With several high-profile releases hitting theaters, 2016 is undoubtedly a pivotal year for the respective shared universes of both Marvel and DC. While the former marks a game-changing new era with Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange, the latter is finally building out its own world with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. Let’s take a look at how Marvel and DC have handled the origin stories in some of their films.
1. Batman Returns (1992)
While comic book fans were outraged with the liberties Tim Burton’s 1989 film took with the origins for both Batman and The Joker, that was nothing compared to the bizarre take the director’s sequel offered on these two popular villains. Traditionally portrayed as a mob boss, the Penguin (Danny DeVito) was reinterpreted as a deformed human baby who was raised in the sewers by an inexplicable penguin army. Meanwhile, Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) became a sad-sack secretary (er, assistant) who is miraculously resurrected by a group of stray cats. There’s still much to like about the film and the two villainous performances, but man, those origin stories are a mess.