Well, thanks to JSexton, I am now a member, so in celebration, I will start a new thread. I will log off in a few minutes, so I am afraid I will not be able to see if this thread lives or dies until later.
As originally conceived, Superman could be harmed by cobalt bombs. Sure, they are really freaking powerful, but he is now invulnerable to all but Kryptonite, and Magic. (Go on, Captain Marvel, drop a train an enchanted train on him! You know you want to, since he stole your sales.) and likewise, Batman didn’t like to kill people, but he did when he had to. I didn’t even realize until recently, that the reprints of Batman I read where “not the same person” as the modern Batman.
Does any one else caer to state other fictional beings who used to be different. They don’t need to more powerful, just different, and they don’t have to be from comic books either. Anywhere fictional. Come to think off it, I guess Nixon counts too.
Actually, Frankenstein comes to mind. But I don’t know if this is the kind of thing you were getting at the the O.P.
In Mary Shelley Wollstoncraft’s novel, Dr. Frankenstein was the DOCTOR who created a nameless monster. In later incarnations of this, the monster ends up being called Frankenstein. It was significant, actually, that the monster had no name.
Well, in television, several characters in Babylon 5 really changed. The ones that stand out the most are Gkar, Londo, and Vir. The latter went from picked on, milquetoast “moon-faced assasin of joy” to “how do you like* THAT*, spoo for brains?!” Londo went from buffoonish, to treacherous, to tragic hero. G’kar went from slightly sinister to noble. I like G’kar best in the episode with Michael York, the guy who thought he was King Arthur.
The various film verions of Dorian Gray suggests the character is extremely old, having been locked in youth for close to a century.
The literary version, though, was only 38. The story is actually creepy in the sense that at age 38, a man has lost all his personal beauty and what remains is “withered, wrinkled, and loathsome”. It kinda makes Oscar Wilde sound like Michael Jackson.
Actually, IIRC, in Stoker’s novel, Dracula appears human enough, has long flowing locks of hair, and is adorned in antiquated (by 1890s standards) suits, adorned with lots of jewels. Basically, he’s described as appearing like a Medeival prince, only slightly updated for the times. His only non-human characteristic is his rat-like incisors.
Wonder Woman went from kinky feminist (golden age) to pacified / neutered secretary-to-the-JLA (silver age) to a humanist ambassador from a time lost civilization (Perez revamp) to a politically-savvy ambassador (current version).
Wolverine went from bush-league Hulk bad-guy with artificial claws attached to his gloves (the claws weren’t considered a part of his body until after he joined the X-Men), to irritating nuisance within a popular superteam, to noble ninja warrior. (Lets not even get started on the multiple backstories! Yeesh!)
the Thing - Conceived initially as an unstable, unpredictably violent character like the Hulk (during the FF’s first encounter with Dr. Doom, the Thing briefly betrays his team-mates), the Thing was changed first into a sad, self-hating character who was disgusted by his own appearance, and finally to a more comical character.
During the movie and subsequent series, he started as the kind of guy who would be in on Hawkeye and Trapper John’s pranks, and fe found in the colonel’s office, drinking whiskey and smoking cigars, and even getting a piece from the occasional nurse.
Later on, he became virginal and innocent… Almost the opposite of how he started.