Why does AoS keep using comic characters under different names?

Discussion in 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' started by SirStrangefolk, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. SirStrangefolk

    SirStrangefolk Champion of Life

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    It has happened numerous times now that a superpowered character on this show either could easily be replaced by a minor character from the comics, or even that it is clearly an existing comicbook character with a different name.

    The first occurence of this would be Scorch being called Chan Ho Yin, instead of Tommy Ng. Now when this happened I didn't mind. I didn't know about or care for Tommy Ng, it was a minor character, it's the first time this happened and they called him Scorch anyway.

    The first time it kind of bothered me was in the second half of season 2 with the first appearances of the inhumans. Quake is from the comics of course, but the rest of them were pretty much all original characters.

    First there is a blind inhuman who can teleport and whose job it is to find new inhumans and take them to the inhuman city, in the form of Gordon. At the time many people speculated he would be Reader, because he also fits that description and they pretty much look the same, but no, he's an original.

    Then there was Raina, who became covered in spikes/thorns, gained some minor psychic-related abilities and became an advisor/servant to the female ruler of the inhuman city. In the comics there is Elejea, who is covered in spikes/thorns, has some minor psychic-related abilities and became an advisor/servant to the queen Medusa of the Atillan.

    They also had a red-headed woman with Multiple Man's powers in Alisha, of which there also one in the comics called Cath

    And then there's Lincoln. Now, there are a bunch of characters with electrokinesis, so let's look at some more specific characteristics. So he needs to be attractive, since he's Daisy's love interest, he used to be an alcoholic which led to his downfall but turned his life around and started helping others cope with their powers, etc. Well guess what, there exists a character with all those characteristics as well. They call him Anthem.

    Later that season one of the characters was a crazy woman with razorblades attached to her fingers, called Karla Faye Gideon. Now that name is from the comics, except it belongs to a minor character in a single arc of Daredevil who has nothing in common with the character beyond being a woman. And that while Marvel has their own crazy woman with razorblade fingers, namely the member of the Sisters of Sin called Sister Agony (AKA Slash)

    Some of these are clearly not coincidental. For example, there is no way they came up with a story about little girl living in the middle east who has telepathic mind control powers and is trying to get a large group of people under her control while hiding that she's the one with powers by using someone close to her as a mindcontrolled figurehead (as they did for Katya Belyakov), and they never looked at the Incredible Hulk book featuring Gretta Rabin.

    Joey, as a guy with melting powers who struggled with being a hero and has caused accidents with his powers, but could later even melt bullets in midair (and his choice in jackets), could seemlessly be replaced by Christopher Colchiss.

    And now with the last episode we have who might be the worst offender. Shockley has the exact powerset of Nitro, who is not as minor a character as many of the others here, being a living bomb, with specific mention of the gaseous state, reconstitution and the high frequency pulse he emits.


    So my question is: Why do the people working on AoS do this? Are these all coincidences? Do they all have rights issues? Won't Marvel Studios let them use characters even as minor as this? Are they creating their own characters because they don't want people guessing the plot based on character names?

    I know it's not that big a deal, but it just rubs me the wrong way for some reason, because it doesn't have to be like this.

    Do you agree? Any other characters that would fall under this?
     
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  2. Zarex

    Zarex Well-Known Member

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    It rubs me the wrong way as well, but there is some sound reasoning behind the use of "Off Brand" characters. The well received Ghost "Driver" would probably fall into this category as well. The X-Men franchise ran into major continuity issues by dumping every named mutant into films like XM:TLS and XMO:W, and then breaking continuity to make them available for future films. It makes sense for Marvel, already working with one hand tied behind their backs due to the FOX deals, to keep as many prominent characters as possible available for the big screen.

    Graviton and the Absorbing Man looked good in their few appearances but probably should have been saved for the big screen. Unless the character is going to have an extended arc, such as Jeffrey Mace, it makes sense to use off-brand characters for limited appearances. And most folks watching the show don't care that the character's surname doesn't line up with those of his comicbook counterpart. Misdirection played a role with renaming Deathlok and Quake, but those are the only ones I can think of.

    There's probably some push and pull involved between Feige and Loeb as well - "You can use Nitro's powerset, but we may need the comic book version down the road". "You can use Ghost Rider, but not the original motorcycle riding version." "Feel free to use the Secret Warriors".

    Hopefully many more prominent characters will be freed up with next year's Inhumans show.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  3. General Mike

    General Mike EXTERMINATE!

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    "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

    It's probably more so that I'm not a big comic book person so I don't have the deep knowledge of who all these people's counterparts are. I do think getting Absorbing Man on AoS was cool though as you need a few name people to balance things out. As far as Absorbing Man or Graviton being handled better on the big screen, maybe, but I didn't think they did a particularly good job with Strucker or Crossbones, even Zemo.
     
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  4. Guard82

    Guard82 Well-Known Member

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    I think it's because with many of these characters, the writers are using composites -- combining elements of multiple characters from the comics into one character for the show. For example, with the Inhuman named Gordon, they clearly borrowed elements from both the Reader (his blindness and his enhanced senses) and from the Inhuman dog Lockjaw (his teleportation power). It's just the writers' way of being creative and borrowing various elements from the source material. It doesn't bother me as long as it works within the context of the story they're telling.
     
