TOP 10: Best Original Characters Created For Comic Book Adaptations

TOP 10: Best Original Characters Created For Comic Book Adaptations

Many comic adaptations, both live-action and animated, have included original characters created just for that adaptation. Here I count down the top 10. Click on to have a read and see if you agree..

From the DC Animated Universe to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and everywhere in-between, we've been treated to some fantastic original characters who we not in the original source material, but were created specifically for their specific adaption. In fact, many of these characters have gained such popularity that most fans might not even realize they aren't from the comics. Below I've gathered up my personal favorites. Some of these characters were used in an adaption of a comic and then were never seen again, but some have gone on to transcend mediums and crossover between live-action adaptions and the comics that inspired them.



#10 - Jemma Simmons (Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D)

One of the newest characters on this list. I gotta admit, like many people, I was hesitant to embrace Agents Of SHIELD when it first premiered. In the first half of the show's freshman season there was a lot of dragging along and at times I felt my interest weaning. But one of the few elements I really enjoyed was Jemma Simmons, a younger SHIELD agent and scientist in the series. She didn't really do much at first, often only being there to provide comic banter with Fitz, but after a few episode she began to grow as a character and was given a bit of depth. She's proven to be loyal to her team and has even gone to great lengths to protect them (even throwing herself from a plane because she didn't want to endanger them). She's one of the highlights of the series and I'm looking forward to seeing her character grow even farther.


#9 – Renee Montoya (Batman: The Animated Series)

Renee Montoya was originally introduced in Batman: The Animated Series during season one and continued to be a recurring character in season two. Since her initial appearance she's gone on to transcend her medium, appearing in the actual DC Comic Universe. She's even gone from being a police officer to becoming The Question, a vigilante who wears a mask that creates the illusion of the wearer not having a face.


#8 – X-32 (X-Men Evolution)

X-23 was originally created for the animated series 'X-Men: Evolution”. Another character who has transcended her original medium, X-23 was created from DNA of the original Wolverine and therefore share similar abilities (most notably: her claws). She was used as a killing machine for many years before finding Wolverine and the other X-Men and deciding to turn her life around.


#7 – Firestar (Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends)

Firestar was originally created for the animated TV series 'Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends' where she fought the forces of evil alongside Spider-Man and Bobby Drake, aka Iceman from the X-Men. Firestar has gone to appear in various comics and while she's somewhat popular, she never really gained the mainstream popularity that various others on this list have.


#6 & #5 – Bebop and Rocksteady (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

Bebop and Rocksteady were originally introduced in the original 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' cartoon series and have since gone on to appear in comics published by IDW. Bebop and Rocksteady have proven popular with fans. Despite being generally well-liked character, Bebop and Rocksteady did not appear in the 2003 'TMNT' series (except for the Turtles Forever crossover movie), they were not used in any of three live-action films and have yet to appear in the 2013 series on Nick.


#4 – Merle Dixon (The Walking Dead)

Say what you want about 'The Walking Dead', but there is no denying that Merle Dixon was a cool character. I mean, c'mon! It's Micheal Rooker with a knife for a hand. How can you not like that? Merle was a character that, at first, didn't seem to have much going on. However when he returned in season three, he proved to be a complex character and while he never appeared in the comics (and likely never will), he is still one of my favorite characters in the Walking Dead universe, TV or Comic.


#3 – Terry McGinnis/Batman (Batman Beyond)

Terry McGinnis was originally a troubled teenager that was taken under the wing of an elderly Bruce Wayne and taught the ways of crime fighting in the series 'Batman Beyond'...By the end of the DCAU, it turned out he was a weird test-tube baby of Bruce Wayne or something...I dunno, it was complex. I like to focus on everything before that though. The series had a fun vibe of Spider-Man meets Batman and it made the entire thing very enjoyable.


#2 – Phil Coulson (Iron Man, The MCU)

The Son Of Coul. Phil Coulson started in the movies, appearing in nearly every MCU movie leading up to 'The Avengers'. Since then he's gone on to appear in the comics and on TV in an animated series and in a live-action TV of series, of which he is the primary character. Phil Coulson is a prime example of introducing an original character right. In less than 7 years, he's gone from a fun cameo-type character in Iron Man to the glue of the entire MCU.


#1 – Harley Quinn (Batman: The Animated Series)

Harley Quinn is another prime example of properly introducing an original character. Originally created as a fun girlfriend-character for the Joker, Harley has gone on to gather her own fan-base that is large enough to rival some A-List comic characters. Pick up a Batman comics and you'll probably see a reference to her. Go to a Comic Convention and you'll probably see a dozen women dressed as her (it's probably the second most popular female costume behind the Slave Leia outfit). She's been around for years and her popularity hasn't dropped off any. She remains an interesting an beloved character and has proven to stand the test of time and for that reason, Harley Quinn is #1 on my list.



Jimmy Olsen (The Adventures Of Superman Radio Show), Mercy Graves (Superman: The Animated Series), Agent Melinda May (Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD), Phantasm (Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm), Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead), Blight (Batman Beyond), Chloe Sullivan (Smallville), Livewire (Superman: The Animated Series), Agent Grant Ward (Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD), Red X (Teen Titans)

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Member Since 11/10/2013
Filed Under "Comics" 6/23/2014
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UltimateCookie - 6/23/2014, 4:06 PM
BobbyDrakeApproaches - 6/23/2014, 4:28 PM
Good list! A couple of these surprised me, I assumed X-23 and Harley Quinn were comic book characters. I would have included Erik Selvig, Darcy, and Skye. I am curious, do either of the latter characters annoy you?
DrDoom - 6/23/2014, 4:31 PM
Very good list, although I would have put Phantasm in the top ten.
Klone - 6/23/2014, 4:47 PM
Terry > that thing they call "Coulson"
MrPrime - 6/23/2014, 4:50 PM
No Diggle?

