Comic book characters then and now (images)

Comic book characters like to evolve their styles too, you know. Take a look at how much some characters have changed since their original comic book introductions.


Christopher MacManus

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1 of 18 Marvel Comics

Captain America (then)

Drawn art ruled the minds of children long before the days of movies packed with CGI. In this gallery, we take a look at some of the most famous comic book covers of all time that introduced a major superhero, followed by an image of how that superhero is portrayed in a recent movie. As we progress further into a Digital Age, it's worthwhile to remember the roots of those famous Marvel and DC Comics heroes that sold hundreds of millions of comic books.

Captain America first appeared in March 1941. The classic cover was penciled by Jack Kirby and inked by Al Liederman. Writer Ed Herron wrote the first story in the series, which doesn't feature Hitler despite the cover image.

2 of 18 Marvel Studios

Captain America (now)

Actor Chris Evans portrays Captain America in the 2011 film "Captain America: The First Avenger." The movie also features notable actors Tommy Lee Jones and Hugo Weaving. It has grossed more than $262 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

The refreshed iconic character looks quite menacing in wartime-era drab that features subdued shades compared with the original outfit.

3 of 18 Marvel Comics

Thor (then)

Thor first appeared in August 1962 in Journey into Mystery No. 83. Penciller Jack Kirby and inker Joe Sinnott introduced Thor to the world with Thor swinging the Mjolnir around, annihilating some green Stone-Men in the process.
4 of 18 Marvel Studios

Thor (now)

Actor Chris Hemsworth portrays Thor in the 2011 film of the same name. The movie also features Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston (far left). It has grossed more than $448 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

Thor has undergone several upgrades, including a wider hammer and enhanced armor. This Thor also lacks the fancy tank top of yesteryear.

5 of 18 DC Comics

Superman (then)

Superman first appeared on June 1938 in Action Comics No. 1, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The anthology of comics also features lesser-known DC characters Chuck Dawson, Zatara Master Magician, and Tex Thompson.
6 of 18 DC Entertainment, Legendary Pictures, Syncopy Films

Superman (now)

Actor Henry Cavill portrays Superman in the movie "Man of Steel," coming to theaters on June 14, 2013. In this dramatic image we see Superman rising up after an explosion of some kind in a vault. Superman's boots have gone knee-high after he originally wore ankle-length boots in the original comic.
7 of 18 DC Comics

Green Lantern (then)

Green Lantern first appeared in July 1940 in All-American Comics No. 16 by artist Gil Kane. There were actually two versions of the famous superhero, first known as Alan Scott, a railroad engineer who gained powers after finding a magic lantern that was later turned into a ring. Hal Jordan would later assume the role of Green Lantern 19 years later in Showcase No. 22.
8 of 18 DC Entertainment, De Line Pictures

Green Lantern (now)

Actor Ryan Reynolds portrays Hal Jordan, aka Green Lantern, in the 2011 film of the same name. Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, and Mark Strong are just a few of the supporting actors. Green Lantern has earned more than $160 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, considerably less than other superhero movies released this year.
9 of 18 Marvel Comics

Iron Man (then)

Iron Man first appeared on March 1963 in Tales of Suspense No. 39. Jack Kirby and Don Heck collaborated on the classic cover, which shows the first version of the Iron Man armor. Surprisingly, it wasn't until the third version of the armor that the classic gold and red colors were used.
10 of 18 Marvel Studios, Fairview Entertainment

Iron Man (now)

Actor Robert Downey Jr. portrays Iron Man in the recent film trilogy, which is set to wrap up with "Iron Man 3" coming out sometime in 2013. The Mark I armor in the original comic appearance was featured in the first Iron Man movie. "Iron Man 1" and "Iron Man 2" combined have grossed more than a billion dollars worldwide.
11 of 18 Casterman, Le Lombard, Methuen Publishing

Tintin (then)

Tintin first appeared in January 1929 in the comic section Le Petit Vingtieme, part of the Belgian newspaper Le XXe Siecle.
12 of 18 Amblin Entertainment, Nickelodeon Movies, WingNut Films, The Kennedy/Marshall Company

Tin-tin (now)

Tintin returns in "The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn," destined for theaters on December 23. Actor Jamie Bell will voice the young adventurer.
13 of 18 Marvel Comics

Spider-Man (then)

Spider-Man first appeared in August 1962 in Amazing Fantasy No. 15. Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko worked together on the cover of Stan Lee's brainchild.
14 of 18 Columbia Pictures, Marvel Studios

Spider-Man (now)

Andrew Garfield will play the web slinger in "The Amazing Spider-Man," set for release on July 3, 2012. It will be the fourth Spider-Man movie in a decade.
15 of 18 Marvel Comics

X-Men (then)

X-Men first appeared in September 1963 in The X-Men No. 1. The combined talents of Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman, and Sol Brodsky can be seen on the coveted cover. In this series, Jean Grey was originally known as Marvel Girl.
16 of 18 Dune Entertainment, Marvel Entertainment, 20th Century Fox

X-Men (now)

The latest iteration of the mutant heroes was the spinoff prequel "X-Men: First Class," released in June. The movie has grossed more than $349 million worldwide, says Box Office Mojo. A notable scene in the movie is when Charles Xavier is injured and becomes a paraplegic.
17 of 18 DC Comics

Batman (then)

Batman first appeared in May 1939 in Detective Comics No. 27. Bob Kane drew the caped crusader, who sports enormous wings while capturing a bad guy. Commissioner Gordon also appears in the comic.
18 of 18 Legendary Pictures, Syncopy Films

Batman (now)

The Batman film trilogy wraps up with "The Dark Knight Rises," due for release on July 20, 2012. The first two Batman movies in the series have grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide. Christian Bale is Batman in this series, following in the footsteps of actors Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, and George Clooney.

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