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The MCU Scenes You Didn't Know Came Straight From The Comics

So many of our biggest movies these days originated in comic books. Particularly since Iron Man kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008, the world of action blockbusters has largely revolved around superheroes, with Marvel's crop generally proving the most popular. Of course, cinema is a very different medium than comics, and many of the stories and characters are changed considerably to make them work in a live-action format. For example, Thor can wear a winged helmet all the time in comics, but he'd look pretty silly flying around Manhattan like that in a movie, so he only wears the helmet briefly in Asgard, and then goes without it for most of his adventures. He even gets a completely redesigned helmet in Thor: Ragnarok, but he doesn't wear that one for long either.

One thing that makes the MCU fun for comics fans, however, is that the filmmakers respect their world's comic book origins, and frequently include little moments and visual nods that call back directly to the source material. One of the first examples is in Iron Man, when the villainous Iron Monger first takes flight in his armor, which looks a whole lot like a panel of the character from Iron Man #200.

Meta Marvel moments for comic book fans

Marvel recently released a YouTube video highlighting some of these moments from Phase 1 of the MCU, pairing clips from those first five movies (The Incredible Hulk is not included since it's partly owned by Universal) with the panels or covers where the imagery originated. The aforementioned Iron Monger takeoff is there, as is an iconic Iron Man landing and an early meeting between Tony Stark and Nick Fury that comes straight from The Ultimates. We also see Loki sitting on the throne of Asgard (just like he first did in Journey Into Mystery #104) and a Thor-versus-Hulk fight from The Avengers that looks very much like one from Incredible Hulk #284

Probably the best moments in the video are the ones from Captain America: The First Avenger. The cover of Captain America #1 from 1941 featured the hero punching Hitler in the face, and while the real Hitler doesn't appear in the movie, Cap gets to deliver similar punch to a performer dressed as Hitler as part of his USO stage show. Steve Rogers' transformation into a super soldier is also noted as similar to the comics version, and there's even a shot from the end of the movie of Steve Rogers thawing out after being frozen in ice that looks just like a panel from Avengers #4.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe's enduringly cool visuals

The coolest image in the whole video, also from Captain America: The First Avenger, is of the Red Skull holding the Tesseract, which is illuminating his creepy face in blue light. As Marvel Comics fans know, the Tesseract is visually based on a more powerful object called the Cosmic Cube. The Red Skull has sought and wielded the Cosmic Cube in a number of stories, but this specific image comes directly from Captain America #115. The Red Skull's face is very different (it's a mask in the comics and his real appearance in the movie), but the eerie blue light and the terrifying sense of power in the hands of a monstrous villain are the same. Images like this remind us that despite the differences between comics and movies, comics are as good at creating striking images as they are at establishing characters, and both are worth adapting to the big screen when possible.