The Small Detail That Separates MCU Movies from the Comics They’re Based On

All Marvel Cinematic Universe fans know the movies in that franchise do not always follow the classic comic book stories to the letter. While they do take from them lightly, the films clearly have to go their own way to avoid everyone figuring out where the storyline goes next.

This distinction between Marvel Comics and the MCU is well-noted. Other things also separate them on a narrative level. Fans have recently been discussing this on social media, which seems to give an overall poke at comic books.

Defenders of Marvel’s old comic book stories came to the rescue, though, giving an explanation of how printed artwork and movies are two very different mediums.

Animated images of Captain America and Peggy Carter
Captain America and Peggy Carter | Marvel via Getty Images

The true differentiation between Marvel Comics and MCU

A Reddit user recently delved into an interesting question: Why do Marvel Comics always show the superheroes wearing their suits at all times rather than dressing casually when at home? The person noted that just about every Marvel story showed the superheroes staying costumed, even when off-duty (and when with their families).

For someone who only reads comic books casually, this might sound odd and maybe an exaggeration. When looking back at those classic Marvel stories, though, one can see they really did take things to near absurd levels. Somehow, they still managed to make it convincing thanks to compelling artwork and top-tier writing.

Seeing superheroes wearing their suits while at home, however, might look kind of silly to those who never have read a comic book. In the mind of the thread starter above, it gives major points to the MCU in showing the superheroes being in civilian clothes when with family at home. Only when it comes time to save the world do they suit up.

So where does that leave comic books in the realm of storytelling? Distinguishing between movies and comic books may need a new broad definition.

Better defining what a comic book does

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Said one Reddit user: “Comic characters chilling in their costumes on a Saturday night is a nod and a wink to how silly the comics are. It’s not meant to be realistic.” And another Reddit made an additional astute comment: “In short, comics are just something else.”

No truer statement could be made in defending what a comic book really is. Yet, are all Marvel Comics consistently at a point where they have the superheroes in their suits at all times?

In reality, not really, if going by more recent stories that sometimes do have characters in civilian clothes. This does not often happen for perhaps a good reason. When going by X-Men, as an example, they are only ever seen together when having to take on a major problem or villain.

Also, something else to think about: Not all Marvel superheroes wear a costume. A number of them do wear more casual duds while still acting as heroes by day or night. A few characters in this mold include Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and Professor X.

The costume department at the MCU made civilian clothes classy

Taking a look at how the MCU movies handle this, one can definitely say they made the civilian clothes as beautiful as the costumes. Going by costume designer Judianna Makovsky, she took extra pains to line up those civilian clothes with the attitudes of the characters, according to Vulture.

Eventually, perhaps Marvel Comics will start to evolve into looking more like the MCU, something already noticeable rather than the other way around. Hopefully they will never change too drastically because of the precedent these comic books set for being a specific art form everyone should experience.

Looking at comic books old and new from Marvel, readers can finally get answers to where the word “comic” came from to enhance the absurd without necessarily being unreadable.