After coming up with characters like Spider-Man and Batman by just looking at stuff outside their windows, comic book writers still have to fabricate an origin story. Since most of today's popular superheroes were created decades ago, no one was around to tell them their ideas were bananas. The movies leave out some of the stranger parts of superhero origin canon, maybe for good reason.  


1. The Avengers recruited Hulk out of a circus (where he was a robot clown)

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Let's say you're the Hulk. You have a child's intellect but the appetite of a large mammal (say, a space whale). So what are you to do? Loot and rob? No! Of course not. You need a job. Hulk has actually ad a few different ones over the years. He worked as a bruiser in Vegas, which makes sense, and as an agent of SHIELD, which also checks out.

But when the Avengers began -- as in, the very first issue -- Hulk was a carny.

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Yep, the Incredible Hulk was a full-fledged clown, wearing make-up and working in a circus in order to uh, blend in. Because, really, what's a better place to hide than a show that is open to all and advertises frequently?

The comic explains that the people around him aren't suspicious of the giant green-skinned clown because they think he's a "mechanical man." Like the prospect of a giant green-skinned clown is somehow less horrifying if he's also a robot. 

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Granted, the job didn't last long because, like the movie, Loki got up to no good and the team needed to be assembled.

All the movie would have to do to be comic-accurate would to change the scene where Natasha finds Banner helping the poor to Ant-Man finding Hulk in Florida, juggling various sea and land mammals. Unrelated, but is it too early to do a remake of Avengers?

2. Jessica Jones was a Full Fledged Superhero (With Cheesy Name & Costume)

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In the comics and the Netflix show, Jessica Jones is known as the hard-biting, gritty, noir pseudo-hero. TV Jessica in particular would be the first one to make fun of capes and the dinguses who wear them. But in the comics, Jessica's past involved a brief stint as the costumed hero, Jewel.

This is kind of referenced in the show. In a flashback, Patsy Walker holds up a costume that is an identical match to the Jewel costume. True to form, TV Jessica calls Jewel a "stripper name" and says that "If I wear that, you'll have to call me Camel Toe."

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If she looks like a good-hearted, normal superhero, that's because she was. No drinking, no hardships. Though Jewel comics were never published and we only have hints about this past life, from what little information we have, it was just fun times in tights. And flying.  

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All of that changed when she ran into the Purple Man. You know what happened there. The comics flashbacks play out more or less the same as the TV show, but Jessica's wearing the Jewel costume in all those scenes.

Jessica would try out the superhero thing one more time, adopting the dark and edgy moniker of Knightress. It lasted about a week before she revealed her identity so she could look after some displaced kids. On the bright side, that's when she met Luke Cage and Iron Fist. 

Bizarre Superhero Origins the Movies Don't Tell You

These days, she's the Jessica Jones we all know and love and fear. A leather jacket suits her much better than spandex.


3. Peter Parker was a famous TV personality

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After eighteen movies and approximately thirty-seven cartoons, Spider-Man's origins have been successfully drilled into our heads. Bit by a radioactive spider, gets superpowers, tries to make money, doesn't stop a thief, Uncle Ben dies -- look, see, you're already drowsing off. But here's the thing, originally? The perpetually cash-strapped Peter Parker actually succeeds in making money.

The movies memorably included Peter Parker's brief wrestling gigs, but they skip the days and weeks when the fully-formed Spider-Man became a big-name act. Not only did he headline sold-out shows, but Spider-Man's name was in papers everywhere nowhere near the word "menace." Of course, once Uncle Ben dies from an acute case of Great Responsibility, Spidey turns into the web-slinging vigilante we're familiar with. But for a time, he was just another celebrity with a gimmick.

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Gosh, it's no surprise J. Jonah Jameson hates him. It'd be like if Steven Seagal became a cop or -- wait, no. It'd be like if Harry Houdini became a spy or... no, that happened too. All right, it'd be like a reality host becoming Pres -- Never mind.


4. Thor Was a Doctor, Sort Of

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Most superheroes origins are "random dude got into an accident and now he can fly" but Thor is a literal god. You wouldn't think that someone whose story comes from Norse Mythology could have your run-of-the-mill "random dude finds X and gets powers" origin story. But that's exactly how Thor started. 

It all starts with Donald Blake, a doctor who happened to have a limp. Upon seeing aliens invading, as you do, Dr. Blake, took refuge in a cave where he found a stick. Upon hitting the ground, the stick turned into Mjolnir and transformed its holder into Thor. If you're a child of the 80s, you might now be realizing where He-Man got his schtick from.

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In the Thor movie this gets a tease when Jane Foster says that Thor is actually delusional and shows a fake ID claiming he's Donald Blake. But that movie makes it clear that he's actually a god. Or at least, part of an advanced alien race that may as well be gods. 

It's explained that Thor was shoved into Donald Blake's body as a lesson in humility by Odin, but because this is comic books we're talking about, that tidbit was retconned. Now the official story is that Thor was actually always Donald Blake but his dad gave him magical amnesia and took away his powers for his hubris, except then Donald Blake showed up as a real person and then... the comics just shrugged and moved on.

These days, Thor's a girl so we can all ignore Donald Blake forever. Amen.

5. TMNT and Daredevil Started the Same Way

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All right, we all love the Heroes in a Halfshell, but the turtles' original black and white adventures started out violent as hell. The quirky quartet were supposed to be a satire of grim n' gritty superhero comics like Frank  Miller's Daredevil series, but as you've probably figured out, they didn't stay that way. As it happens, reptiles who practice martial arts are -- let's check the chart -- objectively real freaking cool and soon the earnest Saturday morning cartoon became more recognized than the inital dark parody. 

With endless movies and toys in the mix, a lot of folks missed that the Ninja Turtles were born as an unofficial crossover with Daredevil. See, like so many superheroes, Matt Murdock gained his powers from a run-in with some toxic material. After saving someone's life, Matt was rewarded with permanent blindness and superhuman senses.

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The original comics doesn't show the cannister that hits young Matt in the face and changes his life because hey, a radioactive fluid that turns people into superhumans? Who cares about that?

But according to TMNT canon, that cannister spilled into the sewer and mutated some sewer reptiles that grew up to become spunky pizza-loving heroes. Really. The Ninja Turtles origin literally shows a kid getting hit in the head with mutagen after saving someone from getting hit by a truck. 

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Since TMNT fills in the gaps that Daredevil never did, we have no choice but to accept this as canon. Hopefully we can expect a Netflix crossover sometime soon.