ByGrant Hermanns, writer at
I know way too much about movies, my mind is like a walking IMDB, only not perfect. Don't forget to hit up my Twitter: @grantheftautho
Grant Hermanns

We've all seen the increase in popularity of superheroes in the media, as well as the constant recasting of some of the biggest characters in the franchises. But did you know that some of the major comic book adaptations are actually based on characters more known for their supporting roles rather than standalone series?

Let's take a moment to look at some of these adaptations and where they came from:

1. Lucifer - Fox TV Series

What is the adaptation?

Fox's most recent adaptation of a DC Comic Lucifer has been quite the hit in ratings and has earned a Season 2 renewal. The show follows Lucifer Morningstar, the devil himself, as he leaves his throne in hell to take a vacation in Los Angeles, helping LAPD Detective Chloe Decker solve crimes.

Where's he really from?

While Lucifer does currently have an ongoing solo series by Mike Carey, he did not get his own series until roughly 16 years ago. Instead, Lucifer actually originally got his start in The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. The main character, Dream, came across the character when facing Hell's Hierarchy in 1989. Lucifer got his solo series in 2000, but still is most known for his appearances in The Demon and The Spectre series, among other DC comics.

Check out the trailer for the series:

2. Agent Carter - ABC TV Series

What is the adaptation?

Following the rising success of Marvel's first Phase and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ABC chose to take the Peggy Carter character and put her in a lead role in her own series. The show follows Carter and her adventures working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR). The show's second season ended in March, and ABC announced the show's cancellation in May, but a petition has formed for Netflix to hopefully revive the Marvel series.

Where's she really from?

Fans of the Marvel films will recognize Carter from the first Captain America film, and readers of the comics will have the same thoughts. She was initially an unnamed love interest for Cap in 1966, only getting a single panel in two issues, but would later be introduced as Sharon Carter's aunt and become a recurring character during his World War II adventures.

3. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. - ABC TV Series

What is the adaptation?

The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot had been in development by director Joss Whedon after the success of The Avengers, and ABC quickly picked up the pilot and even recruited actor Clark Gregg to star in the show, reprising his role as Phil Coulson from the Phase 1 films as a high-ranking agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. The series focuses on his team of agents as they work on week-by-week dangerous cases, including fighting HYDRA agents, as well as superpowered enemies. The film shares a continuity with the MCU, and has even seen some major events in the films change the show, especially following Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Where are they really from?

Daisy Johnson aka Skye or Quake
Daisy Johnson aka Skye or Quake

Being that this is a "team-up" show, of sorts, there are an array of characters in the series, but almost all of the characters that appear in the series are side characters in various Marvel comics. Some of these include Daisy Johnson, a.k.a. Skye or Quake, who is known for being in the Secret War, Secret Invasion and Avengers series. Also featured are Lance Hunter from the Captain Britain Weekly comics, Al MacKenzie from the Nick Fury series, and Bobbi Morse a.k.a. Mockingbird from the New Avengers and Secret Avengers series.

4. Birds Of Prey - WB TV Series

What is the adaptation?

The short-lived WB series revolved around the city of Gotham after Batman has abandoned it. After being shot by Joker and left unable to fight crime, Barbara Gordon, daughter of Gotham Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, uses her computer skills to become Oracle, and enlists the help of Helena Kyle and Dinah Redmond to help fight crime in their city. Could we see another onscreen revival?

Where are they from?

Though the series is actually based on a solo comic series, the characters in the original had originated as side characters in other storylines before appearing in the Birds of Prey comics. Barbara Gordon had originated in the Batman comics and 1960s TV series as the daughter of Jim Gordon and the hero Batgirl. After being paralyzed by the Joker in Batman: The Killing Joke, she was retooled into living with her disability and working as the hacker Oracle to help Batman. Helena Kyle/Huntress is the daughter of Batman and Catwoman, and does have some solo stories, but was mostly featured at the end of Wonder Woman issues in the 1980s after her introduction in Issue 17 of the Super Stars series. Dinah Redmond (really Lance)/Black Canary made her debut in the Flash Comics series, and made other appearances in the Batman comics, Green Arrow comics, and Secret Origins series before finally making her semi-solo appearance in Birds of Prey.

5. Gotham - Fox TV Series

What is the adaptation?

Now, some of you may be thinking that a show featuring young Bruce Wayne in a starring capacity can't be on this list. Well, you'd be wrong. Fox's hit prequel series Gotham does follow young Bruce Wayne after his parents are murdered, however, the focus is actually more on James Gordon in his early years in the Gotham City Police Department as a detective solving the dark and bizarre cases around the city. In his and Bruce's dealings with the crime-riddled town during the show, the two come across many side characters and villains from the original Batman comics, including the Penguin, Edward Nygma (a.k.a. The Riddler), Don Falcone, Lucius Fox and Harvey Dent (pre-Two-Face).

Where do they all come from?

As previously mentioned, all of the characters do originate from the Detective Comics and the Batman comics. By setting the series in a world pre-Batman, it's interesting to see the creators change up some of the origins for the characters, but they still all stick close to their comic counterparts in terms of personalities and "hobbies."

Were you surprised about some of these shows? What are some of your favorite comic book shows?


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