I can't dig it.
Pasto - 6/23/2014, 5:10 PM
X-23 is number one on my least of 'Comic book Characters I Want to Sleep With'.

Actually....thats not a bad article idea....
superherofan21 - 6/23/2014, 5:15 PM
So glad that Harley's on this list. Really surprised she hasn't been seen on film yet...
JillyMcBeam - 6/23/2014, 5:17 PM
Whoa Whoa have Merle but not Daryl? Not even a mention?
marvel72 - 6/23/2014, 5:29 PM
HONORABLE MENTIONS:chloe from smallville,don't make me laugh,every episode of smallville i saw her in i wanted her to die.
HeisenbergSaysRelax - 6/23/2014, 5:31 PM
Daryl is in the honorable mention section. The reason I listed Merle and not Daryl was because, in my opinion, he's a better character. I don't dislike Daryl or anything, I just like Merle more and find him a bit more interesting, thus his placement on the list.

I don't dislike Skye or Selvig...and I don't really have an opinion either way on Darcy. I just didn't include them because, to me, while alright characters, they aren't really characters I'd put in my top 10.
blackandyellow - 6/23/2014, 5:35 PM
Nice list. I would've put Jimmy Olsen at #1 just because he's endured for so long.
Abary - 6/23/2014, 6:26 PM

Abary - 6/23/2014, 6:28 PM
Great lost Heis
NovaCorpsFan - 6/23/2014, 6:31 PM
No Jared Nomak from Blade II?

Pedrito - 6/23/2014, 7:20 PM
The Dark Knight Trilogy had a pretty good original character: Bruce Wayne's alter ego.
He was pretty similar to Batman, but without the cool things about Batman, which made him more realistic, I guess.
UltimateCookie - 6/23/2014, 7:26 PM
Diggle should've got an Honorable Mention at least
FastFlames - 6/23/2014, 7:53 PM
Pedrito LMAO!!!!
themidnightking - 6/23/2014, 10:07 PM
No Trevor Slattery? [frick] this list!
CPIXLEY - 6/23/2014, 10:10 PM
No Diggle? What the [frick]?
MightyZeus - 6/24/2014, 12:12 AM
I'm pleased Darryl only got an honorable mention. I always found Merle to be more interesting than Darryl. Would have liked to have seen Hershel as an honourable mention but that's fine.

The list was great though.
CameronGray - 6/24/2014, 4:24 AM
Very good idea and list, thumbs up!
Tainted87 - 6/24/2014, 6:16 AM
Diggle needs a mention for sure.
I know it doesn't really count, but how about Jessica Hamby from True Blood?
The show went downhill REALLY fast after season three, with some serious departures from the books, some completely new characters who carry their own dumb storylines and crafted mysticism along, but Jessica was the best OC on the show.

Whereas vampires are often a debated hot subject on the show, all choice and deliberation was bypassed with Jessica - she was made a vampire as compensation for Bill having staked a vampire in defense of Sookie. She's a super sheltered Christian who's terrified out of her mind when Bill is forced to kill her, but when she comes out of the dirt - she's a walking parody of all drama on the show.

Won't let me embed
KallarkKent - 6/24/2014, 6:20 AM
Great list!
dethpillow - 6/24/2014, 6:53 AM
great article, i like Jemma too as a new creation.

I've never really even thought about this as a category of characters, but it's definitely interesting, and @Pedrito brings up a great point,
cuz some of the characters in these adaptations, like Obadiah Stane or Whiplash are essentially new creations. I guess especially Stane.

@themidnightking - yeah, Trevor for me is way up there.

if i had to list these, i'd include Peter's landlord's daughter who bakes him cookies and also Bruce Campbell as the theater usher. i know that's not really what the article was doing, and actually both of those are cheating but i'd put them there anyways, i liked them a lot more than some appearances by comic book inspired characters.

fortycals - 6/24/2014, 7:45 AM
Great list. Going into this I was hoping no one forgets my personal favorite firestar. Glad to see she made it. My top 3 would have been 1) harely 2) firestar 3) x23. I think these characters made the best crossovers back into comics.
ComicFan523 - 6/24/2014, 8:50 AM
I agree Harley deserves the top spot, but I would have included Diggle from Arrow on my list.
DrDoom - 6/24/2014, 9:21 AM
Arrow sucks, thus, no Diggle.
johnblake - 6/24/2014, 11:14 AM
MakluIV - 6/24/2014, 1:09 PM
I'd replace 10 and 9 with Agent Ward and Agent May. Other than that, great list.
Tuuralihn - 6/24/2014, 3:56 PM
Merle better than Daryl? Blasphemy!
GenreFan - 6/24/2014, 7:10 PM
Aw .. No Diggle? Diggle needs to be on here. He is awesome.
MementoMori - 6/24/2014, 7:10 PM
I knew when I'd already made it to the #2 spot with no mention of Harley, she'd have to be #1. Rightfully so. Arleen Sorkin's voice calling Mister J her "Puddin'!" will always make me smile.
GenreFan - 6/24/2014, 7:11 PM
Nomaaaaaak? Awesome choice too. Deserves a mention too. Great list and idea though. Definitely.
staypuffed - 6/24/2014, 8:12 PM
[frick] the Phantasm. Overrated movie and overrated character.
staypuffed - 6/24/2014, 8:13 PM
But good list nonetheless.
TheFox - 6/24/2014, 11:34 PM
No Diggle? HERESY!

But otherwise, yeah, this is a pretty cool list.

cimmerian - 6/24/2014, 11:54 PM
No Batgirl? C'mon!
RobGrizzly - 6/26/2014, 7:55 AM
This List = Awesome Awesome AwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesomeAwesome!!!!


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