Devil

When the look of the Daredevil film was being decided, director Mark Steven Johnson opted to use direct scenes from the Daredevil comics. Joe Quesada's artistic take in Guardian Devil was an influence on the film, with Johnson noting that they would "literally take out a scene from the comic book that Joe did […] Here's Daredevil on the cross, you know, it's that scene from 'Guardian Devil'. You just shoot that."[7]

The Night Gwen Stacy Died[]

Main article: The Night Gwen Stacy Died

Spider-Man: In the film, Spider-Man's webs are often much more elastic, like a bungee cord, behaving like a shock absorber. Mary Jane Watson (assuming the "role" of Gwen Stacy) is thrown off the Queensboro Bridge by the Green Goblin. The situation is especially tricky, as the Goblin also sends a cable car loaded with passengers falling to the ground at the same time. Spider-Man manages to save both by first catching Mary Jane in his arms, and then catching hold of the car's cable, before webbing the bridge to anchor himself. Also, Spider-Man then follows the Green Goblin, aka Norman Osborn, to an abandoned building on Roosevelt Island when he then fights him (unlike in the comic where he fights the Goblin before he throws Gwen off the bridge). This fight ends in much the same way as the original, with Goblin accidentally impaling himself with his glider.


Main article: Origin (comics)

Wolverine's origin is shown in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the fourth film in the X-Men film series (which, in the beginning of the film, is based strongly on the Origin comics), along with his and Victor Creed/Sabretooth's role on the two world wars, Weapon X, Team X and turning on each other. The film adds Creed in the Origin storyline, as Howlett's brother and fellow soldier. It also directly links Thomas Logan and Wolverine when Thomas states with his dying breath that he is Wolverine's real father.

The cast of the characters from the Origins comics are:

  • Peter O'Brien as John Howlett
  • Alice Parkinson as Elizabeth Howlett
  • Aaron Jeffery as Thomas Logan
  • Troye Sivan as Young James Howlett / Wolverine
  • Michael James-Olsen as Young Victor Creed (Sabretooth)
  • Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine/James Howlett

Spider-Man No More![]

Main article: Spider-Man No More!

"Spider-Man No More!" was used as the main inspiration for the 2004 film Spider-Man 2.[8]

Tomb of Dracula[]

Main article: Tomb of Dracula

Blade, a character introduced in The Tomb of Dracula, has been featured in a series of three films: Blade (1998), Blade II (2002), and Blade: Trinity (2004). Other Tomb of Dracula characters, Deacon Frost and Hannibal King, have been featured in these films (Frost in Blade, King in Blade: Trinity), albeit in heavily revised forms. A reference to the Tomb of Dracula series is made in Blade: Trinity when King shows an issue of the comic to Blade.

Dracula himself does not appear in the series until Blade: Trinity, in which he goes by the name of "Drake" and features an origin and powers that differ from the comics. He is played in the film by Dominic Purcell. Given Drake's age and origin, he, more than any other vampire that followed, can harness a much greater and more dynamic range of abilities. He possesses superhuman strength, much greater than that of Blade, as well as incredible speed. Like those he sired, he is capable of leaping great distances and seems to be knowledgeable of sword fighting techniques, even rivaling Blade himself. Drake's true power, however, is derived from his origin as the first of his species. The manipulation of energies which lead to his first resurrection left Drake with two forms: human and a demonic alter ego. In this form, Drake is much stronger, resilient to all forms of damage and much taller than his human form. He also possesses very keen senses, allowing him, for example, to catch an arrow in mid-air.

Weapon X[]

Main article: Weapon X
  • In the X-Men film franchise, consisting of 2000's X-Men, 2003's X2: X-Men United, and 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, Wolverine is an amnesiac searching for clues to his past, which definitely includes participation in a paramilitary program that bonded adamantium to his skeleton, although the program was not named, nor was the program's country of affiliation mentioned. He also encounters Lady Deathstrike, who has been put through an identical procedure.
  • X2 introduced Colonel William Stryker, a military scientist who invented the adamantium bonding process and has performed other experiments on mutants, such as developing a mind-controlling drug used on Lady Deathstrike, Magneto, Nightcrawler, and Cyclops. The Marvel Universe version of Stryker has no affiliation with Weapon X. In fact, Stryker is a reverend in the God Loves, Man Kills graphic novel upon which X2 is loosely based.
  • After the success of the three X-Men films, the studio produced a spin-off film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This film explains and expands on the origins of Logan/Wolverine, including his time at the Weapon X facility. It explains that Weapon X is the tenth weapon created by the lab. Each weapon is a living mutant enhanced by technological means. Weapon X (Wolverine) is given adamantium bones to increase his durability, and razor-sharp metal claws to increase his offensive potential. Weapon XI is Deadpool, possessing powers extracted from several mutants-- a healing factor, improved speed, strength, agility, and aim, the power to communicate via computer, teleportation, and destructive eye-beams, as well as adamantium blades in his arms.

Welcome Back Frank[]

Main article: The Punisher (2000 series)

The series is notable for creating several characters that were later used in the 2004 film adaptation of the character: Frank Castle's neighbors (Joan the Mouse, Spacker Dave and Mister Bumpo), and two hitmen sent after him (Harry Heck and the Russian). The movie retells this storyline, with only minor alterations, such as the lack of Joan's shyness and the events happening in Tampa.


  1. Daniel Robert Epstein. "Mark Steven Johnson, director of Daredevil (Fox)". UGO. Accessed May 1, 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Director Jon Favreau Talks Iron Man 2, Avengers" Michael Doran, Newsarama, October 1, 2008
  3. Iron Man: This One was Mine
  4. Forging Iron: Adi Granov talks Iron Man, Newsarama, September 11, 2007
  5. Iron Man Looks Like a Badass on his DVD Cover, Too
  6. Scott Brown (2003-05-09). "The NeXt Level". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  7. Rob Worley (August 7, 2002). "Daredevil". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  8. BBC - Movies - review - Spider-Man 2 DVD (2004)