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  5. scarlet-witch

    scarlet-witch Heart of Fire

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    It probably helps limit expectations too. If you use the name of a comic character, fans will assume the show one will be exactly like it. If they're only adapting elements, then a name change works in their favor because they're not letting a portion of their fanbase down.
     
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  6. jaqua99

    jaqua99 ....I need a horse!

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    Because the show tries its best to be an action drama, when it's based on comic characters. In my opinion, the show struggles with identity/character identity and as a result, I just don't think it's good anymore. I watch it to keep up with MCU material, but I think it's gotten consistently worse.

    May and Coulson are the only consistant characters at this point. I find everyone else to be forced badasses.

    I cant wait for the inhumans show to come out. A marvel universe with Avengers, Thanos, and soooo many characters exists where Daisy and the director of shield are the "most famous inhumans in the world" just doesn't feel right.

    When I think of inhumans, I think of the royal family. Cant wait for the show
     
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    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  7. SPO2 Dalisay

    SPO2 Dalisay Vigilante

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    I think this is what happened. ABC, Hulu, Netflix and FreeForm where likely allocated their exclusive sets of characters. But it seems to restrictive at times. Even if Disney put out 12 movies a year would we have gotten MODOK with a giant head?
     
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  8. Mike Murdock

    Mike Murdock Well-Known Member

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    Gordon is an original character. His similarities to Reader were superficial at best. Reader isn't missing eyes, he's just blind. Raina is an original character. In Raina's case, it would absolutely spoil her change if she went by the name Eleja (either way, I'm not sure I agree with either her name or powers being the same). Most of the complaints here are that these characters have the same powers as comics characters.

    The only ones that fit the bill are Graviton and maybe Scorch (and I somewhat suspect the latter is just a coincidence). I would have loved to see them not use Karla Gideon as a character with razor blades on her fingers as that's a very odd departure from the comics character (the fact that there is a comics character reinforces this, but I would have been fine with an original character). As others have said, they use original characters because they're saving characters for other films or TV shows or, in some cases, likely don't have the rights to those characters (the mutant member of the Hand named The Gorgon is probably a Wolverine villain, so they went with a brand new Inhuman character with a very similar power as a member of Hydra).
     
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  9. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    Don't forget about Ward being Hive.
     
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  10. eon001

    eon001 Well-Known Member

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    I'll also add to your list.
    *The Superior being some kind of poor mans homage to MODAK (That's a reach, but some fans won't let that go)
    *The *****ty excuse for alpha primitives
    *The Australian Inhuman was another crappy homage to Hellfire.
    *the Inhuman settlement After life REALLY wanted to be Atillian. (Inhumans show wasn't in development back then)

    Some of them rub me the wrong way, and some don't bother me at all. Some I totally understand.

    To take a quote from Clerks, "$hi+ or get off the pot". Make a decision and stick to it. Either take a character from the comic and creatively commit to it (Ghost Rider, Mocking bird) or just create an original character and commit to that (Mack, Grant Ward etc).

    Took them a whole season to figure out if they wanted to make Mike Peterson Deathlok. I can tell they were didn't have a clear direction they wanted to take the character and just spent 20 episodes experimenting.

    Compare that to the way they handled Ghost Rider. They knew exactly what they wanted from the beginning and hit the ground running.
     
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    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  11. eddy

    eddy Make Mine Marvel

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    Mike Peterson was only in like 2 episodes before he became Deathlok though.
     
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  12. eon001

    eon001 Well-Known Member

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    He didn't officially become Deathlok till he was blown up and repaired midway through the season. And even then it was up in the air.

    The character was not written to be Deathlok, he just evolved into it.

    The way they introduced Ghost Rider was better because they committed to the character straight out of the gates.

    Edit: And your avatar makes me really want the MCU to have another crack at Quicksilver. I wonder if he'll be back in Avengers 4.
     
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    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  13. Mike Murdock

    Mike Murdock Well-Known Member

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    He wasn't at all a comic character under a different name. He was literally the same character just with a different personality - James T. James. They probably did that because a lot of the comic's character was taken by Ward so they did something different.
     
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  14. eon001

    eon001 Well-Known Member

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    I guess he's in the same "character re-interpretation" category as Yoyo.

    It kinda bugs me that they've just made them all Inhumans, when they already had a pretty interesting origins from the comics.

    And there was plenty of Inhuman/Nuhuman characters there could have used instead.
     
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  15. DalekbusterFitz

    DalekbusterFitz Dalekbuster523

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    Meh. It doesn't really matter. The MCU is different to the comics.
     
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  16. Mike Murdock

    Mike Murdock Well-Known Member

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    I can see why they would make the Secret Warriors Inhumans given what they were going for. Since the Griffin hadn't been introduced, making Yo-Yo his daughter wouldn't have much impact the way making her Inhuman has. Could they have used other NuHumans? I think they were saving some of them for the Inhumans show at first but, leaving that aside, I wouldn't want them to replace the Secret Warriors with NuHumans just to keep their Inhuman status accurate.

    Yo-Yo isn't entirely comics accurate, but she's fairly faithful (although I don't remember the character having much personality in the comic). In the NuHuman front, I loved the appearance of Flint this season.
     
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