‘Iron Man’: People Originally Thought JARVIS Would Be Human in the MCU

When Iron Man came out in 2008, it was the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and fans were thrilled.

But for those who were fans of the original comic book version of Iron Man, they couldn’t help noticing some things had been changed. For example, Tony Stark keeps his identity as Iron Man a secret in the comics, while he famously reveals it during a press conference at the end of the first movie.

One of the differences between the two franchises that some found jarring was how Jarvis was portrayed in the movies. It seems that fans were expecting something different. 

Who was the original JARVIS?

James D'Arcy
James D’Arcy | Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Fans who know the Marvel Comics‘ backstory for Tony Stark are familiar with Edwin Jarvis. He worked for Howard and Maria Stark, Tony’s parents, as a butler. After Howard and Maria died, he stayed on working at the mansion. 

In the comic book version of Jarvis’ story, he was still caring for the mansion when Tony (now Iron Man), donated the building to serve as the headquarters for the Avengers. True to his past service, Jarvis continued to care for the home’s new residents. He became a steadying presence for the members of the team, even serving as a father figure of sorts for some of the younger members. 

With that history, fans were surprised when Jarvis showed up in the MCU, and this time he was only a disembodied voice. 

People expected JARVIS to be human


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When Iron Man debuted in 2008, it was clear that Tony Stark still relied on Jarvis’ help. Only this time, he was named J.A.R.V.I.S., for Just A Rather Very Intelligent System.

Screen Rant explains that he was an AI interface that answered Tony’s question in a calm, British accent. 

According to CBR, fans who were familiar with the original story were taken aback. Where was the helpful butler they knew? The original Jarvis was actually represented in the new computer character, though. Tony in the MCU named his digital assistant after his old butler, a nod to the comic book version that brought Jarvis into the world of the Avengers

Of course, J.A.R.V.I.S. would go on to gain a physical form in the MCU, when his code was uploaded into an android body, creating a new superhero named Vision. If that’s not enough for fans of the original Jarvis, there are a couple of places to see him onscreen. 

Jarvis does appear as a human in two places

After Captain America was released in 2011, the TV network ABC wanted to expand on the life of a character who was introduced in the movie. They developed a series, called Agent Carter, to tell the story of Peggy Carter, a secret agent working in the US after the second world war.

In the series, Carter works with Howard Stark, and through that connection, she gets to know his butler, Jarvis. For the two seasons that the show was on the air, Jarvis was often shown sharing adventures with Carter.  

Jarvis also appeared once in the MCU. In Avengers: Endgame, Tony Stark travels back in time. While he’s there, he sees his father. Attentive viewers noticed that the elder Stark’s driver was none other than Jarvis, the loyal butler. 

Devoted fans of the comic book Marvel universe have had to adjust some details to enjoy the MCU. For some Marvel fans, the differences are a little hard to accept. But at least people who miss having the original, human version of Jarvis around can see him in a few places. For Jarvis fans, it’s better than nothing.