Ever wonder what changed from the comics when the story was adapted for on-air? While there are always minor alterations between the shows and the books they draw from, here’s a few of the biggest differences we found:

The Flash: How He Got Fast


In the show, Barry receives his powers when a lightning bolt generated by S.T.A.R. Labs crashes through the ceiling of his research lab. This puts him in a coma for nine months and under the care of Dr. Wells.

In the comics there’s still lighting, but it actually strikes chemicals in the police precinct where Barry is employed. The chemicals spill all over him, and Boom! Super speed. The lightning bolt as the main cause was pretty big for the rest of the story and speed force, so this change makes sense.

Arrow: Felicity Smoak

Arrow 021716

We first met Felicity as an IT rep for Queen Industries. Eventually she joins the fight with Oliver and Diggle in their world of crime fighting, deeming herself “Overwatch.”

Disappointingly, Felicity never existed in the Green Arrow comic. However, her name is used for a character that appears in the Firestorm comic series in 1984. This character bears little resemblance to the Felicity we know and love today. She makes a great addition to Team Arrow and also contributes to Oliver’s character development both as a love interest and friend – not to mention as a character of her own. TV always needs more bad-ass women.

Supergirl: Her Cover job


With her cousin Superman working as a reporter for the Daily Planet, it may not come as too much surprise for Kara to take the same job. After all, the flexible hours, ability to cover stories anywhere and leave at a moment’s notice makes the set-up pretty sweet.

Yet in the comics, Kara’s day job was as an actor and TV reporter. They probably changed that for the show due to obvious reasons – how secret is a secret identity if she’s constantly on the big screen for both acting and saving the world? Not a single person would recognize her? It would seem like too much of a stretch for television.

Legends of Tomorrow: Origins of Captain Cold’s Gun


This is a pretty big difference from the comics, but might work better overall for the character of Leonard Snart AKA Captain Cold. In The Flash, Snart begins as a criminal albeit he doesn’t kill. Meanwhile, Cisco created the cold gun in secret in the off-chance that they may need to use it on another speedster – possibly even The Flash himself. We found out about the effects cool temperature has on slowing speedsters down when they used the cold against reverse flash. Captain Cold steals the gun from Cisco and that’s what started his reign.

The comic book version changes his character quite a bit. The gun is created by none other than the captain himself. Snart isn’t below average in intelligence by any means, but could he be a genius who can create a weapon like that? It seems like he would be do a lot more than just create a gun with that kind of intellect. Having Cisco be the true maker of the gun for the series was a good move, as Snart being too intelligent and possessing the gun would have made a villain too formidable for Barry in his early stages. On a side note, Heat Wave also created his gun in the comics.

While we can’t always have the exact adaptions we want, there’s no doubt that the characters on these CW superhero shows do a great job of keeping (or adding to!) the best parts. What we can look forward to is seeing what new stories and adaptions the writers make and keeping an eye on which of our favorite characters will appear next. Be sure to check out all the heroes as they save the world on CW11!

Written by, Bryan Nakata, CW11 Seattle Summer Intern
 For more about Bryan, click here!


Leave a Reply